Tuesday, March 29, 2016

FIRE IN THE SKY: Amateur Astronomer Captures Mystery Object Crashing Into Jupiter - Likely An Asteroid Or Comet; Explosion Had A FORCE OF 12,500,000 TONS OF TNT! [VIDEO]

​Likely an asteroid or comet, the object was pulled into the thick atmosphere of the largest planet in our solar system. Gerrit Kernbauer

March 29, 2016 - SPACE - A backyard astronomer in Austria captured a cool cosmic event on Jupiter: a strike by some natural space debris, either an asteroid or a comet.

It's not surprising that such things happen, as Jupiter is the largest and most massive planet and acts as a sort of shepherd of small solar system bodies.

But the timing was just right for Gerrit Kernbauer to capture the event. 

The object was projected to be relatively small, but due to Jupiter's gravitational influence, it quickly reached high velocity, kicking up plumes of debris as it smashed into the clouds.

The explosion had a force of 12,500,000 tons of TNT. 

According to Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy, collisions like this happen once per year on average. Perhaps the most notable occurrence was in 1994, when the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet slammed into Jupiter, an event captured by ground-based astronomers and NASA's Galileo probe, then just months from entering orbit around Jupiter.

With a new NASA probe, Juno, ready to enter orbit later this year, we might get to catch a fiery show like this again. - Popular Mechania.

WATCH: Asteroid impact on Jupiter.


INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: The Effects Of Magnetic Polar Migration - The Latest Incidents Of Plane Crashes Across The Globe! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS] [UPDATED]

Five members of one family died in the crash on their way to a funeral. AP

March 29, 2016 - EARTH - Here are the latest incidents of plane crashes across the planet.

Canada plane crash on Quebec island kills seven people

Seven people have died after a small private plane crashed on an island off the east coast of Quebec.
Authorities said the plane crashed as it approached Iles-de-la-Madeleine Airport amid heavy winds and snow.

Jean Lapierre, a broadcaster and former Canadian transport minister, and members of his family were among the victims.

Mr Lapierre, who was 59, worked as a political analyst for CTV and other Canadian media outlets.

One of those networks, TVA, said Mr Lapierre's wife, two brothers and sister died in the crash. They were travelling to the funeral of Mr Lapierre's father.

He also served as a member of parliament from 1979 to 1993 and again from 2004 to 2007.

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin said: "He was a very good political analyst, he was one of the best, but he was also a superb political figure in this country and it was a great privilege to work with him."

Officials with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada travelled to Havre aux Maisons Island in the Magdalen Islands to determine the cause of the crash.

The twin-engine turboprop plane had left Montreal's St Hubert Airport on Tuesday morning. - BBC.

Su-25 strike aircraft crashes in Russia’s Far East

A video has been posted online showing a Sukhoi Su-25 ground-support fighter jet crashing in a residential area during a training flight in Russia’s Far East some 70 kilometers from the Chinese border.

The jet is seen suddenly going down over buildings and a plume of black smoke rises above the crash site. The pilot managed to eject and is safe.

There were no reports of casualties on the ground, but two barns have been destroyed.

The close-support aircraft, (NATO reporting name Frogfoot) took off from Chernigovka military airfield on a practice mission, but due to engine malfunction it lost speed, altitude and hit the ground.

The pilot managed to divert the aircraft from residential dwellings.

WATCH: Plane crash in Russia.

- RT.

US F-16 fighter crashes in Afghanistan, pilot rescued

A F-16 fighter from the U.S. Air Force © Ints Kalnins / Reuters

An F-16 fighter crashed during takeoff at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, the US military confirmed. The pilot ejected safely and is being evaluated for injuries.

The crash site has been secured and an investigation is underway, the US military said in a statement.

The jet was assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, and crashed around 8:30 p.m. local time. The cause of the crash remains unknown. The pilot’s name was not released.

Bagram Air Base, the biggest US military installation in Afghanistan, is about 30 miles (50km) north of the country’s capital, Kabul.

The most recent F-16 crash was in January, involving a jet from the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

Last July, Iraqi Air Force General Rafid Mohammed Hasan died in a training accident in southern Arizona, also piloting an F-16.

Designed in the 1970s by General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin), the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" was originally an air superiority fighter, but has since been adapted for ground-attack missions.

The US Air Force has stopped buying new F-16s but continues to operate the plane and export them to US allies. Its successor, the F-35 Lightning II, is still a long way from operational capability, as the US military struggles to overcome a litany of technical and software problems. - RT.

Pilot injured in a weekend plane accident in Marathon, Texas

The pilot and sole occupant of a single-engine plane was injured Saturday in Marathon when his aircraft crashed near a motel.
(Source: Facebook/Marathon Volunteer Fire Dept.)
The pilot injured in a weekend plane accident in Marathon has been identified as Gilbert Jones, the Brewster County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

Jones was immobilized and transported to Big Bend Regional Medical Center with "serious injuries" after his aircraft crashed Saturday afternoon near Marathon Motel, north of Highway 90, according to Chief Deputy Ryan Skelton.

Dispatch received a call about the incident at 4:26 p.m.

Jones was the sole occupant of the plane, officials said.

Hospital personnel confirmed Tuesday he was no longer listed as a patient.

The cause of the accident remained undetermined and under investigation Tuesday morning.

Skelton said the single-engine plane flown by Jones was an experimental aircraft and had not been registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Marathon Volunteer Fire Department officials reported finding the aircraft lying on its roof when they arrived at the scene.

Jones survived a previous plane accident approximately one year ago, in a location "not far" from Saturday's crash site, according to officials. - News West 9.

A flight instructor  killed and a man remains in critical condition the day after a small plane plunged from the sky while taking off at a West Virginia airport, flipped over and caught fire

Yeager Airport spokesman Mike Plante said the injured person, who has not been identified, underwent surgery after the incident on Saturday and remains in the intensive care unit.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Sunday began its investigation into what caused the crash that killed the flight instructor and sent the airport into mourning.

"There's a natural bond between pilots and aviation people," he said. "It's a small and specialized community who shared that kinship of flight. When we lose someone, it's a reminder of an old saying in aviation: There are wonderful, amazing machines. But they are unforgiving of imprecision, neglect or mechanical failure."

The Cessna 172 Sky Hawk four-seat plane took off just after noon Saturday, Plante said. It was airborne when it careened back down and smashed beside the runway nose first. It then toppled over onto its back and caught fire.

Dozens of firefighters, medics and police responded, extinguished the fire and extracted the two passengers around 40 minutes later, Plante said. Both were severely injured and taken to the hospital, where the woman later died.

She has not been formally identified. Local media reported the victim as Brenda Gilland Jackson, a flight instructor. Joe Beam, manager of Skylane Aviation which owned the plane, confirmed Jackson had perished.

"She just loved to fly," Beam said.

She started flying as a teenager more than four decades ago, according to story the Charleston Gazette-Mail wrote when she received her instructor's certificate in 2009. But life took a different turn, she got married and had a family and stayed on the ground for 25 years. Her husband died and, in 2009, she started taking lessons again. She fell in love with her flight instructor and married him, the newspaper reported.

She told the newspaper that getting her license was a "dream come true" and said she loved to fly because it made her feel free.

Beam, whose Charleston-based company headquartered at the airport, offers services like aerial photography, site surveys and flight instruction. He said he met her when she returned to aviation. She worked for herself and rented planes from him to take up her students.

It remains unclear what caused the plane to fall from the sky.

Dan Boggs, an air safety investigator at National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference Sunday that a preliminary report will be published within a few weeks. The final investigative report will take several months to complete.

Representatives from the Cesna, the airplane manufacturer and Continental, the engine manufacturer, were also on site aiding with the investigation, Plante said.

Plante said it was the airport's first fatal crash involving a fixed-wing aircraft in more than 30 years. - ABC.

Crews respond to plane crash at Lake County Regional Airport

Crews are responding to a plane crash at the Lake County Regional Airport Tuesday.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Bobby Hawkins tells 8News that a call came in around 11:40 a.m. saying that a plane was about halfway down the airport’s runway and went into the woods.

Officials say one person was on board a private jet when it crashed. That person is expected to be okay.


Small plane crash under investigation in Pittsylvania County

Virginia State Police received a call about a plane making a crash landing in Pittsylvania County at 4:38 p.m. on Sunday.

The small passenger plane, located near Martinsville Highway and Long Circle in the community of Cascade, was flying from Charleston, S.C., to Baltimore, Md., when the pilot began experiencing problems with the aircraft losing power, according to state police.

WATCH: Plane crash investigation.

The pilot, Stephen C. Lloyd of Lexington, S.C., declared an emergency and immediately began seeking a place to land. As the 1970 Piper PA-23-250 Apache made its descent, police say the wing hit the trees and the plane overturned onto its roof.

Lloyd was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries, while the three passengers on board were not injured.

The FAA and NTSB have both been notified and the investigation remains ongoing at this time. - WSLS.

Small planes crash in North Texas

Two small planes crashed Saturday in separate incidents in Denton and Erath counties.

On Saturday afternoon, a plane went down along the western shore of Lewisville Lake.

The wreckage of a small plane is loaded on a truck after crashing in Lake Dallas on March 26, 2016. (Photo: Thomas Costley / WFAA)

Small planes crashed in Erath and Denton counties on March 26, 2016.   (Photo: WFAA)

The crash site near Lakeview Marina in the community of Lake Dallas is less than a half-mile from Lakeview Airport.

According to initial reports, two people were aboard the aircraft, but their conditions are not available. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Hours earlier, in an unrelated incident, another small plane ran out of fuel and crashed in Stephenville.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said a father and son were on their way back from Dallas. They were airlifted to a Fort Worth hospital with serious injuries, but both are expected to survive. - WFAA.

Four die in small plane crash at airport in Osaka

The wreckage of a Mooney M20c single-engine aircraft that crashed on a taxiway at Yao Airport in Osaka Prefecture on Saturday is seen in this photo. | KYODO

The Osaka Prefectural Police and the transport ministry are investigating Saturday’s fatal plane crash at Yao Airport as a case of professional negligence resulting in death.

According to the ministry and the airport, a four-seater Mooney M20C bound for Yao left Kobe Airport at 4:03 p.m. but crashed while attempting to land at about 4:20 p.m., killing all four occupants.

The plane went down in a grassy area near 1,490-meter-long Runway A, one of two runways at the airport, and burst into flames after the pilot told the air traffic controller he was aborting the first landing attempt.

It apparently encountered trouble climbing to make the second landing attempt, officials said.

The police are investigating the cause of the accident and attempting to identify the victims, who they believe were all men.

The ministry said the pilot was Yasushi Nishimoto.

The cockpit of the 7-meter-long, 10.7-meter-wide plane was destroyed in the crash and the fire extinguished at around 4:40 p.m., police and firefighters said.

Visibility was good at the time, and the wind speed at 4 p.m. was 5.4 kph.

The Japan Transport Safety Board said it will send two investigators to the airport.

The plane received its last airworthiness certificate in May 2015 after clearing the government’s mandatory annual safety check. It was registered in 1997.

Yao Airport is in a residential district about 15 km southeast of Osaka Station. It is used mainly as a base for aerial surveys, pilot training and sightseeing rather than regular flight services.

The U.S. military returned the airport to Japanese control in 1954, and it began mainstream service in 1960.

Television footage showed that the plane incurred heavy damage from the crash, which nearly tore off the tail and broke its wing tips. - Japan Times.

Cobb County man killed when plane crashed into South Carolina swamp

A Cobb County man was killed in a plane that crashed into a swamp in South Carolina Thursday.

Walker Heste -r, 59, of Marietta, was on board the small plane when it went down in the area of the Pee Dee River outside Columbia.

A small plane that went missing around 10:15 a.m. along the Pee Dee River, off of Highway 52 North, crashed in a swampy area, Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks said.

Brooks said the pilot was killed and that nobody else was on the plane.

Officials said a helicopter flying over the scene found some wreckage in a swampy area of the Pee Dee River and Brooks said an eyewitness saw the plane go down in the river.

Officials had trouble getting to where the wreckage was because of how remote the area is.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash. - AJC.

MONUMENTAL SOLAR SYSTEM CHANGES: Jupiter Dazzles With "NORTHERN LIGHTS" After Solar Storms - HUNDREDS OF TIMES MORE POWERFUL Than Earth's Aurora Borealis And EIGHT-TIMES BRIGHTER Than What Is Normally Experienced Over A Large Area Of The Planet!

© nasa.gov

March 29, 2016 - SPACE - Solar storms are sparking spectacular displays of ‘Northern Lights’ on planet Jupiter that are hundreds of times more powerful than Earth’s aurora borealis.

They are also about eight-times brighter than what is normally experienced over a large area of the planet.

Scientists from University College London (UCL) have published new research this week based on data collected from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

They studied the impact of a giant solar storm on Jupiter’s auroras in X-ray light.

The goal of the research is to analyze the interaction of Jupiter's ‘magnetosphere’ and the solar wind and its effect on the giant planet, according to lead author William Dunn.

The sun is constantly releasing flows of particles into space, when giant storms known as coronal mass ejections (CME) erupt, strong winds can interfere with this and compress Jupiter’s magnetosphere.

Researchers tracked the impact of the giant storms on Jupiter’s aurora by monitoring the X-rays emitted during two 11-hour observations.

They found that these collisions are behind Jupiter's X-ray Northern Lights, which covers an area bigger than the Earth's surface.

The research team now hopes to discover how the X-rays form by collecting data on Jupiter’s magnetic field, magnetosphere and aurora using the Chandra observatory and European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton observatory. - RT.


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – March 26-29, 2016! [PHOTOS]

Spectacular explosion from Sakurajima's Minamidake crater on March 26 (Image: Naoto Yoshidome / Twitter)

March 29, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): Over the past days, vulcanian-type explosions have again picked up in number and size, after only very few events during the first 3 weeks of March. Ash plumes rose to up to 10-12,000 ft (3-3.6 km) altitude.

The remarkable novelty is that most of the recent explosions occurred from the Minamidake crater, the volcano's old summit vent, and not from the Showa crater on its eastern flank, which had been (an almost exclusive) protagonist during the 10 years since 2006 until very recently.

Pavlof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): A new eruption started at the volcano abruptly Sunday (March 27) afternoon at 16:16 local time (00:18 UTC). An explosive eruption with lava fountaining produced an ash plume that quickly rose to approx. 20,000 ft elevation (6 km) and the Aviation Color code was raised to red.

Eruption of Pavlof on March 28, 2016 (Image: Almandmoss, Nahshon / Alaska Coast Guard / AVO)

The activity continued and reached its peak over the next 24 hours, when a sustained, continuous ash plume extended more than 700 km (400 miles) to the northeast over interior Alaska, with a maximum height of 37,000 ft (9 km) altitude.

Lava fountaining from the summit crater was observed throughout the night by mariners, pilots, and by residents in Cold Bay, located 37 miles (60 km) to the SW.

Volcanic mudflows (lahars), generated by rapidly melting ice and snow, are likely descending on the flanks of the volcano and could present a hazard in the local river valleys.

Alaska Volcano Observatory recorded continuous strong tremor accompanying the eruption. As of today (Tuesday morning), the eruption continues at much reduced intensity and the Aviation Color code has been lowered to ORANGE.

Santiaguito (Guatemala): Activity continues at the Caliente lava dome with little changes.

The volcano observatory reported strong degassing, some weak to moderate explosions with ash plumes rising up to approx. 900 m and constant block lava avalanches on the eastern and southeastern flanks of the lava dome.

The latter suggests that effusive activity has been elevated recently compared to during previous months.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Mild activity continues at the intra-crater cone of the Mackenney crater. INSIVUMEH reports a steam and gas plume rising 600 m and glow from lava visible at night.

Hot spot visible on Landsat 7 image from March (Image: Rüdiger Escobar Wolf ‏@rudigerescobar /Twitter)

Fuego (Guatemala): During the past week, activity at the volcano gradually increased into the 5th paroxysm in 2016, generating pulsating lava fountains, lava flows and possibly pyroclastic flows.

After the previous such episode in early March, the volcano had continued to produce its typical, persistent, but intermittent strombolian activity. The latter started to become more and more intense from around March 22, and became near-constant during March 24-25.

Lava fountains from Fuego during the night of 25-26 March 25-26, 2016

At least two lava flows of 1000 and 1700 m length formed on the upper western (Santa Teresa gully) and southeastern slope (Las Lajas ravine). Ash plumes rose to altitudes of approx. 5000 m and drifted up to approx. 160 km to the west over the Pacific Ocean.

After its latest paroxysm a few days ago, activity of the volcano has returned to normal levels with intermittent (one every few hours) weak to moderate-sized strombolian explosions.

Momotombo (Nicaragua): A slight increase in activity occurred last week between 23-26 March, when the volcano again produced some mild to moderate explosions, some of which were strong enough to send bombs to its upper outer slopes.

Moderately strong explosion at Momotombo on March 26.

During the past days, activity has again been calmer, although crater glow continues to tell the presence of fresh lava in the summit crater.

- Volcano Discovery.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Woman Killed By 2 Dogs In Charlotte, North Carolina?!

A woman was attacked and killed by two dogs inside a south Charlotte home.

March 29, 2016 - NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES - An elderly woman was killed on Monday by a family member's two dogs.

Police say 86-year-old Bessie Flowers was attacked by two American Pit Bull Terriers. Pit bulls can be a controversial topic.

We did some research through our archives and found the majority of the dog attacks we've covered recently have been from pit bulls.

- Pitbull kills horse

- 6-year-old boy mauled to death by pit bull

- 76-year-old woman and small dog attacked by pit bull

- Service dog in training mauled by pit bulls

And now this.
"I constantly told those people-- they are going to kill someone," one neighbor said.

WATCH: 86-year-old woman dies after dog attack.

Neighbors feared this day would come.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say when they arrived the 86-year-old woman had died from the dog bite injuries.

Neighbors say the victim was visiting family and was attacked after she fell down.

The two pit bulls lived at the Springs Valley Community townhome, and neighbors say they had a history of aggression.

We tried to ask questions as someone left the house but they didn't stop.

Neighbor Irene Peeler says the first thing that comes to mind when hearing this story is "pit bull" but says, "It is probably not fair, not fair to the breed.

Although responsible for this fatal attack, dog training expert Andy Hanellin say pit bulls shouldn't be blamed because of their breed. There are more bites every year by Dalmatians than there are of pitbulls," said Hanellin.

The dogs are being quarantined as the investigation continues. Police say hey had had one previous call about the dogs to that address before this attack but nothing came of it. - WCNC.


FIRE IN THE SKY: "Lots Of Folks Are Talking About It" - Green Meteor Fireball Spotted In South Florida By Dozens Of People!

File photo.

March 29, 2016 - FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - The American Meteor Society said this morning that dozens of people are reporting to have spotted a bluish or green fireball over South Florida at about 6:30.

More than 40 reports were made to the AMS from people who claim to have witnessed the event from Kendall to Jupiter. Nine reports came from people in Palm Beach County.

Mike Hankey, operations manager for the American Meteor Society, said it was a random fireball and not part of a known meteor shower.

"Lots of folks are talking about it," Hankey said. "It only happened three hours ago, so not much information yet."

A report from a West Palm Beach man says the fireball cut a long trail across the sky.

"Train was glowing an iridescent or almost neon blue with white edges," the man reported. "Looked like it was 300-500 yards behind the fireball itself but was still attached to the head of the fireball." Hankey was part of a team of people who recently found six pieces of galactic rock in North Florida after a sighting earlier this year.

Estimated trajectory of this morning’s fireball based on witness reports.

Hankey is hoping that someone has gotten the event on a surveillance camera. He says the average report time was 6:38 a.m.
@JoshJamesMusic yep. blue-green. I'm in PBC. was low in the sky south of me

— Gregg Steward (@eggstew) March 29, 2016
@amsmeteors @SteveWeagleWPTV it was glowing green with a long tail and large. It did not appear very high in the sky. Streaking west to east

— Bob Esposito (@Bob_Espo) March 29, 2016
Bright Fireball over FL 6:38am this morning - Report your sighting here: https://t.co/UUwFVLMEOf pic.twitter.com/GFA9jviax9

— AMSMETEORS (@amsmeteors) March 29, 2016
Listeners are telling us they saw a meteorite across Jupiter/Palm Beach Gardens! Anyone else see? @1055online #MoSallyTA

— Mo & Sally Show (@MoAndSallyShow) March 29, 2016

Fireball captured earlier this year by a dashboard cam in North Florida.

- Palm Beach Post.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Celestial Nursery - Spectacular Milky Way "SPACE RIBBON" Image Shows Origins Of Stars! [PHOTOS]


March 29, 2016 - SPACE - The European Space Agency has shared an incredible image from deep inside the Milky Way’s abundance of clouds, showing the fascinating formation of new stars.

The ESA’s Herschel space observatory – the largest single mirror ever built for a space telescope – captured the image of what they called “the nursery of the next generation of stars.”

The blue ribbon of future stars were captured among clouds of dust in one of the coldest areas of the Milky Way, “perhaps 10-20 degrees above absolute zero.”

Astronomers focus on these cold spots so they can catch the soon-to-be stars before they ignite and form.

The blue wave represents the coldest parts of the cloud at -259 degrees Celsius and contains 800 times as much mass as the sun.

The warmer regions of the cloud are color-coded in red.

For perspective, this new image actually spans over an area twice the width of the moon.

This is just one of 116 areas within the Milky Way that Herschel observes as part of the Galactic Cold Cores project.

Herschel has captured many mesmerizing pictures of the universe since its launch in 2009, giving scientists crucial – and rare – insights into our galaxy. - RT.


EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Strong El Nino, Increased Preparedness - 2015-2016 El Nino In South America!

This map shows the Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly near the South American continent.

March 29, 2016 - SOUTH AMERICA - According to the diagnostic report on the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA) in March, the sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies across the equatorial Pacific have been decreasing since January 2016.

The strong 2015-2016 El Niño Southern Oscillation phenomenon is weakening and models indicate a transition to neutral conditions for the May – June period.

Image: NOAA

Nevertheless, during the decreasing phase of ENSO significant rainfall events may still occur.

Now El Niño has peaked, a first analysis on the effects and impacts of this strong ENSO season in South America can be set out.

Extreme SST anomalies (up to 3 degrees) were recorded in the central Pacific, with values higher than the records for the El Niño 1982-1983 and 1997-1998 seasons.

Image: NOAA

Despite these anomalies, the magnitude was generally lower and effects on South America haven’t been as severe as for the previous strong ENSO seasons.

El Niño is a chaotic phenomenon, hard to predict in his effects on the ground. Nevertheless, preparedness played an important role in reducing impacts of this El Niño season.

El Niño and Floods in South America

The major impact in term of floods occurred between December 2015 and January 2016, especially in northern Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay with the Paraná, Paraguay and Uruguay Rivers inundation that caused more the 150,000 people from their homes.

Apart from this significant event, few instances of prolonged rainfall have been observed in the South America region, leading to a lower occurrence of major, prolonged flood events.

The difference is especially apparent if compared to extreme events occurred in non-ENSO seasons such as the Beni-Mamoré flood of February 2014 in Bolivia.

However, several localised floods, caused by short, intense rainfall events, were recorded in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.

Many of these flood events occurred in cities or densely populated areas, therefore causing significant damages and resulting in several causalities.

Such localized floods occurred in Guayaquil (25 January 2016), Cordoba (15 February 2016), Arequipa (22 February 2016), La Paz (24 February 2016), Rio de Janeiro (29 February 2016) and São Paulo (11 March 2016).

In some areas, such as Bolivia and Colombia, the season has been characterised more by drought than by floods, leading to higher fire risk and significantly affecting agriculture production. The effects of this drought are expected to be particularly severe in Bolivia, where the rain season is coming to an end with little water stored in the catchments.

El Niño – Preparedness in Peru
Peru was one of the countries that suffered most the effects of this El Niño season, with several floods and landslides reported all over the country from north to south.

Nevertheless, attention and response to these severe events by the Civil Defence authorities has been timely, limiting major damages and loss of life.

Preparedness and disaster risk management for the 2015-2016 season have been a primary goal for the political and technical authorities of the Peru Government, since the Action Plan on Disaster Management issued on October 2014.

Following the indications on future climate given in August 2015 by NOOA and the National Research on El Niño Phenomenon (Estudio Nacional del Fenómeno del Niño, ENFEN) the Peru Government issued an Emergency Decree on the 7 September 2015, adopting exceptional political, economical and financial measures to face the upcoming severe climate phenomenon.

The Emergency Decree authorised the funding and execution of structural and non-structural actions to reduce risk and enhance preparedness for the upcoming 2015-2016 El Niño.

A National Committee for the El Niño Phenomenon Risk Management was created, integrating the work of several government agencies or ministries including Internal Affairs, Agriculture, Education, Transportation, Health, Defence, Economy and Finance, Public Works and the National Disaster Manager Secretariat.

Increased funding was allocated for the National Institute of Civil Defence (Istitudo Nacional de Defensa Civil, INDECI) and for other involved institutions. As many as 10,000 teachers have been trained in a program of the Ministry of Education to communicate risk and strength risk preparedness in educational centres.

This structured response adopted in advance by Peru allowed prompt action in response to severe weather, significantly reducing the exposure and vulnerability to El Niño related events. - Floodlist.


KNOWING: Could The Sun Emit A Killer "SUPERFLARE" - New Research Suggests Our Star Might Be Capable Of Monster Solar Flares That Could Bring Society To A Standstill!

The sun sent out a huge solar flare in August 2012. AIA/SDO/Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA

March 29, 2016 - SPACE - We know eruptions on the sun can hurl energetic particles toward Earth that we see as colorful auroras when they collide with our atmosphere. The most powerful solar flares we've observed can disrupt communications signals and, in rare cases, even affect power supplies on Earth. But could our star hurl a massive "superflare" at us tomorrow?

A few years ago, the Kepler Space Telescope began observing larger numbers of superflares on other distant stars. Superflares can be up to 10,000 times more powerful than the largest documented solar flare. The notion that our sun is capable of such a huge eruption has been dismissed by NASA and others. New research, however, published Thursday in the journal Nature Communications questions the assumption that we shouldn't worry about a gigantic solar hiccup.

"The magnetic fields on the surface of stars with superflares are generally stronger than the magnetic fields on the surface of the sun," explains Christoffer Karoff, of Aarhus University in Denmark, who led the study investigating the question of whether the sun could produce a superflare.

Karoff's team looked at almost 100,000 stars using the new Guo Shou Jing telescope in China. They found that about 1 in 10 of the stars producing superflares had a magnetic field similar to or weaker than the sun's.

"We certainly did not expect to find superflare stars with magnetic fields as weak as the magnetic fields on the sun. This opens the possibility that the sun could generate a superflare -- a very frightening thought," Karoff said in a press release.

Other researchers also see the potential for superflares from our sun, but aren't freaking out just yet.

In December, a team from Warwick University in the UK published research looking at a Milky Way binary star named KIC9655129 that regularly erupts in superflares similar in nature to solar flares. The findings suggest the sun also harbors the same potential for destructive mammoth flares, but stops short of sounding the alarm and recommending that we all stock the fallout shelter with plenty of canned goods.

"If the sun were to produce a superflare it would be disastrous for life on Earth; our GPS and radio communication systems could be severely disrupted and there could be large-scale power blackouts as a result of strong electrical currents being induced in power grids," lead researcher Chloë Pugh said in December. "Fortunately the conditions needed for a superflare are extremely unlikely to occur on the sun, based on previous observations of solar activity."

The Gou Shou Jing telescope is the largest telescope in China. It's also called the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fibre Spectroscopic Telescope,
or LAMOST if you're on a first-name basis. LAMOST

But Karoff isn't so sure that Earth hasn't already been hit by small superflares between 10 to 100 times bigger than what's been observed in the past century.

"One of the strengths of our study is that we can show how astronomical observations of superflares agree with Earth-based studies of radioactive isotopes in tree rings," he explains.

It's possible to look at tree ring data and see increased amounts of a certain radioactive isotope that is connected with large solar eruptions. Previous research (PDF) has suggested that such small superflares may have collided with the Earth in the years 775 and 993.

Obviously, humanity survived any early solar superflares during the Dark Ages, but what would happen if such a blast were to be shot our way tomorrow?

We've already received small tastes of how a large flare can affect modern society. In 1989, a solar storm caused a power outage in the entire province of Quebec. The largest solar storm documented post-Copernicus was the so-called "Carrington Event" of 1859 that knocked out telegraph systems worldwide and created auroras over tropical latitudes.

Today we rely far more on our electrical and communications infrastructure. And it would be far more vulnerable to massive flares because so much of it consists of satellites in orbit, beyond the full protection of our atmosphere.

If there's any silver lining to our state of cosmic helplessness when it comes to the possibility of massive solar flares, it's that we'd have some warning. Should a destructive solar eruption be shot in our direction, it would likely take anywhere from 18 hours to five days to reach us.

It could be worse though. - CNET.

WATCH: Final scenes from the 2009 movie "Knowing".

EXTREME WEATHER: Blinding Dust Storm Hits California - Triggers Multi-Vehicle Pile-Up On Lucerne Valley Highway; Dozens Injured! [VIDEO]

Strong winds associated with Winter Storm Troy led to a 15-vehicle pileup in Lucerne Valley, California. (San Bernardino County Fire District)

March 29, 2016 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - As many as 28 people were injured in a chain-reaction pile-up on State Route 247 in Lucerne Valley on Monday afternoon, which was blamed on white-out conditions during a blinding dust storm, authorities said.

The crash occurred around 3:15 p.m. near Rabbit Springs Road, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

The dust storm began when 50-mph winds kicked up dirt from a dry lake bed near the highway, NBC Los Angeles said. (San Bernardino County Fire District)

At the time of the crash, blowing dust and sand reduced visibility to zero, according to Fire Department's Facebook page.

Winds gusts in the area were clocked at upwards of 50 mph, the National Weather Service reported.

Only three victims were transported to the hospital.

One patient suffered major injuries and was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, the post stated.

Two other patients were transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Apple Valley.

WATCH: California car pile-up injures many.

The highway was shut down for several hours as a result of the crash.

The cause of the crash was being investigated by the California Highway Patrol. - KTLA.

HUMAN DEVOLUTION: Shocking Killing In Taiwan - Three-Year-Old Girl BEHEADED By Stranger, Armed With A Butcher's Knife, In "RANDOM" Attack Outside Taipei Subway Station?! [VIDEO]

The child and her mother were on their way to a metro rail station to meet the girl's grandfather when the incident took place.
The attacker grabbed the girl from behind and beheaded her with a cleaver, the child's mother said.

March 29, 2016 - TAIWAN - A three-year-old girl has been decapitated in an apparently random attack outside a subway station in Taipei.

According to Taiwanese media, a man identified only by his surname Wang has been arrested following the attack and remanded in custody.

The girl was riding her bicycle a short distance in front of her mother when the man approached, and the mother was quoted by the TVBS broadcaster as saying she initially thought he was going to help her cycle up the hill.

When he pulled out a large knife and attacked the girl, however, she was unable to prevent the attack.

 The suspect was arrested following the attack and remanded in custody. Reuters

ocal media said the man was tackled by passers-by and police were called shortly before noon on Monday.

TV footage showed an angry crowd gathered outside the police station where the 33-year-old suspect was being questioned.

WATCH: Shocking killing - 3-year-old girl beheaded in front of her mother in Taiwan, suspect arrested.

The government-run Central News Agency said he had an arrest record for drug crimes and had been treated for mental illness.

His father, quoted by the Eastern Broadcasting company, said he lived at home and was unemployed. - Independent.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - One Dead, Several Injured In Killer Bee Attack In Guyana?!

March 29, 2016 - GUYANA - One man was killed and several others were injured, including a man who is listed in critical condition, after they were attacked by a swarm of African killer bees at Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice on Saturday.

The dead man has been identified as Romesh “Satesh” Lalaram, 56, of Lot C14 Church Street, Bath Settlement; while the injured are R. Bissondyal, Haripaul Jagdeo, K. Lookraj, D. Persaud, Khemraj Latchman, Ganesh Hemraj and Alta Ali.

INews Guyana reports that six of the injured workers were treated at the Fort Wellington Hospital and discharged, while Ali was admitted and is said to be in a critical condition.

Lalaram, who worked with the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for 23 years, was pronounced dead on arrival at the medical facility.

One of the victims of the attack, Khemraj Latchman, told reporters that he and nine other workers were alerted to the impending danger when they saw a herd of cows running in their direction with the swarm of bees hovering overhead.

According to Latchman, who reportedly received about 50 stings in the course of the attack, some members of the group ran to a canal, while Lalaram and Ali remained on the ground.

Latchman told INews that he lit a fire to create smoke in an effort to ward off the bees. The fire allowed him to get closer to his colleagues and rescue five who were under attack.

Lalaram and Ali were nevertheless still at the mercy of the killer bees, and while Ali was revived, Lalaram was said to be lying face down and covered with the insects.

Latchman said that his workmates eventually managed to get the bees off Lalaram, but he remained motionless. An ambulance subsequently arrived at the scene and took Lalaram to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The entire attack reportedly lasted for about one hour.

GuySuCo has since launched an investigation into the incident. - Caribbean 360.

WAR DRUMS: North Korea Fires Short-Range Missile Into Sea Of Japan - President Obama To Hold Trilateral Meeting With South Korean And Japanese Leaders On The Issue!

FILE PHOTO. © Stringer / Reuters

March 29, 2016 - NORTH KOREA - North Korea has fired a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan, according to a South Korean military official cited by Yonhap News Agency.

The missile was fired from the North Korean resort town at Wonsan at 5:40 p.m. (08:40 GMT) and flew northeast over the sea for about 200 kilometers (124 miles) before it appeared to make contact with land, Yonhap reported.

It comes just one week after the North reportedly launched additional short-range missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan.

Just days prior to that launch, Pyongyang carried out a ballistic missile test, firing two rockets into the sea.

Both Russia and China have criticized North Korea, saying they do not recognize its nuclear ambitions, and that leader Kim Jong-Un should listen to the UN Security Council’s demands to return to the negotiation table.

However, both Moscow and Beijing agree that rising tensions on the Korean peninsula should not give the US a pretext to deploy a missile shield in the region.

Earlier this month, the US imposed "robust" new sanctions, blocking businesses from any dealings with North Korea, in an attempt to punish Pyongyang for its nuclear tests.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un © KCNA / Reuters

In a March 2 vote, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved one of the toughest sets of sanctions yet targeting North Korea.

The restrictions include the mandatory inspections of cargo leaving and entering the communist state by land, sea or air, and banned all sales or transfers of small arms and light weapons to Pyongyang. The UN punishment stipulates the expulsion of those diplomats from the North who engage in "illicit activities."

However, North Korea fired six short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan just hours after the vote.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama is scheduled to hold a trilateral meeting with South Korean and Japanese leaders on Thursday, on the issue of North Korea.

"This meeting will be an opportunity for the three leaders to discuss common responses to the threat posed by North Korea (DPRK) and to advance areas of trilateral security cooperation in the region and globally," the White House said in a Monday statement. - RT.

PLANETARY TREMORS: New Evidence Shows Southern California Vulnerable To MASSIVE QUAKE - San Andreas Fault Could Work In Tandem With Another Fault To Create Disastrous Seismic Event!

March 29, 2016 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - The infamous San Andreas Fault runs 810 miles long ‒ from the tip of northern California to the US-Mexico border ‒ and is one of the most active fault lines in the world.

Now, new evidence shows that the San Andreas could work in tandem with another fault to create a disastrous seismic event.

WATCH: Southern California vulnerable to massive quake.

- RT.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Massive 16-FOOT WIDE Sinkhole Opens Up In A Pond In Guiping, China - Farmer Loses 25 TONS OF FISH!

Yang, a farmer in Guiping, lost more than 25 tons after a sinkhole (pictured) appeared in his pond.

March 29, 2016 - CHINA - An unfortunate farmer lost more than 25 tonnes of fish last week after a sinkhole appeared in the pond where they were reared.

The farm, part of a local collective in Guiping, south China, was being run by a man identified by his surname Yang, according to People's Daily Online.

Although the cause of the incident has not been officially determined, there has been speculation that the excavation at a local quarry is to blame.

Locals reported that water levels in the pond were seen falling at a dramatic rate from about 4am local time on March 24. 

By about 9am, the pond had almost completely drained. All that was left was a gaping abyss with a diameter of more than 16 feet.

What's left of the water in the pond was still flowing down the hole, showing no signs of stopping.

According to reports, local residents suspect that nearby quarrying was the cause of the sinkhole as several similar sinkholes have appeared in the fields in the area.

The incident is now under investigation. - Daily Mail.

OMEN: Plagues And Pestilences - Two-Headed Lamb Born In China And Double-Headed Lizard With Four Arms Discovered In An Australian Backyard?! [VIDEO]

March 29, 2016 - EARTH - A lamb born recently on a Chinese farm was found to have two heads, complete with four eyes and two mouths. Meanwhile, a woman would have been forgiven for thinking she was seeing double when she discovered a two-headed, four-armed lizard in her backyard, whose mother had just abandoned it moments after birth.

Two-headed lamb born in China

A video filmed March 14 at a farm in Leshan, Sichuan Province, shows a group of newborn lambs including the two-headed lamb.

The video shows the two-headed lamb, which has two mouths and four eyes, attempting to nurse and being bottle-fed by a farmer.

The lamb appears to have some trouble balancing on its feet, but is able to walk.

WATCH: Two-headed lamb born in China.

- UPI.

Double-headed lizard with four arms discovered in an Australian backyard

Jo would have been forgiven for thinking she was seeing double when she discovered a two-headed, four-armed lizard in her backyard,
whose mother had just abandoned it moments after birth.

A woman would have been forgiven for thinking she was seeing double when she discovered a two-headed, four-armed lizard in her backyard, whose mother had just abandoned it moments after birth.

Western Australia woman, Jo, thought she had stumbled upon a snake in her backyard but was relieved to see a bobtail lizard crawl away, according to WA Today.

Upon further inspection, Jo found the mother bobtail had abandoned three of its newborn babies - including a two-headed, four-armed lizard at her Dunsborough home, south of Perth. 'The two healthy bobtails were already starting to move off but the third two-headed bobtail was struggling to walk,' she said.

'Both heads were moving, but because of the position of the extra head it was making it near impossible for the bobtail to go anyway.'

Not sure what to do with the lizard, Jo took it the Dunsborough Veterinary Hospital.

Vet Shamus Henry told the Daily Mail the bobtail was euthanised because it was only seven hours old and didn't have much chance of survival in the wild.

Despite its rare condition, the lizard was born a healthy 13cm long.

'The second head was not structurally attached, in that it didn't have a neck vertebrate attached - it wasn't a case of two well attached bobtails,' Dr Henry said.

'When the body of the bobtail moved it trapped the second head underneath it and was dragged.

'The bobtail was also in respiratory distress and was a poor candidate for saving.

Not sure what to do with the lizard, Jo took it the Dunsborough Veterinary Hospital. Despite its rare condition, the lizard was born a healthy 13cm long

'We are pretty proactive about saving wildlife, but it wouldn't have been fair to try.'

Dr Henry said it was the first two-headed bobtail he had seen, but he was aware that others had been discovered.

'We do a lot of work on injured and rehab wildlife but its something we hadn't seen before.'

The body of the two-headed lizard has been sent to the Western Australia Museum to further study the reptile.

A Reddit thread has since discussed the discovery of the rare reptile and offered condolences two it's unfortunate situation.

'If the bottom head could speak he would say, 'please kill me',' one user wrote.

'The top one looks pretty pissed off to be alive,' another person wrote. - Daily Mail.

SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Human Devolution And Civilizations Unraveling - ISIS Crucify Priest In Chilling Easter Execution After He Was Kidnapped From Old People's Home In Yemen!

Father Tom was kidnapped by ISIS in Yemen

March 29, 2016 - YEMEN - Sick ISIS terrorists have carried out their horrific threat to crucify a priest who was kidnapped by the jihadis earlier this month.

Father Tom Uzhunnalil was allegedly seized when four armed militants stormed an old people's home in Aden in Yemen on March 4.

Now the Washington Times has reported the savage murder has been confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna.

It is claimed the gunmen killed 16 people, including four nuns, in the brutal attack.

Last week, the Franciscan Sisters of Siessen posted on Facebook reports that the Salesian priest would be crucified in a brutal murder on Good Friday.

No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the kidnap of the priest, who was a member of the Silesian order in Bangalore, India, but a survivor said ISIS was to blame.

The Indian government's Ministry of External Affairs vowed it would leave "no stone unturned" in its efforts to find the missing priest before it was too late.

According to India Today, the department was working with the government in Yemen "to find the location of Father Tom".

Church offices in Vatican and Vatican diplomatic channels also worked to locate the priest and secure his release, UCA news reported.

Over the weekend the Franciscan Sisters of Siessen posted: "Was informed that the Salesian priest, Fr.Tom who was kidnapped by ISIS from the Missionaries of Charity Home in Yemen is being tortured and is going to be crucified on Good Friday.

"This calls for serious concerted prayers from all of us."

Some members of Fr Tom's order have dismissed the reports of his imminent death, saying they know nothing of his fate.

But they are unable to say where the priest may be held or whether he is alive or dead.

Father Mathew Valarkot, spokesman for the Salesians’ Bangalore province to which the kidnapped priest belongs, said: “We have absolutely no information on Fr Tom.

ISIS have cut a swathe of terror and death across the Middle East.

"But even today we do not know who has taken him and what their motives are because no one has claimed responsibility."

Fr Tom, 56, had been in Yemen for four years working as a chaplain to the Sisters of Mother Teresa.

He insisted on remaining in the dangerous country even though all but one of his fellow priests had left and his church had been torched by suspected terrorists.

Earlier this month, the sole survivor of the brutal attack, Sister Sally, described how the militants, who she said belonged to ISIS, killed everyone else.

Her account, reported in the Christian Post , described how she evaded death while the ISIS fighters searched for her by hiding behind a door

It reads: "They were killed one by one. They tied them to trees, shot them in the head and smashed their heads."

"These ISIS men were everywhere, searching for her, as they knew there were five [nuns]

"At least three times they came into the refrigerator room. She did not hide, but remained standing behind the door — they never saw her. This is miraculous."

Over the past year, the Houthi rebel movement and military units loyal to the former president have been battling a US-backed, Saudi-led coalition supporting the internationally-recognised government.

Almost 6,300 people, half of them civilians, have been killed in the fighting and ISIS and al-Qaeda are exploiting that weakness to gain a foothold in the region. - Mirror.

EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Increasing Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Strikes Kill 7 In 5 Districts Of Bangladesh!

March 29, 2016 - BANGLADESH - Seven people were killed by lightning in Panchagarh, Habiganj, Jamalpur, Mymensingh and Comilla districts yesterday.

A man was killed and his wife injured by lightning at Banglabandha village in Tentulia upazila of Panchagarh yesterday morning.

The deceased was identified as Ramjan Ali, 40, of the village, reports our Thakurgaon correspondent.

Locals said a thunderbolt struck Ramjan and his wife Jyotsna Banu, 35, when they were standing on their veranda during heavy rain. Ramjan died on the spot.

Jyotsna was admitted to Panchagarh Sadar Hospital.

In Habiganj, a minor girl and a man were killed as thunderbolt struck them in Madhabpur and Sadar upazilas of the district in the afternoon, reports our Moulvibazar correspondent.

The deceased are Mim Akther, 8, daughter of Safiqul Islam of Joypur village in Madhabpur, and Ajman Miah, 40, son of Sattar Miah of Chandpur village in Sadar upazila.

Officer-in-Charge Mullah Monir Hosain of Madhabpur Police Station and OC Md Nazim Uddin of Sadar PS confirmed the incidents.

Away in Jamalpur, lightning killed a woman at Beergaon village in Bakshiganj upazila of the district in the morning.

The deceased was identified as Rezena Begum, 40, wife of Moulavi Hossain of the village, reports our correspondent.

Locals said a thunderbolt struck Rezena while she was cooking at her kitchen during rain. She died on the spot.

According to our Mymensingh correspondent, a freedom fighter was killed by lightning in Balipara area under Trishal upazila of the district.

The victim, Ataur Rahman, 65, was commander of Muktijoddha Sangsad's Balipara Union unit, reports our correspondent.

Police and family sources said Ataur was struck by thunderbolt when he was working at his field around 7:00am. He died on the spot.

In Comilla, two people were struck by thunderbolts during heavy rain in Daudkandi and Titash upazilas of the district in the afternoon, reports our correspondent.

The deceased are day labourer Babul Miah, 21, son of Abdul Kader of Noakhali district, and Russel Mollah, 20, son of Islam Mollah of Moutupi village in Titash upazila.

Of them, Babul was struck by lightning when he was lifting sand at Charamahmuddi village in Daudkandi upazila. He died on the spot. - Daily Star.