Wednesday, March 23, 2016

SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Civilizations Unraveling - Terrorists Attack Brussels, Belgium; At Least 34 People Killed, Dozens Injured; ISIS Claims Responsibility; Europe On High Alert!

Flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial following attacks in Brussels (AFP Photo/Kenzo Tribouillard)

March 23, 2016 - BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - World leaders united in condemning the carnage in Brussels and vowed to combat terrorism, after Islamic State bombers killed around 35 people in a strike at the symbolic heart of the EU.Global landmarks from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Berlin's Brandenburg Gate were lit up in the black, yellow and red of the Belgian national flag in solidarity.

In Brussels, hundreds crowded into Place de la Bourse in the capital's historic centre to grieve for the dead, while in London fans of Adele lit up the O2 stadium with their phones after the pop star asked them to "take a moment for Brussels".

The European Union vowed to defend democracy and combat terrorism "with all necessary means" after the bombings at Brussels airport and a metro station, only a short walk from the bloc's core institutions.


Bombs exploded at the Brussels airport and one of the city's metro stations Tuesday, killing at least 34 people and wounding dozens.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The EU said the Brussels attacks were an assault "on our open democratic society" at a time when the 28-nation group is already on edge after a wave of jihadist violence.

"This latest attack only strengthens our resolve to defend the European values and tolerance from the attacks of the intolerant. We will be united and firm in the fight against hatred, violent extremism and terrorism," said the statement by the leaders of the EU's member states and its institutions.


WATCH: Brussels Zaventem airport bombings aftermath.




Officials said around 20 people were killed on the metro and 14 at the airport in the rush-hour assaults, which came days after the main fugitive suspect in November's gun and bomb rampage in Paris was arrested in Brussels.

- 'Nous sommes tous Bruxellois' -

"Our Union's capital is under attack. We mourn the dead and pledge to conquer terror through democracy," the Greek foreign ministry said on Twitter. "Nous sommes tous Bruxellois" -- "We are all citizens of Brussels."

Belgian colours lit up the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and hundreds joined a vigil in support of the Brussels victims. Flags were to fly at half mast in France, a nation still raw from last year's jihadist rampage.

"The whole of Europe has been hit," French President Francois Hollande declared, urging the continent to take "vital steps in the face of the seriousness of the threat".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed that "the horror is as boundless as the determination to defeat terrorism" and British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed: "We will never let these terrorists win."


Map locates Brussels airport and Maelbeek metro station the locations of deadly terrorist bombings.

Officials: Brussels bombers may have rushed attack.

US President Barack Obama branded the attacks "outrageous", calling on the world to stand "together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism".

"We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world," he said in Havana.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was confident "Europe's commitment to human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence will continue to be the true and lasting response to the hatred and violence of which they became a victim today".


WATCH: People pay tribute to Brussels attacks victims at Bourse Square.




And Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, which has been combating threats from homegrown jihadists, said his country was "absolutely shoulder to shoulder with Belgium".

He told the ABC: "Australia is allied with Belgium in this battle just as our forebears were 100 years ago in the fields of Flanders, in the First World War."

- Attacks 'un-Islamic' -

Turkey, which has seen hundreds killed a wave of bombings blamed on IS as well as Kurdish rebels, said the Brussels attacks rammed home the need to combat terrorism of every hue.

"The terrorists who targeted Brussels... are showing once again that they respect no value nor any human and moral limit," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country was left reeling after a Russian plane was downed by a bomb over the Sinai in October that killed 224 people, also lashed out at what he called "barbarous crimes".

"Fighting this evil calls for the most active international cooperation," he added.


Alerts and security measures in place in selected European countries following the attacks in Brussels

Religious leaders also spoke out against the attacks, which Pope Francis described as "blind violence".

In Cairo, the leading seat of learning in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar, said the blasts "violate the tolerant teachings of Islam" and urged the international community to confront the "epidemic" of terrorism.


WATCH: Brussels attacks fierce debate - 'Close the borders' vs 'Stay united'.




The attacks also reverberated in the US presidential campaign, where Republican front-runner Donald Trump said the cause of the bloodshed was "no assimilation" by immigrants.

"This all happened because, frankly, there's no assimilation."

Thousands took to Twitter to express their own anger at Muslims using the #StopIslam handle, in comments rejected by other web users as Islamophobic and racist. - Yahoo.





 

EXTREME WEATHER: Wildfires Blaze Across Thousands Of Acres From Kansas To Oklahoma - At Least 75 SQUARE MILES Already Burned!

© KWCH channel 12

March 23, 2016 - UNITED STATES - Fire crews were working to contain a wildfire burning across at least 75 square miles in rural Oklahoma and Kansas on Wednesday, while strong wind and dry conditions also increased fire threats in neighboring states, authorities said.

The National Weather Service said the fire started Tuesday night near the Kansas border in Woods County, Oklahoma.

Wind gusts of up to 30 mph helped spread the blaze into in western Kansas, where about a dozen homes were evacuated. Dense smoke and fire also prompted highway officials to close a 28-mile stretch of U.S. 160 in Kansas.

No injuries have been reported in either state, and none of the evacuated houses in Kansas' Comanche County has been damaged, county emergency management coordinator John Lehman said. But he noted that wind speeds were increasing and complicating firefighting efforts.




"With this kind of wind, it's going to be kind of bad," Lehman said.

Dozens of firetrucks and hundreds of firefighters were working helping to gradually contain the blaze, Lehman said. Oil field crews hauled water to the scene in tractor-trailers to help.

Parts of New Mexico and northwest Texas also were at extreme risk for wildfires on Wednesday because of warm, windy, dry conditions, according to the weather service's Storm Prediction Center.

The area covers more than 120,000 square miles and includes the cities of Lubbock, Texas; Oklahoma City; and Wichita and Topeka in Kansas.

The Oklahoma Forestry Services warned local fire departments that conditions would worsen through the evening, with winds expected to shift. - ABC News.






 

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - From 70s To Snow As Heavy Blizzard Pounds Denver!

Downtown Denver on Wednesday afternoon, March 23. © Trevor Hughes/USA TODAY

March 23, 2016 - COLORADO, UNITED STATES - Heavy snow pounded the Denver metro area on Wednesday, grinding air traffic to a halt as a springtime blizzard wreaked havoc on the city just a day after temperatures reached 70 degrees.
Denver International Airport halted all air traffic shortly after noon as a result of the conditions. There was no estimated time for flights to resume.

Hundreds of flights at Denver International Airport were canceled or delayed, in part due to gusting winds that also created blizzard conditions on the state's eastern Plains.

Several interstates and major roadways in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska were closed.

Across the Denver metro area, schools and government offices closed and power flickered as the heavy, wet snow rapidly accumulated. More than 80,000 customers are without power from Denver to Fort Collins, AccuWeather said.

Blizzard warnings are in effect for much of eastern Colorado, including the Denver area, as well as small portions of Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas.
The mess is the result of a sprawling spring storm that's dumping heavy snow on the north-central U.S. and could deliver severe weather and drenching thunderstorms later in the day in the waterlogged South.

Earlier Wednesday, hundreds of people at Denver International Airport checked their smartphones, queued at airline ticket counters, or wandered aimlessly, killing time. March is the snowiest month in Denver, and many travelers seemed taken aback at the storm's ferocity, given the mild winter Denver received recently.














"What are the odds?" laughed Peter Aukstolis of Denver. Aukstolis and his new wife, Laura Hargadine, got married Sunday and were supposed to be on a beach in Aruba by Wednesday evening. The two cuddled up on the floor near a coffee shop and checked and re-checked their flights. They're being rerouted through Philadelphia with an beach arrival expected sometime Thursday.

"Will miss a day, but we're going for 10 days, and we are off for two weeks anyway," Aukstolis said. About 21 inches of snow had fallen in 11 hours today in Louisville, Colo., near Boulder, reported Weather Underground meteorologist Bob Henson.

State transportation officials, in an unusual move, required all vehicles driving on major highways around Denver use four-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, chains or snow tires. Drivers reported gridlock around the city as the morning commute began.

Many locations around Denver will see more than a foot of snow by Wednesday evening
, KUSA-TV reported.

Parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes could pick up as much as 12 to 18 inches by the time the storm winds down Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.


The storm will impact thousands of miles of roadways, AccuWeather said.

Snow from the storm will also hit northern New York and northern New England by Thursday.


The Weather Channel has named the storm Selene. Farther to the south, severe thunderstorms are forecast to fire up Wednesday in the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley. The area at greatest risk for severe weather ranges from northeast Texas to western Illinois, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Damaging winds and large hail will be the main threats from any severe storms that develop. Isolated tornadoes are also possible, according to weather.com.

Heavy rain from the storms could lead to flash flooding over the waterlogged region.

Cities at risk for the violent thunderstorms later Wednesday include Dallas and San Antonio, Texas; Fayetteville and Little Rock, Arkansas; Springfield, Missouri; and Shreveport, Louisiana, AccuWeather predicts.

By Thursday, the threat area for severe weather will be mainly in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

 - 11 Alive.






 

DELUGE: Wild Weather Lashes New Zealand - Heavy Rainfall Results In Widespread Flooding; Strongs Bring Down Powerlines And Trees; Mass Evacuations On The West Coast; Local State Of Emergency Declared!

Flooding in Motueka. © RNZ / Tracy Neal

March 23, 2016 - NEW ZEALAND - Nearly 200 people have been evacuated on the West Coast, and trees have brought down powerlines in Auckland, as wild weather lashes the country.

Heavy rain caused the Waiho River on the West Coast to breach its bank, the upper North Island has been hit by strong winds and MetService said the bad weather was expected to continue into the afternoon. A local state of emergency was declared early this morning on the West Coast, after flooding forced the evacuation of nearly 200 people in Franz Josef.

The chair of the Glacier Country Tourism Group, Rob Jewell, said 80 of the tourists were staying in a welfare centre.

Ensuring the welfare of the town's guests was key, he said.

The Waiho River breached its bank near the town about 11.50pm last night.

Authorities said 186 people were evacuated at different stages as the river first made its way to the Scenic Circle Hotel, and moved towards the Top Ten Holiday Park and the Westwood Lodge. Westland Civil Defence public information manager Andy Thompson told Morning Report it was not a normal flooding, with the river potentially creating a new channel through the area.




He said the water was moving swiftly and cars were being tossed around in the car park and the water supply has since been damaged. In some places there was no water at all, he said.

Mr Thompson said the Red Cross was sending a welfare truck, and the area would be assessed at first light.

Heavy rain has also caused flooding in the Tasman District.

Nelson Tasman Civil Defence said emergency services have helped some households to evacuate flooded homes near the Riwaka River, which burst its banks around dawn.

Duty officer Roger Ball said more than a dozen Riwaka properties were thought to be flooded but the extent of the damage was not yet known.

He said there had been between 250 and 350 milimetres of rain over the hills during a short period of time.

Our reporter in the district said flood waters were up to doorways but there was no indication of where it was coming from.

Residents in the area were seen this morning leaving homes with bags packed.

There have also been reports of slips causing damage to property in Marahau near the start of the Abel Tasman National Park track.

Mr Ball said there was water across properties and roads in the area. The flooding also caused the closure of State Highway 60 at Riwaka, and between Upper Takaka and Collingwood.

Further north, almost 13,000 homes and businesses are without power around Auckland because of stormy weather.


Douglas Drive at Franz Josef, just before daybreak today.
© NZTA

Flooding on a road near Franz Josef today.
© NZTA

Flooding on High St in Motueka.
© RNZ / Tracy Neal

Flooding in High Street in Motueka.
© RNZ / Tracy Neal


The biggest affected areas have been around Warkworth in the north, Waiheke Island and the eastern bays of the North Shore.

As many as 18,000 people were without power at the peak of the problem.

A Fire Service spokesperson said it had attended more than 130 emergency incidents around the Auckland region since bad weather hit early this morning.

One of the latest arcing power lines sparked a house fire in Wallath Road, Onehunga, but it had been extinguished when they got there.

They included clearing trees from roads or power lines, dealing with arching powerlines and helping to secure roofs that were lifting.

There had been no reports of injury. WeatherWatch analyst Philip Duncan said the overnight gales were not being caused by a storm.

"It's one of those rare cases where the winds can be blamed on a very large high pressure system east of the country, rather than a storm or low moving in". State Highway 16 west of Auckland is closed after a serious crash.

The collision happened near Kumeu, with the road closed in both directions.

The Transport Agency says delays are likely.

Traffic remains heavy across Auckland, after bad weather overnight and this morning.

Strong gusts of wind and lightning in the far north also left parts of the region without power last night.

Top Energy reported power outages and faults in the line between Towai and Kaitaia.

The company said on its message line last night that it was working to get lines back up and running.

But it warned the majority of the outages would not be fixed until this morning. - Radio New Zealand.





 

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Thunderstorms With Flash Flood Risk Expected To Hit From Texas To Missouri - Will Bring Damaging Winds, Hail, Isolated Tornadoes, And Flooding Downpours!

© AccuWeather

March 23, 2016 - UNITED STATES - Parts of the central and southern United States will face the return of severe thunderstorms. Some of the storms can cause property damage and flash flooding into Thursday.

Severe weather will erupt as a cold front slices into surging warm air.

Storms will initiate across eastern Texas to part of the central Plains and spread eastward into part of the Mississippi Valley.

A small number of severe storm will extend as far north as southeastern Nebraska and near the Iowa/Missouri border.

"Storms will be capable of producing mainly large hail and damaging winds," AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Storm Warning Meteorologist Alex Avalos said. "However, a tornado or two cannot be ruled out."

Cities at risk for the violent thunderstorms during Wednesday night include Dallas and San Antonio, Texas; Fayetteville and Little Rock, Arkansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Springfield, Kansas City, and St. Louis, Missouri; and Shreveport, Louisiana.

The severe weather will wane some for early Thursday morning before becoming more numerous farther east in the afternoon after some daytime heating.

"The potential will exist for a few severe thunderstorms on Thursday across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and potentially even into western Georgia and Florida," Avalos said. "Large hail and damaging winds will be the main concerns."

Thunderstorms capable of producing hail may also extend northward into northern Mississippi and western Tennessee.

Thursday's threat zone includes New Orleans; Jackson, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida.

Residents with any outdoor activities should keep an eye to the sky and seek shelter if thunderstorms develop.

John Jensenius Jr., Lightning Safety Specialist at NOAA, reported that the first lightning death of 2016 occurred on Saturday.

"A 28-year-old woman was struck [Friday night] while sheltering in a personal tent at a blues festival in Larose, Louisiana. She died on Saturday," he said.

The thunderstorms will also produce downpours that raise another concern for the flood-ravaged lower Mississippi Valley.

Flood water swamps I-10 on Louisiana border with Texas

The greatest risk from flooding will be in urban areas and along small streams.

The fast movement of the storms will limit the amount of rainfall in the hardest-hit flood areas from earlier in the month. - AccuWeather.





 

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Disaster Precursors - Dozens Of Dead Birds Found On Street In Elmira, New York; And Golf-Ball Size Hailstorm Kills Flamingos, Other Birds At Fort Worth Zoo, Texas!


March 23, 2016 - UNITED STATES - Here are two reports of mass bird die-offs in the United States.


Dozens of dead birds found on street in Elmira, New York

"It was really bizarre I mean you wonder what could've caused that."

A strange scene on the street of an Elmira neighborhood has some searching for an explanation.

On Saturday March 19, Ryan Keilman observed one dead bird on his lawn between the curb and the road on Davis Street in Elmira and thought nothing of it until he got a phone call from his mom who sounded concerned with the scene she saw while leaving his residence. Upon observing an unsettling scene of dozens of deceased animals just outside of his home, Keilman contacted multiple agencies to get answers.

"My mother, she stopped by when she was leaving she called me and said hey you need to come outside and I went out and she's like did you see all of these and originally I counted 21 but then I ended up double counting it was 25 dead birds," said Keilman.

Thomas Kump, The Director Of Environmental Health for The Chemung County Health Department said after receiving a report he contacted the state to determine the next action to be taken.

"I contacted the New York State Department Of Environmental Conservation, their wildlife unit, and I will report the findings to them and they will make the decision whether or not they will be able to come down and grab a sample for testing," said Kump.

Right now the cause of the animal deaths remain unclear, but the local health department has some idea of what next steps could be.

"They might come out to take some samples do some necropsies of the animals and find out what caused it whether it was chemical or some other disease or illness," said Kump.

However at least one concerned father continues to anxiously await an explanation.

"I guess you never know environmentally what the impact is and if there is a large scale something going on or not," said Keilman. "But that way at least the experts in the field can look at an isolated incident and see if it's something more widespread or not."

The Chemung County Health Department is awaiting further instruction from the DEC and said if a resident sees a scene similar to the one on Davis Street, they can contact the DEC for action. - Mytwintiers.



Dozens of dead birds found on street in Elmira, New York

Severe thunderstorms pounded Tarrant County with hail Thursday morning, covering roadways in west Fort Worth and south Arlington, busting out windshields
and killing some exotic birds at the Fort Worth Zoo.
© Jared L. Christopher

The first ice storm of 2016 hit Thursday.

But it wasn't sleet. It was hail, so thick at times it looked like snow.

The surprise hailstorms busted in windshields from Fort Worth to Arlington, killed exotic birds at the Fort Worth Zoo and made for a chaotic Thursday morning commute.

The hailstones varied in size from blueberries to tennis balls.

"The main ingredient was instability in the atmosphere," said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Stalley. "We definitely had been advertising that there could be a few severe storms but they were more widespread than we anticipated." The storms rolled in early, with the first hail falling about 4 a.m. in Benbrook and eastern Parker County. A second wave of hail came a couple of hours later as commuters were on their way to work, forcing some drivers to stop under overpasses.

On what is historically their busiest week of the year, the Fort Worth Zoo delayed opening until 11:45 a.m. Thursday because of the damage caused by the hail.

"We got hit hard," said Alexis Wilson, a zoo spokeswoman. "Worst of all, we actually lost some animals in our bird collection."











Wilson said the final death count was five flamingos, a pelican and two smaller birds — an ibis and a baby black-neck swan cygnet.

She said others birds were being treated in the zoo's hospital.

Wilson said golf-ball or larger sized hail pummeled the zoo around 6:30 a.m., damaging skylights, exhibit roofs and vehicles.

At MedStar headquarters in west Fort Worth, golf- to tennis-ball-size hail caused extensive damage to almost 50 vehicles and 11 ambulances were taken out of service because of busted windshields.

"We've contacted three windshield companies trying to get the ambulances repaired," said Matt Zavadsky, MedStar spokesman. "We hope the ambulances are out just for a day." The Fort Worth Police Department's West Division was damaged by the hail and heavy winds, as were other businesses in the area, including New Horizons Realtors, where large holes were punched in outside walls.

Fort Worth firefighters rescued a woman from her car on Hulen Street, near Interstate 30, where waters rose to waist-high about 7 a.m., Fire Department spokesman Kyle Clay said. Hail had clogged up the street's storm drains, causing the water to rise.

Egg-size hail was measured in Benbrook and tennis-ball-size hail later fell in south Arlington, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Three Arlington police cars had windshields destroyed at a substation near Lake Arlington.

Many of the same southwest Fort Worth and Benbrook neighborhoods hit Thursday had roofs replaced after receiving hail and wind damage in last year's spring storms.

Mark Hanna, spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, said it was too early to tell how costly this hailstorm would be.

Hanna said that more than 6,000 auto claims had been filed in the first 12 hours after the storms.

Stalley, with the National Weather Service, said hailstorms are difficult to predict.

"That's something you're not going to know until the storms start to develop," Stalley said.

The chance of storms will stick around for a while. There's a 40 percent chance tonight and a 50 percent chance Friday and Friday night. - Star-Telegram.








DELUGE: 11 Inches Of Rainfall In Just 24 Hours In Padang, Indonesia - Floods Leave Hundreds Stranded!

Floods in Padang, Indonesia, March 2016.
© BNPB

March 23, 2016 - PADRANG, INDONESIA - Floods in the city of Padang and Padang Regency in West Sumatra have left hundreds of people stranded, according to Indonesia's Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).
Meanwhile, floods in Magelang Regency in Central Java have left at least 1 person dead and several injured.

Padang, West Sumatra

As much as 370 mm of rain was recorded in Padang in 24 hours between 21 and 22 March 2016. The heavy rain resulted in the Batang Arau river overflowing.

Three districts - Koto Tangah, Padang Utara and Padang Selatan - have been severely affected by floods. BNPB say that as many as 9 villages are under water up to 1 metre deep.

There have been no reports of casualties, although houses, schools and a bridge have been damaged.


Floods in Magelang, Indonesia, March 2016. © BNPB

Teams from emergency agencies are carrying out evacuations using inflatable boats. However, BNPB says that given the wide areas flooded, not all flood victims could be reached and estimate that there are hundreds who are trapped and not been evacuated, particularly in Koto Tangah district. Magelang Regency, Central Java

BNPB also report that heavy rain on Mount Merapi and Merbabu, Central Java, caused flash floods several small villages in the Sawangan district of Magelang Regency.

On person has died and 3 were injured. A bridge in the area was severely damaged due to the impact of flash floods.

Indonesia authorities also report that the overflowing Cimanuk River caused floods in Garut Regency, West Java on 19 March, damaging at least 14 houses. - Floodlist.






 

EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Increasing Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Bolt Kills Teacher And Pupil In Zimbabwe!

A MYSTERIOUS bolt of lightning fatally struck a female teacher and a Form One pupil at Chivata Secondary School in Zaka
under Chief Nhema last week, a government official confirmed the incident yesterday.

March 23, 2016 - ZIMBABWE - Provincial education director Zedious Chitiga said Theresa Mufuka and a 15-year-old pupil identified as Charles Sarai, died at the school after they were struck by lightning.

The two have since been buried.

"We have received the shocking reports. One other teacher was also struck and admitted at Ndanga Hospital, but has since been discharged," Chitiga said.

A teacher at the school who requested anonymity said the incident had left them dumbfounded as there was no drop of rain that fell on the day save for a few clouds that formed and disappeared afterwards.

"She was handing fees receipts to pupils as we were about to end the day, while other pupils were doing general work. Suddenly, as she handed the pupil his receipt, a bolt of lightning struck from nowhere. There were just a few clouds," said a teacher who declined to be named.

"Her husband was standing beside her, but was not affected. She fell back on her chair and collapsed. Her left side was left burning and paralysed. We tried to do some first aid, but it was too little too late to save her life," the teacher said.

Masvingo provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa also confirmed the incident.

Last year, two imbibers in Tavengahama village under Chief Nhema were fatally struck at a traditional beer drinking ceremony.

According to figures from the police, as of April last year, 13 people have been killed by lightning in the province.


- Southern Eye.






 

FIRE IN THE SKY: The Latest Fireball Sightings - Green Meteor-Fireball Seen Across England On St. Patrick's Day Was The Brightest EVER Recorded; The Rate Of Fireballs Over The United States So Far In 2016 Is HIGHER THAN 2015; Camera At Old Faithful In Yellowstone National Park Captures Fireball Followed By Strange Flash Of Light! [VIDEOS]

Meteor over Ringwood in Hampshire, UK.
© www.bbc.com

March 23, 2016 - SPACE - The following constitutes several of the latest reports of fireballs, seen in the skies, across the globe.

Green meteor-fireball seen across England on St. Patrick's Day was brightest ever recorded

A bright meteor has been sighted over Britain in the early hours. Witnesses have described the object as a green flash moving south to north for a few seconds, leaving a magnesium-white trail. Sightings have been reported in locations including London, Hampshire, Stafford and on the east coast of England at 03:16 GMT.

Its colour has prompted people on Twitter to describe it as the St Patrick's Day meteor.

Describing the meteor as "spectacular", Dr John Mason of the British Astronomical Association said it was bright enough to be categorised as a fireball.

He believes it was a piece of cosmic rock which almost certainly came from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. He said the green colour was caused by the meteor heating up the oxygen in the earth's atmosphere.

Richard Kacerek, from the UK Meteor Observation Network, told the BBC it had received reports from across the country. He said the network's camera at Church Crookham in Hampshire had captured the meteor from the west. "This is the biggest meteor sighting we have recorded," Mr Kacerek said. "It lasted for a few seconds. It was seen for hundreds of miles. We have received a number of emails."


WATCH: Meteor over England.








- BBC News.


Rate of meteor fireballs over US so far in 2016 is higher than 2015

While March is usually a slow month for meteor showers as none of the major annual events occur this month, the American Meteor Society has reported six major fireball events since March 1 and NASA says fireballs can increase as much as 30 percent in spring.

A fireball is defined as a meteor that is brighter than the planet Venus and usually has a bright trailing tail.

The reason for the increase in fireball activity is "still unknown," NASA says, but one thought is simply that more space debris litters the Earth's orbit near the spring equinox, which is March 20. According to the AMS, 2016 has seen an increase in the number of reported fireballs. Since Jan. 1, 910 fireballs have been reported through its online report program, compared to 839 reports received during the same time last year.

On March 5, 99 fireball reports were made in central to northern Florida. Two people in Davie reported spotting a fireball with one noting that "it fell out of a cloud" making the angle of entrance hard to determine.

WATCH: This fireball was caught over Missouri on March 4.





Camera at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park captures meteor fireball followed by strange flash of light

© YouTube/Kat Martin2016 (screen capture)

Watch this awesome fireball disintegrating in the sky of Yellowstone National Park just near Old Faithful Geyser on February 29, 2016. But what is this big flash of light toward the end of the recording? OMG an earthquake light?

This timelaspe video shows a fireball striking over the Yellowstone National Park on February 29, 2016. But at the end of the footage, 25 seconds after the beginning, a bright flash of light cuts off the silent darkness.


 WATCH: Big flash at Yellowstone.




So what is this mysterious glow at the end of the video?

Probably not from the fireball as it disappears already in the first seconds of the video.

Is it a camera flash from tourists visiting the spot at night? This light is not a person on the mound with a flashlight, nor is it a car light, nor are there any street lights, walkway lights, or helicopters flying over. They are not allowed to walk there.

This whole mound is lit up for several seconds, then goes dark. Could it be a rare earthquake light, which releases a form of plasma light energy due to geologic stresses.

That's my preferred explanation. But please tell me what's this strange glowing light at the end of the video? - Strange Sounds.





EXTREME WEATHER: Hurricane-Force Winds Hit Russia - Narrow Escape For Woman And Child As Roof Blown Off Building! [VIDEOS]

© YouTube/turbulence (screen capture)

March 23, 2016 - RUSSIA - The moment a woman and child escaped with their lives as hurricane-force winds blow the roof off a building just behind them has been caught on camera.

Russia's Krasnodar Krai region has long been known for its benign climate. There's a natural spa that attracts tourist all year round.

But it can also get pretty windy.

Windy enough, in fact, to blow the roof right off the city registrar's office in the town of Labinsk.

A woman and a small child passing by had a worryingly narrow escape when the entire roof came crashing down, almost in one complete piece.

No-one has been reported harmed in the shocking incident.


WATCH: Severe winds in Russia.








- BT.