Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Wild Elephant Kills Five In India's Northeast And Radioactive Wild Boars Run Rampage Across Fukushima Communities In Japan?!

Human-elephant conflicts are on the rise in India as villagers and farmers encroach on the elephants' natural habitat (AFP Photo/Diptendu Dutta)

April 5, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of animal attacks on humans.

Wild elephant kills five in India's northeast

A rampaging elephant killed five members of a family including a nine-day old infant in a remote village in India's northeastern frontier, a local official said Tuesday.

The elephant trampled the family to death while they were asleep in their thatched hut in the early hours of Tuesday in Behali forest, some 256 kilometres (160 miles) from Assam state's capital Guwahati.

Both parents, their infant daughter and two other children died during the incident, while their three-year-old daughter survived the attack and was being treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

"The family was asleep when the elephant attacked their hut," Rajiv Chaudhary, a divisional forestry officer, told AFP.

He said the elephant had apparently strayed from its herd when it charged the home. The animal reportedly left the area soon after the attack, according to the official.

Wildlife experts say encounters between humans and elephants are increasing in India's rural areas due to the destruction of the animals' habitat.

Last month a herd of wild elephants went on an hours-long rampage in neighbouring West Bengal, killing five people and damaging vehicles and homes before being subdued with tranquilliser darts. - Yahoo.

Radioactive wild boar overwhelms communities in the Fukushima countryside

Nuclear pigs: Radioactive wild boars have caused in £620,000 worth of damage to agriculture in Fukushima prefecture
as numbers have increased by more than 330 per cent in recent years

Radioactive wild boars are running rampage across northern Japan after being contaminated in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The animals are causing hundreds of thousands of pounds in damage to local farms, having been allowed to breed unhindered in the exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The number of boars in Fukushima has increased by more than 330 per cent in recent years, as local hunters cannot kill off the radioactive animals fast enough.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and radioactive water has been flowing from the reactors ever since..

In the years after the nuclear disaster, the number of wild boars in Fukushima prefecture increased from 3,000 to 13,000, as they spread outside the exclusion zone.

During the same time period, the animals caused £620,000 worth of damage to agriculture in the area, The Times report.

Local authorities are calling in hunters to cull the boars, but the animals are breeding so quickly that mass graves are now filled to the brim and incinerators are running out of capacity.

The boars have been contaminated through eating everything from crops to berries, roots and small animals affected by radioactive fallout.

Normally one of the healthiest red meats - high in protein and leaner than domestic pork - the Fukushima wild boars are quite the opposite.

Tests carried out on the meat of the wild boars in the area found levels of the radioactive element caesium-137 which are 300 times higher than the legal limit for human consumption.

Meanwhile, the operator of Fukushima Daiichi has switched on a giant refrigeration system to create an unprecedented underground ice wall around its damaged reactors.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is starting the system in phases to allow close monitoring and adjustment.

It has started with the portion near the sea to prevent contaminated water from escaping into the Pacific Ocean before expanding it to the No.1 reactor.

The decontamination and decommissioning of the plant, damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, hinge of the success of the wall. - Daily Mail.

WAR DRUMS: Tensions Escalating On The Korean Peninsula - North Korea Is Able To Mount Nuclear Warhead On Missile, South Says!

April 5, 2016 - SOUTH KOREA - South Korea has determined that North Korea is capable of mounting a nuclear warhead on its medium-range Rodong ballistic missile, which could reach all of the South and most of Japan, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The government’s assessment, shared in a background briefing with representatives of foreign news media here, followed a recent claim by North Korea that it had “standardized” nuclear warheads small enough to be carried by ballistic missiles. Until Tuesday, South Korean government officials, like most of their American counterparts, had played down that claim.

But after four recent nuclear tests by the North, the latest on Jan. 6, some nongovernmental analysts in South Korea have said that the North may have learned how to fit its medium-range Rodong missile with nuclear warheads, even though it may still be years away from building a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile that could target the continental United States.

Although the government official echoed that assessment on Tuesday, he added that South Korea had no evidence that the North had deployed such nuclear-tipped Rodong missiles.

The missile, first deployed in the 1990s, can fly about 800 miles, which would put some United States military bases in South Korea and Japan within its range. It could carry a warhead weighing about 1,500 to 2,200 pounds, according to the South Korean military.
North Korea test-launched two Rodong missiles last month, flouting United Nations resolutions that ban the country from developing or testing ballistic missile technology.

The tests took place days after the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered more tests of ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. Mr. Kim also recently visited a factory where he inspected what looked like a model nuclear warhead and long-range missile, according to photographs released in the country’s official media.

 Sentry posts belonging to North Korea, in the background, and the South on opposite sides of the border. Credit Jeon Heon-Kyun/European Pressphoto Agency

North Korea also said that Mr. Kim had overseen a successful test of “re-entry” technology, which is needed for a warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile to survive the heat and vibrations while plunging through the atmosphere toward its target.

There is continuing debate about how close North Korea has come to acquiring nuclear-tipped missiles. The country has never flight-tested a long-range missile.

After the North’s recent claims, the South Korean Defense Ministry issued a statement on March 9 saying it did not believe the North had achieved the miniaturization of a nuclear warhead. But the statement did not clarify whether it meant for long-range missiles or missiles of shorter ranges.

The Pentagon has also voiced skepticism. “We have not seen North Korea demonstrate capability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon, and again, put it on a ballistic missile,” Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, said on March 15.

But one leading United States military commander, Adm. William E. Gortney, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last month that according to his assessments, the North Koreans “have the ability to put an ICBM in space and range the continental United States and Canada.”

Although American intelligence officials have said that sort of attack would have “a very low probability at success,” Admiral Gortney said it was a “prudent decision” to assume that the North “has the capability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an ICBM.”

The South Korean official who talked to reporters on Tuesday said that North Korea still needed “several years” before mastering the technology to build a nuclear warhead small and sophisticated enough to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile. - NY Times.

FUK-U-SHIMA: The Radiation In The Pacific Ocean From The Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Is Causing "UNPRECEDENTEDLY" Huge Mortality And Mutation Events Along The North American Coast - Scientists Say "DIE-OFFS Are Ongoing And Severe,... REALLY BIG STORY,... Diversity Of Organisms, Then All Of Sudden WE SAW NOTHING,... It Was STRIKING,..."; Expert Says It Is "FAR WORSE THAN ANYTHING EVER SEEN BEFORE,... NEVER HEARD Of Such A Thing ANYWHERE IN WORLD"; Deaths Puzzling Government Scientists; Reports Of Beaches Full Of Bodies; Countless Carcasses; "ALIEN FISH" Caught Off Pacific Coast; Bizarre Creature Resembles "ALBINO SHARK" With Large Distended Stomach; Doctor Reveals That THREE EXCEEDINGLY RARE Albino Dolphins Were Captured Off Japan In ONE YEAR! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

Photo by Jaime Rendon, via Pisces Sportfishing
April 5, 2016 - PACIFIC OCEAN - “We’ve had a number of unusual mortality events in the system where some of the great whales are actually washing up or floating around dead and this is a huge signal we’re talking dozens of whales and this is very atypical for the region.” - Russell Hopcroft, Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks.

[Slide: 'Unprecedented Mass Mortality Event' ~100,000 dead Cassin's Auklets] — “Some seabird data… for Cassin’s Auklets… they eat mainly krill… what you’re seeing is a time series September through March with massive die offs over the winter compared to normal, so really big ecosystem effects.” - Julie Keister, Univ. of Washington.

WATCH: Pacific Anomalies Workshop - Session 1.

[Slide: 'What are we trying to understand? 1) Death (e.g. whale and bird die-offs… ongoing and severe!)] — “There are number of big things that have gone on, but at least to me, the whale and bird die-offs that we’ve seen at the upper trophic levels are really a big story. They’re ongoing, particularly in Alaska now, there’s a huge die-off… they’re very severe, we’re talking about hundred of thousands of birds that have died at different trophic levels.” - Scientist.

“What I want to show here, and again one of the things that we’ve talked about today is how different the system has been throughout California, Baja all the way up to Alaska… The surface chlorophyll, we have seen a major decrease… We had seen a decrease in the phytoplankton concentration starting in November of 2013. The samples that were coming in, the reports that were coming throughout California — we weren’t seeing anything. It was really striking to me that all of a sudden we have diversity, we have organisms that are in the water — we’ve seen nothing. So that was really brought to my attention.” - Melissa Carter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

WATCH: Pacific Anomalies Workshop - Session 2.

“We have a poster, actually our data is included in a couple posters… We have another looking at our three unprecedentedly huge mortality events since November of 2014.” - Kirsten Lindquist, Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association.

ALIEN FISH IN CABO? Jaime Rendon is the well known and liked local captian [sic] of the panga Dr. Pescado; he is also a great fisherman… he caught this strange creature off of Cabo today. It appears to be some kind of shark. He realized it was something special and RELEASED it him/her back into the Sea… Photos have been sent to local experts to try and find out what it is. - Pisces Sportfishing Fleet.

Photo by Jaime Rendon, via Pisces Sportfishing

Mysterious, alien-like shark caught off Cabo San Lucas — A Cabo San Lucas sportfishing captain on Tuesday reeled from the depths a mysterious alien-like fish that somewhat resembles an albino shark, or shark fetus. But the bizarre-looking fish, with a distended stomach, was said to be alive when it was caught… The photos appeared Tuesday night on the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet’s Facebook page, under the heading, “ALIEN FISH IN CABO?”… Tracy Ehrenberg, Pisces general manager, has sent the photos to biologists in Mexico, and we’ve sent out inquiries as well, hoping to obtain an identification. The shark – or shark-like fish – is somewhat reminiscent of the infamous one-eyed “Cyclops” shark caught in the Sea of Cortez in [July] 2011… the shark fetus was pulled from either a bull or dusky shark… - Pete Thomas.

Vet Urges Research into Albino Dolphins Captured in Taiji, Japan — Dr. Luca Giovagnoli [a Veterinary Medicine Surgeon] is urging further research into the impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on marine mammals, after three white dolphins were captured in close succession… Albino dolphins are exceedingly rare in the wild, yet in the last 12 months, three white dolphins have been captured… “There are not many albino animals among cetaceans,” said Dr. Luca Giovagnoli, DVM, “and they are not all concentrated in one area.”… According to NOAA Fisheries, there have only been 14 recorded sightings of albino bottlenose dolphins since 1962… “This in itself is already a rare phenomenon,” the vet explained, “but when you tie the capture of many “genetically altered” subjects together we must consider other events. One of the probable causes of these genetically altered subjects must be researched in the Fukushima nuclear disaster.” - Wire Service.

Alaska’s massive seabird die-off spreads… Federal biologists last week walked… Katmai National Park and counted 2,000 dead seabirds… “[That's only] a hint of what probably was there… every beach we looked at had dead birds” [US Fish & Wildlife Service's Robb Kaler said]… “if we had rakes we would have found a lot more,” [said retired USGS biologist Tony DeGange]… [Officials surveyed the area] in 2009 and 2012 [and] counted zero and 14 common murres… Last week [they] counted hundreds. - AP.

Seabird die-off takes twist… thousands of common murres were found dead [in an Alaskan] lakeexperts were puzzled. “We’ve talked about unprecedented things about this die off. That’s another one,” said [USGS biologist] John Piatt… “6,000, 8,000 birds in the lake is pretty mind-blowing, reallyI’ve never heard of any such a thing anywhere in the world.”… [F]ederal agencies are trying to determine if the murre deaths are connected to lack of food… or something else…”This is the thing about this die-off,” Piatt said. “We don’t even know what we don’t know.” - AP.

Thousands of Alaska birds dying mysteriously — The massive die-offcontinues to surprise federal scientists. The latest twist was the discovery of thousands of carcasses of common murres along a freshwater Alaska lake… [USGS's John Piatt said] to have more than 6,000 in a lake mind-blowing. - KTVF.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Common Murre [spends] winter at sea, making inland discoveries… that much more alarming. - KTUU.

Abnormal numbers of dead common murres, all apparently starved, began washing ashore on Alaska beaches in March 2015. After late-December storms, 8,000
were found at the Prince William Sound community of Whittier. The confirmed carcass count is now up to 36,000, but most don't wash ashore.
Also, Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the United States put together and relatively few beaches have been surveyed.

Researchers trying to find out the cause of the deaths would not have thought to look on a freshwater lake but were alerted to the Iliamna carcasses
by Randy Alvarez, a member of the Lake and Peninsula borough assembly.

Alaska scientists continue researching seabird death mysteryDie-offs have occurred before but not on this magnitude… Numbers spiked to alarming levels in early winter. The confirmed carcass count is now up to 36,000, [USGS wildlife biologist Sarah Schoen] said. That’s far higher than previous common murre die-offs and many beaches have not been surveyed… Though the murres appear to have starved, researchers wonder if something caused them to quit eating or to be less successful funding food… Some details are emerging… The sampled birds also were heavier than birds sampled in a 1993 die-off… “So it doesn’t look like just starvation is killing them,” Schoen said. “It looks like there’s something else that could be tipping them over the edge.” - AP.

It’s one of the biggest mysteries Alaska has seen for some time… Scientists say the die-off of Murres was the biggest they’ve ever seen [and] 500,000 Murres may have died… “they actually have empty stomachs, so we aren’t finding any food,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist Elizabeth Labunski. Scientists say something is keeping the birds from reaching their food source, which suggests there could be a bigger problem with the ocean itself. “I think an alarm bell should go off because these are indicator species about what’s going on in the ocean”… said Fish and Wildlife biologist Kathy Kuletz. Kuletz said the bird die-off could have implications for other species… And she doesn’t think the die-off is over. - KTVA.

[Community members] have seen more dead murres… [One] said there was a beach full of dead birds. We have seen some that looked very sick and unaware. - Naomi McMullen, Environmental Coordinator Native Village of Port Graham.

[A] resident had observed countless dead seagulls and other sea birds that were found dead. The amount she had seen was countless… birds were acting weird, sick… too weak to fly. - Arlene Shimanek & Alice Julius, Native Village of Goodnews Bay.

 (Alaska), Aug 17, 2015: Dead Birds (Murres)… We want to be kept appraised of these impacts whether it is an algae bloom/PSP related event or potentially related to the Fukushima Power plant (earth quake) disaster? - Nancy Yeaton, Nanwalek IRA Council.

Watch all the presentations here

Broadcasts: KTVA | NPR

Compiled by ENE News.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "Never Seen Anything Like This, Ever" - Bright Green Meteor Fireball Seen By Dozens Across New Zealand!

File photo.
April 5, 2016 - NEW ZEALAND - A meteor lighting up the sky above New Zealand has been seen by star gazers from across the country.On Tuesday night Weatherwatch.co.nz reported it had received dozens of reports of a meteor in the hour from 9pm.

Those who'd sent in reports described the meteor as being green with a white tail and said it appeared to be close to the Earth.They said it was spotted just after 9pm, and was travelling from east to west.Sightings came from Titahi Bay in Wellington - a resident in Pikarere StrD said it was "big, bright, turquoise coloured".

Sarah from Whanganui wrote that she had seen what looked like a bright green, large meteor. "Never seen anything like this, ever." A Manawatu resident said: "It was gorgeous. I've seen shooting stars before high up in the sky, but this was a granddaddy one."

In Mt Roskill, Auckland, it was mistaken for fireworks. "But this thing was no fireworks, the green cluster of light, was the size of a basket ball, heading horizontally on a downward slope across the sky." - Dominion Post.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: Intense Columnar Vortex - Waterspout Capsizes Boat In Beijing, China!

A powerful waterspout led to one of the boats being blown ferociously and turned upside down

April 5, 2016 - BEIJING, CHINA - Dramatic mobile phone footage from China has shown the moment a small tourist boat capsized after being swept up by a powerful waterspout.

The boat was among dozens on the lake surface as event goers observed the two-day Qingming Festival, which is also known as Tomb Sweeping Festival.

Video footage taken from a one of the small boats shows the surface of the lake at Beijing's Beihai Park filled with several of the four-seater vessels.

The woman filming the incident can be heard saying 'that's beautiful' as she captured a small weather phenomenon - which local reports suggested was a small waterspout - manifested itself in the form of miniature tornado-like winds on the lake's surface.

WATCH: Shocking moment tourist boat hit by a waterspout.

The awe soon turns into shock and panic, however, after the swirling winds pick up the tiny motorboat and cause it to capsize, tossing the passengers into the lake in the process.

In the video, the boat can be seen left sinking on its side as the same strong winds rush towards the person recording, causing more screams.

The emotions of the witnesses are summed up by two women on the boat, one of whom yells 'someone save them', while the other screams 'let's get the hell out of here.'

Fortunately, no-one was injured during the incident, reports said.

Park officials said that more than one million visitors were expected during the short two-day national holiday. - Daily Mail.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - JP Morgan Chase ATMs To Limit Withdrawals For Noncustomers To $1,000 A Day; Was There A Run On The Bank?!

J.P. Morgan Chase capped ATM withdrawals at $1,000 per card daily for noncustomers after some started pulling out tens of thousands of dollars at a time.
Associated Press

April 5, 2016 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - Under the auspices of "protecting clients from criminal activity," JPMorgan Chase has decided to impose withdrawal limits on certain ATM transactions. As WSJ reports, following the bank's ATM modification to enable $100-bills to be dispensed with no limit, some customers started pulling out tens of thousands of dollars at a time. This apparent bank run has prompted Jamie Dimon to cap ATM withdrawals at $1,000 per card daily for non-customers.
Most large U.S. banks, including Chase, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. have been rolling out new ATMs, sometimes known as eATMs, which perform more services akin to tellers. That includes allowing customers to withdraw different dollar denominations than the usual $20, typically ranging from $1 to $100.

The efforts run counter to recent calls to phase out large bills such as the $100 bill or the €500 note ($569) to discourage corruption while putting up hurdles for tax evaders, terrorists, drug dealers and human traffickers.

The Wall Street Journal reported in February that the European Central Bank was considering eliminating its highest paper currency denomination, the €500 note.

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers also has called for an agreement by monetary authorities to stop issuing notes worth more than $50 or $100.
This move appears to have backfired and created a 'run' of sorts on Chase...
A funny thing happened as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. modified its ATMs to dispense hundred-dollar bills with no limit: Some customers started pulling out tens of thousands of dollars at a time.

While it was changing to newer ATM technology, J.P. Morgan found that some customers of banks in countries such as Russia and Ukraine had used Chase ATMs to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars in a single day, people familiar with the situation said.

Chase had instances of people withdrawing $20,000 in one transaction, they added.
Remember Greece?

And, in what appears to the start of a war on cash in America, The Wall Street Journal reports,  the bank is cracking down, capping ATM withdrawals at $1,000 per card daily for noncustomers.
The bank run by Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said there doesn’t appear to be fraud involved. But in part due to heightened regulatory scrutiny, banks are paying more attention to large cash transfers that could be a sign of money laundering or other types of shady activity.

The move by the largest bank in the country doesn’t affect J.P. Morgan Chase’s own customers, whose maximum daily withdrawals are set depending on the client’s account type.

J.P. Morgan Chase’s change last month affects roughly 18,000 automated teller machines nationwide and followed an interim step earlier this year limiting noncustomer cash removals at $1,000 per transaction. The earlier move was made as a temporary fix while the bank could make software changes to roll out the more stringent daily limit, said bank spokeswoman Patricia Wexler.
However, as we noted last night,
What the story is about is the nebulous world of offshore tax evasion and tax havens, which based on data from the World Bank, IMF, UN, and central banks, hide between $21 and $32 trillion, where registered incorporation agents and law firms in small Caribbean countries (and not so small US states) make the laundering of money and the "disappearance" of the super wealthy, into untracable numbers hidden behind shell companies, possible.
So, there is more than the total US GDP being laundered in offshore tax havens, but yes, let's eliminate the $100 bill to cut down on corruption and money laundering.

Of course, we are sure this is just another 'storm in a teacup' as why should anyone question a fine upstanding and trustworthy bank withholding people's money when they are assuredly tax evaders, terrorists, drug dealers and human traffickers.

- Zero Hedge.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Extreme Weather Anomalies And The Global Food Crisis - February 2016 Was The MOST ABNORMALLY WARM MONTH ON RECORD; Earth's Surface Was 34.18 Degrees Fahrenheit ABOVE The 20th Century Average!

April 5, 2016 - EARTH - Things seem to be warming up on planet Earth. Last month, global temperatures were the most abnormally warm on record for any month, according to both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their global State of the Climate report. It claims that the Earth’s surface was about 34.18 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.21 degrees Celsius, above the 20th century average in February.

“This not only was the highest for February in the 1880-2016 record – surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.33 degrees Celsius / 0.59 degrees Fahrenheit – but it surpassed the all-time monthly record set just two months ago in December 2015 by 0.09 degrees Celsius (0.16 degrees Fahrenheit),” the NOAA report read.

Even more alarming, the study also found that the six highest monthly temperatures on record have all occurred in the past six months. In the US, for example, Alaska reported its warmest February in its 92-year period of record. Alaska’s February was 12.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or 6.9 degrees Celsius, higher than the 20th century average. According to NASA, nine out of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000.

While temperatures steadily increase, sea ice is steadily decreasing. NASA reported that arctic sea ice was at a satellite-record low for the second month in a row. Typically, arctic sea ice grows during the winter months and reaches its maximum extent for the year by late March.

From 1981 to 2010, the average arctic sea ice growth in February was measured to be 5.94 million square miles (15.4 million square kilometers). However, the ice growth for February 2016 averaged to be 5.48 million square millions (14.22 million square kilometers), “and is 200,000 square kilometers (77,000 square miles) below the previous record low for the month recorded in 2005.”

Some are blaming the heat on the weather pattern known as El Niño. El Niño brings warmer ocean temperatures to the Pacific Ocean which then circulates to warm the planet. But El Niño cannot take the blame for the increase in temperature, since it primarily affects tropical and mid-latitude regions, while even far northern latitudes were experiencing their warmest temperatures, according to CNN.

Scientists believe that much of the increases in temperature can be blamed on man-made issues. Imperial College London climate scientist Heather Graven told CNN, "We know that atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases are continuing to increase, so that's contributing to climate change and the rising temperatures overall." - RT.

WAR DRUMS: Tensions Escalating On The Korean Peninsula - North Korea "Ultimatum" Video Shows Rocket Attacks Destroying South!

© 24/7 Live / YouTube

April 5, 2016 - NORTH KOREA - North Korea has released an “ultimatum” propaganda video which simulates a multiple-rocket strike on South Korea's presidential Blue House and other government buildings.

The footage, titled ‘Unless South Korea complies with our ultimatum,' seems to mainly use older footage of the North Korean Army riding around on tanks amid bursts of gunfire, South Korean Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday.

However, in a computer-generated scene, the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae) – where the South Korean president lives – is shown being hit by several missiles. The building explodes into pieces.

WATCH: North Korea "Ultimatum" video of missile attack on Seoul.

The video, released by the official DPRK Today website on Monday, ends with the warning: “Everything will turn into ashes.”

Tensions between Pyongyang and Seoul have been rising since the North conducted its fourth nuclear test in January.

Over the past month, Pyongyang has issued a number of threats against Seoul and Washington, largely in response to annual South Korea-US war games which kicked off in March. The joint exercises have been larger than usual and included a special operation to “decapitate” the North's leadership in the case of a full-scale conflict.

The North took the operation as a direct threat to leader Kim Jong-un, and the Korean People's Army (KPA) issued an “ultimatum” demanding that South Korean President Park Geun-Hye apologize and punish those who developed the strategy.

The video came just 10 days after Pyongyang launched separate footage depicting a nuclear attack on Washington. - RT.

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, Widespread Flooding, And Catastrophic Storms - At Least 63 Killed And Over 30 Injured As Incessant Rains Cause Havoc In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; 3,500 Evacuated Following Widespread Flooding In Fiji; And 28 People Killed In Floods In Remote Regions Of Ethiopia! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Homes in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province faced extensive damage in the wake of the flash floods [Arshad Arbab/EPA]

April 5, 2016 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

At least 63 killed and over 30 injured as incessant rains cause havoc in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan

At least 63 people have been killed and 34 injured after flash floods ravaged parts of northwest Pakistan, including the Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Homes in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province faced extensive damage after rain started on Saturday causing flash floods.

"There are 30 people stranded by a landslide in the Kohistan Valley where we have sent a helicopter to rescue them," Khyber Pakhtunkhwa disaster management official Yousuf Zia, told Reuters news agency.

One of the worst-affected districts was the Swat Valley, northwest of the capital, Islamabad, where 121 mm of rain fell on Sunday, the Meteorological Department said.

Landslides caused widespread damage to roads and communication infrastructure in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir as well.

The heavy rain are now expected to move northeast, towards northern India, although more isolated storms were expected in northern Pakistan, the Meteorological Department said.

"All roads leading to villages and other areas have been blocked... There is no movement at all," Khalid Khan, a courier company owner in Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told AFP, adding that local hospitals lack the facilities to deal with the injured.

During the rainy season last summer, torrential downpours and flooding killed 81 people and affected almost 300,000 across the country and in Kashmir. - Al Jazeera.

28 people killed in floods in remote regions of Ethiopia

The state broadcaster in Ethiopia says 28 people have been killed in severe flooding in two remote regions.

The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported Monday that 23 people were killed and 84 more people were injured when a river that crosses Jigjiga, the regional capital of the Somali region, burst its banks on Sunday.

It said intense rains in another drought-stricken region, Afar, led to floods in which five people were killed.

Ethiopian meteorology officials said thick clouds around the Indian Ocean could lead to more flooding in the coming days and the government is taking precautionary measures to assist people in the two affected regions. - VOA.

3,500 evacuated following widespread flooding in Fiji

One person is reported dead and another missing in the widespread flooding which has hit Fiji over the past two days.

The body of a 70-year-old man was found floating in the Sabeto River this morning, FBC News reported.

The broadcaster said the man was believed to have gone for an early morning swim.

Residents of Korociri cross the flooded Nadi Back Road © Fiji Government

Flooding in Rakiraki, Fiji.
© RNZI Sally Round

A 19-year-old girl, meanwhile, has been reported missing after she was washed away by strong river currents last night.

More than 3500 people have moved to 79 evacuation centres in the north and west of the main island Viti Levu, as two tropical depressions continue to affect the country.

Authorities are warning people not to travel because of the risk of more heavy rain and flooding.

The town of Nadi has been under metres of floodwaters, and people throughout Fiji are bracing for more over the next 24 hours.

Parts of the country were already in a state of natural disaster after the country received a direct hit from Cyclone Winston six weeks ago. More heavy rainfall possible overnight.

WATCH: Floods in Fiji.

Forecasters at the Fiji Met Office said Tropical Depression 16F, currently northwest of Vanuatu, could develop into a tropical cyclone overnight and move in an easterly direction towards Fiji.

Fiji had already been affected by another tropical disturbance, 14F, which was currently over the country.

Forecasters said the new weather system could bring further heavy rainfall and strong winds overnight. - Radio NZ.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano Spectacularly Erupts - Lights Up The Night Sky; Spewing Lava; Smoke And Ash Rising To Over 6,500 Feet! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

© webcamsdemexico / YouTube

April 5, 2016 - MEXICO - A video has emerged of the spectacular eruption of Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano, Sunday, showcasing the explosion as it lit up the night sky, throwing lava and ash high into the air.

The Popocatepetl volcano, located in central Mexico, erupted at 20:31 p.m. local time, with smoke and ash rising to a height of 2,000 meters (6,562ft), according to Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center.

A large dome of lava, formed in January, was destroyed during the recent explosions, leaving a new inner crater in its place.Rocks were also swept into the sky to an altitude of 3,500 meters (11,483ft).

Popocatepetl, also known as “Don Goyo”, located about 80km (50 miles) southeast of Mexico City, is one of the country's most-active volcanoes, erupting 15 times since records began.

WATCH: Extraordinary eruption of the Popocatepetl volcano.

Situated in the eastern half of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt, the volcano is the second highest peak in Mexico, standing at more than 5,181 meters (17,000ft). - RT.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Massive Sinkhole Opens Up In Hanoi, Vietnam - Swallows House, Gardens And Courtyards! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

April 5, 2016 - VIETNAM - Hundreds of people living in Hoa Lac village (Tien commune, My Duc District, Hanoi) rushed out of their homes after hearing a terrifying noise outside.There they discovered a monster gap of 10 meters in diameter and 7 meters deepth that swallowed the main road. The Death Pit!

The giant sinkhole opened up at around 8:30 am. It swallowed a house and injureda few residents. No one died in this terrifying event. Initially the sinkhole was only 1 meter in diameter. Now, it has swallowed parts of a house and could expand more, thus panicking residents living around.

Five households have been affected by this natural disaster. Gardens, courtyards, auxiliary buildings (bathroom, toilet) and a house have been swallowed. Other buildings have cracks in the walls.

In 2016 and 2010, similar events occurred just 100 meters away. Moreover, some gigantic holes also formed in the fields around the village.

WATCH: Massive sinkhole in Hanoi.

The soil is most probably over-saturated with water. A stream was flowing through the village a few years ago and may have eroded the ground. - Strange Sounds.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFFS: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Dead Whale Found On Ghana Shore And Whale Found Dead Off Central Vietnam?!

Dead whale washed ashore in Ghana.

April 5, 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.

Dead whale found on Ghana shore

A dead whale has been washed ashore on the Dansoman Beach in the Greater Accra Region in the early hours of Sunday 27 March 2016.

The cause of the whale's death is not yet known but residents are speculating the marine mammal may have died from a dynamite explosion. The sea waves swept the carcass ashore around 3am.

Class FM's Ridwan Karim Dini Osman was at the scene and reported that scores of residents have gathered to catch a glimpse of the sea creature.

Some of the residents said a similar incident happened in 2013.

They also indicated that they were waiting for the traditional authorities in the area to perform certain rituals before the huge carcass is buried.

It is estimated that over 20 dead whales have been washed ashore Ghana's coast since 2009, predominantly in the Greater Accra, Central and Western regions. - Ghana Web.

Whale found dead off central Vietnam

The floating body of the whale that was found dead on Phu Quy Island in Binh Thuan Province on April 4, 2016. © Tho Chau

Fishers in the central province of Binh Thuan on Monday found a dead giant whale and towed the carcass ashore for funeral rituals.

A fishing boat with 18 crewmen spotted the floating body of the whale near Phu Quy Island at 11 a.m. on Monday.

They then called other boats to the site to help tow the whale ashore.

The animal, considered sacred by Vietnamese fisherfolk, was finally brought to a beach at 4 a.m. on Tuesday. The whale was estimated to be 10 tons in weight.

Local authorities said it was the largest dead whale ever found in Phu Quy District. They said the animal will be buried under traditional rituals.

All along the Vietnamese coast, whales are revered as harbingers of good luck at sea.

Temples and festivals worshipping the creatures can be found everywhere. - Thanh Nien News.