Sunday, April 3, 2016

COSMIC CATASTROPHISM: Signs In The Heavens And Monumental Earth Changes - Noted Astrophysicist Of The University Of Arkansas Links Periodic Mass Extinctions On Earth To PLANET X?!

This artwork shows a rocky planet being bombarded by comets. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
April 3, 2016 - SPACE - Periodic mass extinctions on Earth, as indicated in the global fossil record, could be linked to a suspected ninth planet, according to research published by a faculty member of the University of Arkansas Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Daniel Whitmire, a retired professor of astrophysics now working as a math instructor, published findings in the January issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that the as yet undiscovered “Planet X” triggers comet showers linked to mass extinctions on Earth at intervals of approximately 27 million years.

Though scientists have been looking for Planet X for 100 years, the possibility that it’s real got a big boost recently when researchers from Caltech inferred its existence based on orbital anomalies seen in objects in the Kuiper Belt, a disc-shaped region of comets and other larger bodies beyond Neptune. If the Caltech researchers are correct, Planet X is about 10 times the mass of Earth and could currently be up to 1,000 times more distant from the sun.

Daniel Whitmire. Photo by Matt Reynolds
Whitmire and his colleague, John Matese, first published research on the connection between Planet X and mass extinctions in the journal Nature in 1985 while working as astrophysicists at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Their work was featured in a 1985 Time magazine cover story titled, “Did Comets Kill the Dinosaurs? A Bold New Theory About Mass Extinctions.”

At the time there were three explanations proposed to explain the regular comet showers: Planet X, the existence of a sister star to the sun, and vertical oscillations of the sun as it orbits the galaxy. The last two ideas have subsequently been ruled out as inconsistent with the paleontological record. Only Planet X remained as a viable theory, and it is now gaining renewed attention.

Whitemire and Matese’s theory is that as Planet X orbits the sun, its tilted orbit slowly rotates and Planet X passes through the Kuiper belt of comets every 27 million years, knocking comets into the inner solar system. The dislodged comets not only smash into the Earth, they also disintegrate in the inner solar system as they get nearer to the sun, reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth.

In 1985, a look at the paleontological record supported the idea of regular comet showers dating back 250 million years. Newer research shows evidence of such events dating as far back as 500 million years.

Whitmire and Matese published their own estimate on the size and orbit of Planet X in their original study. They believed it would be between one and five times the mass of Earth, and about 100 times more distant from the sun, much smaller numbers than Caltech’s estimates.

Matese has since retired and no longer publishes. Whitmire retired from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2012 and began teaching at the University of Arkansas in 2013.

Whitmire says what’s really exciting is the possibility that a distant planet may have had a significant influence on the evolution of life on Earth.
“I’ve been part of this story for 30 years,” he said. “If there is ever a final answer I’d love to write a book about it.”

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring. - University of Arkansas.

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

One person died, five people were injured after a small plane crashed into a car on Interstate 15 North near State Route 76, near San Diego,
California, on Saturday, April 2, 2016.
Courtesy of Torrence Jenkins

April 3, 2016 - EARTH - Here are the latest incidents of plane crashes across the planet.

Plane Crashes Onto San Diego, California-Area Freeway, Killing 1, Injuring 5

A small plane that made headlines when it landed safely on a Southern California freeway years ago crashed on the same stretch of road Saturday, slamming into a car and killing a woman in the vehicle.

Five others, including the pilot and his passenger, were injured in the crash on a stretch of Interstate 15 that has been the scene of several emergency landings.

Witnesses said the single-engine plane appeared to be having problems before it banked and came down, California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Parent said. One man said he didn't hear the plane's engine as it passed overhead.

The Lancair IV landed on its belly and skidded about 250 feet before striking the rear of a black Nissan Altima sedan that was stopped on the shoulder of the road in San Diego County near Fallbrook. The driver of the car had pulled over to synchronize the Bluetooth device on his phone, Parent said.

The impact crumpled the back of the car, fatally crushing Antoinette Isbelle, 38, of San Diego in the back seat and injuring three others in the vehicle, authorities said.

"The plane went completely into the trunk and pushed the rear bumper almost into the rear passenger seat," said John Buchanan, spokesman for the North County Fire Protection District.

Pilot Dennis Hogge, 62, and his female passenger suffered major injuries, Parent said. The driver suffered moderate injuries, and his other two passengers were expected to survive their injuries.

The plane was once owned by major league catcher Matt Nokes, who made a noteworthy landing on busy I-15 when the engine quit on its second flight on Feb. 18, 2000.

Aamiah Grant posted this photo to Twitter on April 1, 2016 showing a plane which crashed onto the 15-N.

Emergency personnel investigate the scene of plane crash, Saturday, April 2, 2016 in Fallbrook, Calif. Photo: Don Boomer/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP

Nokes guided the high-performance $500,000 plane to a smooth landing and safely taxied off the road without injuries.

Nokes went on to fly the plane every day for five years without incident before selling it. He said it had been rebuilt several times since he sold it.

"It was crazy," Nokes told The Associated Press on Saturday. "Everything worked out so beautifully. It was almost a humorous thing. Unfortunately, it doesn't always turn out that way."

When Nokes heard about the crash, he unsuccessfully tried to reach Hogge. He didn't realize Hogge had been injured.

He described Hogge as a good man, an outstanding pilot and a master plane builder.

"It's just horrible to hear about," said Nokes who spent 11 years in the majors, mostly with the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees.

The stretch of freeway is no stranger to unusual landings. Parent said he's aware of three other planes that have come down on that stretch of freeway about 50 miles north of San Diego in the past decade.

Nokes said the freeway is a popular route for flying because there are fewer flight restrictions than along the Interstate 5 corridor.

The crash caused major backups throughout the day on the freeway that runs from the Mexican border through Las Vegas and Salt Lake City to Canada. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. - FOX News.

Pilot seriously injured in Gippsland plane crash in Australia

A pilot has suffered spinal and chest injuries in a light plane crash in Gippsland, in Victoria's east.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the crash, on Upper Maffra Road in Newry, at 12.45pm.

The pilot, a man aged in his sixties, has been flown to the Alfred Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

He was the only person on board the ultra-light plane.

It's understood the plane clipped power lines and landed in a paddock. - The Age.

Small plane crashes in Gloucester County

A small plane overturned in a field in Gloucester County April 2, 2016 (Photo: Hagen Forsman)

A small plane crashed into a field in South Harrison Township Saturday afternoon, authorities said. 

The private plane overturned, but the pilot had only minor injuries, according to the Gloucester County emergency communications center. He was not taken to the hospital.

The crash was reported near Monroeville and Lincoln Road around 4 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane flipped after it landed while the county emergency response center described the incident as a crash.

"The plane experienced an engine-related problem," the FAA said in a statement.

FAA officials and police were investigating. - NJ.

Student pilot survives plane crash near Salmon Arm

Image Credit: Shuswap Search and Rescue

A pilot is safe and doing well after a small plane crash near the Salmon Arm Airport Friday night.

John Schutt with Shuswap Search and Rescue says members were called out around 9:30 p.m.

He says a Cessna 152 went down into the East side of Mount Ida.

Schutt says a search plane and ground crews were sent out to find the plane and were able to determine its location.

Schutt wouldn't comment on why the plane went down. - CFJC Today.

3 killed in plane crash in Mexico

Primero Mining Corp. today confirmed that a plane crash resulting in three fatalities has occurred close to its San Dimas mine in Mexico.

An aircraft carrying 10 individuals crash-landed earlier today in the Sierra Madre mountain range approximately 15 kilometres from the Tayoltita airport. The passengers were Primero employees and family members en route to Durango. Primero mourns the loss of employees, Toronto based executive Guillermo Adrian, Vice President, Operations, San Dimas based José Paz Vizcarra Juarez, Warehouse Clerk, and a family member of Sr. Vizcarra.

"This tragedy has impacted every person at Primero deeply and we send our deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased," stated Ernest Mast, President and C.E.O. "All survivors are being treated for their injuries, and we will provide support to the affected families to help them through this difficult time. The Company will cooperate fully with aviation authorities to determine the cause of the accident." - Market Wired.

Pilot remains hospitalized after plane crash in New Mexico

A small passenger plane sits off the runway after being flipped by the wind on Thursday at the Shiprock Airstrip.(Photo: Daily Times file photo)

Joe Tumminaro — the pilot injured in Thursday's propeller plane crash at the Shiprock Airstrip — remained in serious condition Friday afternoon, according to San Juan Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Laura Werbner.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday that the federal agency was notified of the crash and has started an investigation.

"The NTSB investigator determined he did not need to go to the scene," spokesman Chris O'Neil said. "He is doing what's called a desk investigation."

O'Neil said a final report will be released once the investigation is complete.

Tumminaro, a licensed airline transport pilot, was practicing a "touch and go" landing procedure in a single-engine Cessna when a gust of wind flipped the aircraft onto the paved airstrip, according to a Navajo Police Department press release.

Tumminaro, 67, was transported by helicopter to San Juan Regional Medical Center, the release states. A passenger, Ryan Arroyo, did not report injuries, but he was also transported to the Farmington hospital.

Werbner said Friday that Arroyo, 33, is no longer at the hospital.

Arroyo said in an interview Thursday the two men departed from their hometown of Durango, Colo., that morning on a sightseeing trip.

Navajo Division of Transportation spokesman Carl Slater said Friday that a review of records indicated there had never before been a crash at the Shiprock Airstrip. Slater said the airstrip reopened on Friday.

New Mexico State Police are continuing to investigate the crash, according to press release issued Friday. - Daily Times.

Pilot killed in air force plane crash in Jordan

A Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) pilot was killed and another was injured when their Hawk aircraft crashed early Thursday during a training mission, according to an army statement.

The statement by the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army identified the killed pilot as Major Muath Bani Fares and the injured as Captain Sharaf Al Tafour.

The statement did not give details on the reason of the crash.
Bani Fares was 33 years old and married with three children. He is from the village of Ashrafiyah in the Koura District in Irbid, some 65 kilometres north of Amman, Ahmad Thyabat, a resident of the same village, told The Jordan Times.

He will be laid to rest on Friday in his hometown, Thyabat said, adding the father of the fallen pilot is a retired major general and a former assistant to the director of the Public Security Department.

The man said residents of the entire district of Koura were saddened by the tragic news. - Jordan Times.

Small plane crash near Clinton, B.C.

Image Credit: Contributed

A pilot from the Pacific Flying Club has walked away after the single engine plane he was piloting crashed this morning in the Cariboo.

The incident happened in the Meadow Lake Road area between Clinton and 70 Mile House.

Bill Yearwood of the Transportation Safety Board says it appears the crash was caused by a mechanical issue in the Cessna 172.

"First information is that the pilot reported some problems and was trying to land the aircraft. He is okay, and has been taken to hospital to have a look at any bumps and bruises," said Yearwood.

Yearwood says the Pacific Flying Club is based at the Boundary Bay Airport in the Lower Mainland, and the man was en route to Vanderhoof.

Yearwood adds the TSB plans on interviewing the pilot before releasing the damaged aircraft. - CFJC Today.

Man killed in Ilembe District plane crash

IPSS Medical Rescue

The light aircraft crashed in a sugarcane plantation near Glendale in the Ilembe District a little earlier this morning.

Unconfirmed reports from the scene suggest the microlight struck power lines in the area.

IPSS Medical Rescue's Paul Herbst says the pilot was fatally injured.

"It seems like a microlight aircraft has gone down. Unfortunately, the pilot sustained serious injuries and was declared dead on arrival. Search and Rescue parties are also here to try and get him out to the nearest main roads," he said.

Emergency services say the microlight spraying crop was being flown by a single occupant. The South African Civil Aviation Authority will investigate the exact cause of the crash. - ECR.

Plane crashes into sea near Tel Aviv beach, 2 injured

A small aircraft trying to make an emergency landing seemed to forget that it wasn’t a floatplane and landed in the Mediterranean Sea near Metzizim Beach in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

The pilot reportedly radioed a mayday to nearby Sde Dov Airport so it could land there, but somehow lost control of the plane and crashed into the water.

Video footage of the incident, which occurred on Sunday afternoon, shows the small plane slowly sinking in the water after the crash, which probably wouldn't have happened if it crashed in the buoyant Dead Sea.

WATCH: Plane makes emergency landing in sea off Tel Aviv.

Two people on board the plane, a 57- and 47-year-old described as fully conscious, were rescued by witness who swam out, according to Israel National News.

A police rescue boat then arrived at the scene and took them to Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center for minor injuries.

Two bystanders were treated at the scene with minor shoulder injuries sustained during the rescue. - RT.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Japan's Sakurajima Volcano Erupts Again - Large Blast Produces Massive Flows of Lava And Plumes Of Ash Reaching Multiple Kilometers Into The Sky! [VIDEO]

April 3, 2016 - JAPAN - A large blast occurred overnight (April 3 2016 early AM) at Sakurajima Volcano in South Japan.

The volcanic eruption produced large flows of lava, and plumes of ash reaching multiple kilometers into the sky.

The ascending ash produced multiple impressive displays of static discharge lightning, ranging in color from blue and green, to white, purple and yellow.

The lightning is produced by friction between the hot billowing clouds of ash, and the colder moist air surrounding the volcano which resides in South Japan near the ocean.

Watch the volcano on live stream HERE and HERE.

WATCH: Amazing Eruption in South Japan at Sakurajima Volcano.

- Duthsinse/YouTube.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Monster Sinkhole Swallows Up Coca-Cola Van In Autaugaville, Alabama! [PHOTOS]

A Coca-Cola truck gets swallowed up by a sink hole. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

April 3, 2016 - ALABAMA, UNITED STATES - What a scare and what a mess! The driver of a Coca-Cola van unknowingly drove into a sinkhole early Friday morning on Strickland Landing Road in Autaugaville. Thankfully, he was not injured.

"He was wearing his seat belt for an event like that. That's a pretty good drop," said Autauga County EMA Director Ernie Baggett.

How big of a drop? Twelve feet deep and 30 feet across! Big enough to swallow the van.

And all Brandon Stodghill could do was watch and have patience. "A very big inconvenience," he explained.

Brandon was among the more than a dozen residents stranded on the other side of the sinkhole.

"I can't go anywhere at the moment. Looks like I'll have to sit here and wait it out," he said. "Hopefully, they'll get it patched up pretty quick and get on through here."

Heavy rains most likely played a role in the collapse. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

At least 10 loads of dirt and rocks will be needed to temporarily patch the road. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Heavy machinery was brought in to help fill the sink hole. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

The road leads to the Alabama River, and there is only one way in and one way out. That's why county road crews worked in the elements on a temporary fix so local traffic could resume. A more permanent repair job will be done next week when the weather dries out.

Autauga County reportedly received more than five inches of rain Thursday night. Officials say it will take 10 dump trucks filled with dirt and rocks to fill up the hole.

"We're working in the rain, but we got people trapped in here and we're trying to get them back in here," said Autauga County Engineer John Mark Davis.

The storm Thursday night caused five trouble spots in the county. The sinkhole was by far the worst. Even with the strong timber walls in place on Sweet Creek, the volume of water was too much, too soon.

Autauga County officials say that part of Strickland Landing is open but mainly for local residents in that area until a more complete repair can be done next week. - WSFA.

OMEN: Satellite Image Of Red River Nile Evokes Biblical Legend - Photo Uses Infrared Technology To Map Heat Created By Vegetation Surrounding The Egyptian River!

A satellite image of the Nile using infrared technology colors the river in red (Courtesy European Space Agency, April 2016)

April 3, 2016 - EGYPT - A newly released satellite image of Egypt’s Nile river shows the river colored deep red, bringing to mind the biblical first plague in which the waters of the great river turned to blood.

But, this time at least, it is not the wrath of god that is responsible for the river’s crimson hue: The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-3A satellite, which took the picture, uses a radiometer to measure infrared energy.

The heat radiated by vegetation around the river is therefore responsible for the red color.

The satellite, launched in February, is designed to monitor environmental changes.

It is the third of more than a dozen “eyes in the sky” that make up the Copernicus program, which the ESA describes as the most sophisticated Earth observation system ever launched.

The First Plague: Water Is Changed into Blood, by 19th century French painter James Tissot

Two satellites already in orbit are equipped with radar and high-resolution cameras, to which Sentinel-3A adds instruments for measuring sea and surface temperatures, among other things.

The satellite will be able to spot upcoming droughts by detecting subtle changes in surface color that suggests crops are failing.

A view of the Nile River. (CC-BY plusgood,

One of Sentinel-3A’s greatest advantages is its ability to scan the entire planet in just over a day and send back data within hours, giving scientists and policy-makers detailed information on environmental changes in close to real time.

By measuring sea temperatures it will boost short-term weather forecasts and help track the impact of climate change. - Times of Israel.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Amtrak Train Crash Near Philadelphia - 2 People Killed; Service Suspended!

April 3, 2016 - PHILADELPHIA, UNITED STATES - Two people have died and 30 suffered injuries when an Amtrak train collided with a backhoe on the tracks and a car derailed near Philadelphia, officials said.

Service has been suspended along the Northeast Corridor in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

There were 341 passengers and seven crewmembers on board Palmetto train 89 at the time of the incident, which took place in Chester, Delaware County.

Officials confirmed two people have died on the train traveling from New York to Savannah, Georgia, without revealing the identities of the victims.

“This morning, Amtrak Train 89, operating from New York to Savannah, Georgia, struck a backhoe that was on the tracks and derailed the lead engine south of Philadelphia,” the Amtrak spokesman said, adding the cause of the crash is now being investigated.

Amtrak is a partially government-funded US passenger railroad service, which operates over 300 trains on a daily basis on 34,000 kilometers (21,300 miles) of track, connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 American states and three Canadian provinces.

On May 12, 2015, an Amtrak train from Washington, D.C. to New York derailed and crashed in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring over 200 others. - RT.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong And Notable 5.1 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes South Of Ierapetra, Greece - USGS!

USGS earthquake location.
 April 3, 2016 - GREECE - The United States Geological Survery (USGS) has reported a 5.1 magnitude earthquake has struck south of Ierapetra, Greece on Sunday, April 3.

The tremor struck at a depth of 10 kilometres.

There were no initial reports of significant injuries or damage.

No one has reported feeling the temblor. If you felt the quake you can report it here to the USGS.

On March 29, another 5.1 magnitude earthquake in Greece was recorded at Malta's Wied Dalam station. That earthquake was registered in the Ionian Sea to the northeast of Malta also at a depth of 10 kilometres.

Earthquakes are common in Greece and neighboring Turkey. Today's event occurred along a fault system that frequently produces earthquakes. (See more below in the USGS' Tectonic Summary)

An update will be provided in this space if events on the ground changes.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Mediterranean Region and Vicinity

The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. This convergence began approximately 50 Ma and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea. The modern day remnant of the Tethys Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian subduction zone of southern Italy.

Local high rates of convergence at the Hellenic subduction zone (35mm/yr) are associated with back-arc spreading throughout Greece and western Turkey above the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust. Crustal normal faulting throughout this region is a manifestation of extensional tectonics associated with the back-arc spreading. The region of the Marmara Sea is a transition zone between this extensional regime, to the west, and the strike-slip regime of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, to the east.

The North Anatolian Fault accommodates much of the right-lateral horizontal motion (23-24 mm/yr) between the Anatolian micro-plate and Eurasian plate as the Anatolian micro-plate is being pushed westward to further accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin caused by the collision of the African and Arabian plates in southeastern Turkey. Subduction of the Mediterranean Sea floor beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Calabrian subduction zone causes a significant zone of seismicity around Sicily and southern Italy. Active volcanoes are located above intermediate depth earthquakes in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea and in southern Italy.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

In the Mediterranean region there is a written record, several centuries long, documenting pre-instrumental seismicity (pre-20th century). Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, the Nile Delta, Northern Libya, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The 1903 M8.2 Kythera earthquake and the 1926 M7.8 Rhodes earthquakes are the largest instrumentally recorded Mediterranean earthquakes, both of which are associated with subduction zone tectonics. Between 1939 and 1999 a series of devastating M7+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westward along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, beginning with the 1939 M7.8 Erzincan earthquake on the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault system. The 1999 M7.6 Izmit earthquake, located on the westward end of the fault, struck one of Turkey's most densely populated and industrialized urban areas killing, more than 17,000 people. Although seismicity rates are comparatively low along the northern margin of the African continent, large destructive earthquakes have been recorded and reported from Morocco in the western Mediterranean, to the Dead Sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The 1980 M7.3 El Asnam earthquake was one of Africa's largest and most destructive earthquakes within the 20th century.

Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is thought to have occurred within or near the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, which defines the boundary between the African and Eurasian plates off the west coast of Morocco and Portugal. The earthquake is notable for both a large death toll of approximately 60,000 people and for generating a tsunami that swept up the Portuguese coast inundating coastal villages and Lisbon. An earthquake of approximately M8.0 near Sicily in 1693 generated a large tsunami wave that destroyed numerous towns along Sicily's east coast. The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities. - USGS.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Train Crashes Into Tourist Bus In Thailand - Killing 3 People And Injuring 30 Others! [VIDEOS]

April 3, 2016 - THAILAND - A tourist bus hit by a train in Nakhon Pathom in Thailand Sunday, leaving 30 injured and three people dead.

The impact occurred as the double-decker bus was slowly crossing the tracks and a speeding train crashed into it, causing the bus to spin out of control.

WATCH: Train crash in Thailand.

The video shows the impact from two separate camera angles, revealing the intensity of the crash.

The bus was taking a group of workers from a factory west of Bangkok to the island of Koh Samui for a holiday, according to a local police officer.

The three dead were Thai nationals.

Road accidents are a common in Thailand.

WATCH: Dashcam footage captures the moment a midsize car traveling in the slow lane on the highway is rear ended at tremendous speed by a black Mercedes-Benz last week.

A study by University of Michigan ranked Thailand’s roads as the second most dangerous in the world. - RT.

EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Increasing Magnetic Polar Migration - Florida's Palm Beach County Hit By 1,700 Lightning Strikes in Just Two Hours! [VIDEOS]


April 3, 2016 - FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - Florida's Palm Beach County saw 1,700 lightning strikes in just two hours during Tuesday's storms, according to the National Weather Service.

Lightning storms of this magnitude are only seen a few times each year, on average, meteorologist Robert Molleda told the Palm Beach Post.

During Tuesday's storms, some 2,500 lightning strikes were measured in the county.

A lightning strike knocked three Boca Raton firefighters off their feet as they put out a backyard fire that had been ignited by a previous bolt.

One of the firefighters was flung about 15 to 20 feet, and began having a seizure.

The other two remained conscious.

All three have recovered.

Florida ranks tops nationally for the number of cloud-to-ground strikes per square mile, with 1.2 million bolts per year. - Weather.

WATCH: Lightning strikes in Florida.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake Strikes Near Vanuatu In The Pacific Ocean - But No Immediate Reports Of Damage As Officials Says Tsunami Threat Has Eased! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

April 3, 2016 - VANUATU ISLANDS - A massive earthquake has struck just off Vanuatu, and experts have warned it could potentially trigger 'tsunami waves'.

The magnitude-7.2 quake was reported 81 kilometres north of Port Olry and 407 kilometres from the island nation's capital city, Port Vila.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has not issued a tsunami warning, earlier said 'hazardous tsunami waves' were a possibility for coastal areas within a 300 kilometre radius. However, the threat has now 'largely passed'.

Vanuatu sits on the Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The nation is also prone to volcanoes and cyclones, and has been ranked by the United Nations University as the world's most at-risk nation for natural disasters.

The island nation has been rocked by a number of earthquakes in recent months, with two similar tremors reported since October 2015.

A 7.3-magnitude quake was recorded in October last year, followed by a 6.2 shake in December. - Daily Mail.

Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (greater than 120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate again subducts eastwards beneath the Pacific, at the North New Hebrides trench. At the southern end of this trench, east of the Loyalty Islands, the plate boundary curves east into an oceanic transform-like structure analogous to the one north of Tonga.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 80 to 90 mm/yr along the North New Hebrides trench, but the Australia plate consumption rate is increased by extension in the back arc and in the North Fiji Basin. Back arc spreading occurs at a rate of 50 mm/yr along most of the subduction zone, except near ~15°S, where the D'Entrecasteaux ridge intersects the trench and causes localized compression of 50 mm/yr in the back arc. Therefore, the Australia plate subduction velocity ranges from 120 mm/yr at the southern end of the North New Hebrides trench, to 40 mm/yr at the D'Entrecasteaux ridge-trench intersection, to 170 mm/yr at the northern end of the trench.

Large earthquakes are common along the North New Hebrides trench and have mechanisms associated with subduction tectonics, though occasional strike slip earthquakes occur near the subduction of the D'Entrecasteaux ridge. Within the subduction zone 34 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900. On October 7, 2009, a large interplate thrust fault earthquake (M7.6) in the northern North New Hebrides subduction zone was followed 15 minutes later by an even larger interplate event (M7.8) 60 km to the north. It is likely that the first event triggered the second of the so-called earthquake "doublet".

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Freak Hailstorm Drops Several Inches Of Ice On Darjeeling, India; "EXTRAORDINARY WEATHER PHENOMENON" As Snow Falls On Caribbean Island Of Guadeloupe For The FIRST TIME EVER; Another Clipper Storm To Sweep Northeastern U.S. With ACCUMULATING SNOW IN APRIL; Dubai And UAE Receives 50 TIMES The Normal Rainfall Amount; NEAR RECORD Ice Coverage Seen On Lake Superior; Snow CHAOS In Germany; And Heavy Snowfall In Armenia! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS + MAPS]

Freak hailstorm drops several inches of ice on Darjeeling, India.

April 3, 2016 - EARTH - The following articles constitutes several of the latest reports on heavy snowfall, low temperatures and snow storms as global cooling continues across the Earth.

Freak hailstorm drops several inches of ice on Darjeeling, India

Darjeeling, the Queen of the Hills, was today enveloped in white after a sudden hailstorm hit the town area in the afternoon continuing relentlessly for nearly an hour. The fall was so heavy that hailstones accumulated in many places disrupting traffic till late in the evening, and pedestrians too had a very difficult time walking in the streets.

Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastav said, "There have been no reports of major damage from the town area apart from traffic getting disrupted due to the accumulation of hailstones. But the municipality has started clearing the roads."

The only damage worth noting was the collapsing of the roof of the basketball court of Loreto Convent School. The school's authorities said the incident occurred after lunch when all the students were inside the classrooms. Meanwhile, municipality officials said they were trying to restore normalcy and the hailstones would be cleared out by late evening. Locals were also seen helping the civic body workers in clearing the footpaths and streets in town.

The Mall area and Chowrasta, the favourite haunt of tourists and locals alike, were packed with people enjoying themselves. Subhojit Biswas, from Dum Dum, Kolkata, said, "This is the first time I have been here and had never experienced something like this. My visit to the hills has been worthwhile."

WATCH: Hailstorm at Darjeeling.

Town resident Rajeev Lepcha said, "I've been living in Darjeeling for almost 40 years now and I had never experienced such a phenomenon. What happened today was simply amazing."Meanwhile, the Darjeeling Tea Association was sombre, with an official saying the hailstorm will affect the tea gardens. DTA principal advisor Sandeep Mukherjee said, "The hailstones will definitely affect the tea gardens this is the time when 10 per cent of the first flush is produced. Now, production will likely be pushed back by two weeks although it will take some time to assess which gardens were the most affected." - Echo of India.

Snow falls on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe for the first time in 'extraordinary weather phenomenon'

Residents film the falling flakes on Thursday.

No, it is not an April Fools Day joke, snowflakes actually fell in the neighbouring French island of Guadeloupe.

The event, which was described as 'exceptional' by a French meteorologist took place on Thursday, March 31 in the municipality of St. Claude.

Reports from French media indicate that a very fine snowfall blanketed the hills above the town.

French meteorologist, Alain Museleque, explained the extraordinary phenomenon on Guadeloupe Premiere TV.

"We had a mass of clouds that arrived over St. Claude," he said in French and translated by McCathy Marie. "Accompanying this mass of clouds was some very cold air. In this very cold air, in the mass of clouds, we had the creation of some snowflakes which fell to the ground. This has never before been seen in Guadeloupe. This is an exceptional event that we will never forget."

Two weeks ago in the same area, in a residential district which is just below La Soufriere Volcano overlooking the Town of Basse Terre, residents were surprised to see hailstones falling from the sky. - Dominica News Online.

Another clipper storm to sweep northeastern US with accumulating snow in April

More snow will fall across portions of the northeastern United States through Monday.

This system will take a similar track to the storm during Saturday and Saturday night which brought snow, rain, strong winds and a shot of arctic air from the Midwest to the Northeast.

A line of thunderstorms produced small hail and damaging winds from portions of eastern Pennsylvania into New Jersey and southern New England during Saturday night.

"There will be about a 15-hour break between the clipper from last night and the next one on Sunday night," AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll said.

Clipper storms are fast moving storms that typically form over Alberta and swing across the Midwest and Northeast with snow, strong winds and a drop in temperatures.

With cold air in place, snow will fall from Michigan to southern New England.

The steadiest snow will reach the upper Great Lakes on Sunday, southern Ontario, New York state and Pennsylvania on Sunday night and southern New England on Monday.

"Although snow will fall heavily at times on Sunday across the upper Great Lakes, it will have a hard time sticking to roads due to the high sun angle," Doll said.

Little or no snow will fall from Detroit and Pittsburgh to New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Most of the precipitation in these areas will be in the form of rain. Should any snow showers occur, no accumulation is expected.

Enough snow will fall to cause travel delays on the road and in the air from Marquette, Michigan, to Buffalo and Albany, New York and Boston.

Roads will become snow packed and slippery very quickly. Motorists traveling along interstates 69, 75, 81, 84, 87, 88, 90, 91, 94, 95 and 96 should remain on alert for slippery road conditions and limited visibility in the heaviest bursts of snow.

Winds will be much weaker with this storm compared to the one on Saturday night. Winds could occasionally gust near 30 mph.

Cold air more typical of winter will remain across the region through Tuesday before milder air and rain arrives by midweek.

The milder air will be short lived as another shot of cold air will arrive later this week and into the upcoming weekend.

The month of April is typically a battleground between winter and spring. Drastic temperature swings are common as warm spells can quickly be erased by arctic air diving to the south.

"[As is] typical of April, there may be a back-and-forth fight going on in the atmosphere for a time," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. - AccuWeather.

Dubai and UAE receives 50 TIMES the normal rainfall amount

Dubai and the UAE received 50X the normal amount of rainfall for the month of March. This was followed by raging dust storms with 130 kmh winds. Decreased solar wind pressure is allowing the jet stream to swing out of place which will continue as the new Grand Solar Minimum continues to intensify.

WATCH: Dubai and UAE see highest rainfall totals in recent years.

- Adapt 2030.

Near record ice coverage seen on Lake Superior

WATCH: Stunning footage of ice coverage on Lake Superior.

- Earth Sky.

Snow chaos in Germany

Many drivers had already mounted their summer tires – Snowplow in continuous use.

Surprising heavy snowfall has significantly impeded traffic on the motorways in Hesse and Thuringia, bringing accidents, road closures and kilometer-long traffic jams.

In Alsfeld a truck slid into two stopped trucks, fully blocking the road towards Frankfurt.

In Fulda county firefighters numerous overturned trees of many roads had to move because of the new snow and strong wind gusts.

In Thuringia, the A73 and A71 had to be partially closed because trucks were crosswise on the road or overturned. Also on all of A4 and parts of the A9 there were problems caused by the snow. According to the highway patrol, many cars were skidding because they had already installed summer tires.

The German Weather Service announced that 13 cm of fresh snow fell in Erfurt in the morning. In the crest of the Thuringian Forest there was fresh snow between seven and nine centimeters. the snowfall .

Snow April 1: smoothness in Hesse and Thuringia

Crazy start in April with snow

Hard to believe the pictures in our video.

The most harmful came in the western parts of Thuringia. Eisenach, Erfurt, Gera because it was thick white. In the state capital of Erfurt were 13 cm, in the Hessian Vogelsberg there were 9 cm, 4 in the Rhön and 3 cm in Chemnitz in Saxony.

On the A5 in Central Hesse Alsfeld a truck slipped from the road in heavy snowstorm. The driver was seriously injured. The highway was completely blocked, creating a traffic jam of 10 km in length. Also on the A7 in the district of Fulda were ten centimeters of snow.

See short video:

April starts with snow and accidents

In Hesse and Thuringia start April with snow. Heavy snow caused early Friday morning on the highway 5 in North and East Hesse long traffic jams. In Alsfeld a 32 year old man slipped his truck in two standing on the ground trucks, as police said. The driver was trapped in the accident and seriously injured taken to hospital.

In Fulda county firefighters numerous overturned trees of many roads had to move because of the new snow and strong wind gusts.

Thuringia was disabled due to snow, especially in the center and south of the country, said the Regional Operations Centre. It had been surprised by the snow, said a spokesman for the highway patrol in Hermsdorf.

At the airport in Erfurt fell 13 cm of snow, said Jens Oehmichen the German Weather Service (DWD) in Leipzig. In the crest of the Thuringian Forest there was fresh snow 7-9 centimeters. e-und-unfaellen-14154916.html
- Ice Age Now.

Heavy snowfall in Armenia

In Jermuk a snow cover height of 47 cm (18 inches) was recorded.

Sevan recorded 16 cm, Tashir and Gyumri 13 cm, Hrazdan and Aparam 15 cm , Fantan 10 cm and Arktik 9 cm.

60 % to 90 % of the monthly norm of snow precipitation was registered during this night in Bagratashan, Tashir, Aparan, Fantan, Kapan and Goris. - Armen Press.

EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Increasing Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Strikes Kill 5 And Injure 6 In Odisha, India!

File photo.

April 3, 2016 - INDIA - In a saddening incident, five including three women were killed and six injured in lightning strikes at different places in Mayurbhanj district on Friday.

Of them two died and six were injured due to the natural calamity while undertaking obsequies in a pond at Badapeta under Sadar block.

Three women each at Gudialabandha village under Badasahi block, Budurubani under Udala block and Sarbana under Kaptipada block died of the lighting strike. - Mumbai News.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFFS: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - 61 Dead Cetaceans Have Washed Up During The Past 3 Months In Cornwall, UK; And Dead Bryde's Whale Pulled Ashore In Thailand! [PHOTOS]

Common dolphin on Poldhu beach, Cornwall.

April 3, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

61 dead cetaceans have washed up during the past 3 months in Cornwall, UK

Conservationists say there has been the biggest rise in the number of dead dolphins, porpoises and whales found off Cornwall since 2006.

Sixty-one dead cetaceans were recorded between January and March by Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

The trust said previous post-mortem tests showed animals had died from pollution, illnesses, natural causes and after being caught in fishing nets.

A fishing co-operative said deterrents, including pingers, were being used.

Scientists have been working with the fishing community to fit boats in Cornwall larger than 14m with the devices, which let out a noise to repel the creatures.

Abby Crosby, from the wildlife trust, said it was unclear how the cetaceans had died this year, or the reasons behind the rise, as the data from the post-mortem examinations was yet to be released.

"The most important piece of advice is for people to report these sightings of stranded cetaceans so we can gather more information on what is killing them," she said.

Stranding records only included animals that had died and the last peak was in 2006, which was thought to be caused by large scale fishing activity off the Cornish coast at the time, she added.

Paul Trebilcock, from the Cornish Fish Producers' Organisation said: "Cornish fishermen have been at the forefront of using acoustic pingers.

"All of this is hopefully contributing towards a reduction in the interaction between fishing gear and cetaceans." - BBC.

Dead Bryde's whale pulled ashore in Thailand

A huge whale from a threatened species was killed in a boat collision and found Friday morning off Koh Phang beach in the southern province of Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Chumpon Yodwipan, a local wildlife monitor, said the whale was found Friday morning by local fishermen near Koh Phang, located nearly 3 kilometers from the Khlong Wan Beach. The whale's swollen body reportedly measured 10 meters and weighed over 10 tons.

The whale's body was pulled to the shore by a boat for examination by marine and coastal resource officers, Chumphon said by phone Friday afternoon.

A Bryde’s whale after it was pulled ashore Friday morning on Khlong Wan Beach in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
A Bryde’s whale is pulled to the Khlong Wan Beach on Friday morning in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

He said the whale appeared to be about 7 years old. He was told by marine officers that it had been dead for more than seven days and a fatal wound was found on the creature's back, suggesting it had been hit by a boat.

Bryde's whales were once commonly found in the Gulf of Thailand, where several die annually, usually from encounters with people.

Legal protection under the 1992 Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act was extended to the species last year, as only 52 Bryde's whales were thought remaining in the gulf. - Khaosod English.