Tuesday, September 27, 2011

THE DELUGE: Typhoon Causes Massive Flooding in the Philippines!

Massive flooding hit the Philippine capital on Tuesday as Typhoon Nesat's winds and rains isolated the historic old city where residents waded in waist-deep waters, dodging tree branches and debris. At least seven people were killed.

Authorities ordered more than 100,000 people across the country to shelter from Typhoon Nesat's rains and wind gusts of up to 106 miles (170 kilometers) per hour. Schools and offices were shuttered, and thousands were stranded by grounded flights and ferries kept in ports. The typhoon made landfall before dawn over eastern mountainous provinces of Isabela and Aurora, which face the Pacific Ocean, then headed inland through farmlands north of Manila, the government weather bureau said. It was packing sustained winds of 87 mph (140 kph). The first reported death was a 1 year old who drowned in the central island province of Cataduanes after falling into a river, the government disaster agency reported. As the typhoon moved into Manila, a mother and child were killed after their house was hit by a falling tree in the suburb of Caloocan, and four were reported killed by a collapsing wall in the suburb of Valenzuela. Four fishermen were missing while more than 50 others were rescued along eastern shores after their boats overturned in choppy seas. Forecasters warned of 12-foot-high (4-meter-high) waves.

Along downtown Manila's baywalk, cars and buses were stuck and residents waded through floodwaters as waves as high as palm trees washed over the seawall, turning a six-lane highway into a huge brown river. Sidewalks and entrances to buildings were swamped and vehicles struggled to navigate the narrow streets. Manila Hospital moved patients from its ground floor, where waters were neck-deep, spokeswoman Evangeline Morales said. Hospital generators were flooded and the building had no power since early Tuesday. Visibility in the city was poor, with pounding rains obscuring the view. Emergency workers were evacuating river areas in the city that are notorious for flooding. An Associated Press photographer said soldiers and police in trucks were moving thousands of residents, mostly women and children, from the Baseco shanty facing Manila port after many houses were washed away. Male family members were reluctant to leave saying they wanted to guard their property.

Residents in one neighborhood of Quezon City, a Manila suburb, were fleeing their homes due to rising water from the nearby San Mateo River, radio reported. In the financial district of Makati, a billboard fell on two cars and a bus, causing injuries. With its immense 400-mile (650-kilometer) cloud band, the typhoon threatened to foul weather across the entire main island of Luzon as it moves across the Philippines toward the South China Sea late Wednesday or early Thursday toward southern China. Heavy downpours and winds prompted the closure of government offices, schools and universities in the capital, while scores of domestic flights were canceled and inter-island ferries grounded, stranding thousands. The Philippine Stock Exchange and U.S. Embassy were also closed Tuesday. Waters at the gates of the embassy compound, which is located along Manila Bay, reached chest-deep. A tornado in Isabela's Maconancon town ripped off the roofs of at least five houses, injuring two people, police said. Power was cut in many parts of Luzon, including in Manila, where hospitals, hotels and emergency services used generators. Tree branches and torn tarpaulins littered the flooded streets. Traffic was light as most people stayed indoors.

bout 112,000 people were ordered to leave their homes in five towns prone to flash floods and landslides in central Albay province. By Monday, more than 50,000 had moved to government-run evacuation centers and relatives' homes, officials said. "We can't manage typhoons, but we can manage their effects," Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said. Authorities were monitoring farming communities at the base of Mayon volcano in Albay, about 212 miles (340 kilometers) southeast of Manila. Tons of ash have been deposited on Mayon's slopes by past eruptions, and mudslides caused by a typhoon in 2006 buried entire villages, leaving about 1,600 people dead and missing. The typhoon bore down on the Philippines exactly two years after nearly 500 people died in the worst flooding in decades in Manila, a city of 12 million, when a tropical storm hit. Residents commemorated the anniversary by offering prayers and planting trees Monday. Nesat is the 16th cyclone to lash the Philippines this year. The geography of the archipelago makes it a welcome mat for about 20 storms and typhoons forming in the Pacific each year. - Hufffington Post.

: Typhoon lashes eastern Philippines.

WATCH: Tracking Nesat's path.

THE GREAT DELUGE: India Floods Worsens - Over 2 Million Affected!

More than two million people have been affected by floods in India as torrential rains lash Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states.

Heavy monsoon rains have been battering parts of India for the past fortnight. More than 80 people have died in flood-related incidents, and some areas have been cut off by rising waters. Heavy rains in Uttar Pradesh (UP) have killed more than 30 people across the state. A flood alert has been issued in eight districts in Bihar. In Orissa, the worst affected state, vast parts of 10 districts have been inundated by flood waters, officials say. Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra said 55 people had died - some drowned, while others died from snakebites and in wall collapses. More than 10 people who had gone missing after the boat in which they were travelling overturned in the Brahmani river in Dhenkanal district were rescued on Monday, officials say.

Some areas have been cut off because of breaches to river banks and embankments. Helicopters are the only way to bring food and water to people stranded there. Officials said that more than 130,000 in Orissa alone have been evacuated to safety as the relief and rescue operation moves into full swing. Hundreds of thousands of people in the state are reported to be taking refuge in trees or on the tops of buildings as flood waters continue to rise. In UP officials say that most people were killed in wall and house collapses on Sunday caused by the incessant rain in the eastern districts of Varanasi, Jaunpur and Mirzapur. Relief Commissioner KK Sinha said that most died in their sleep when the roofs of their mud houses collapsed. Officials say that the water levels of two major rivers in UP - the Ganges and Gomti - are on the rise. Other rivers are full, but below the danger mark. In neighbouring Bihar state, authorities have sounded a flood alert in eight districts, including the capital, Patna, after heavy rains led to a rise in the water levels on Ganges and Sone rivers. Rivers are flooding their banks after a large amount of water was released from the Indrapuri barrage - the highest, say officials, since 1975. At least 70 people who were marooned in the floods have been rescued from the Sasaram district, officials said. - BBC.
WATCH: Millions hit by floods in India's east and north.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Swarm Developing in Alaska!

Click on image for a larger view.
There seems to be a seismic swarm developing in the Alaska, as the region has recorded 9 earthquakes in the past two days, according to the U.S. Geological Survery (USGS) with Global Incident Map registering 49 for the same time.

The majority of these tremors have been focused in the Aleutian Islands area, where a magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck this morning at Rat Islands at a depth of 34.8 km (21.6 miles) The quake hit at 06:46:17 UTC Tuesday 27th September 2011 and was located at 50.176°N, 178.707°E. The epicentre was 196 km (121 miles) southwest of Amatignak Island, Alaska; 197 km (122 miles) south of Little Sitkin Island, Alaska; 3073 km (1909 miles) west of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada; and 3511 km (2181 miles) northeast of Tokyo, Japan.

 No tsunami warning was issued and there are no reports of any damage at this time.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Mysterious Explosion - Fireball from the Sky Strikes Buenos Aires, Argentina, Causes Major Damage, like a Massive Bomb!

The incident occurred in a neighborhood in the Buenos Aires district, when a mysterious explosion caused damage up to two blocks away. The origin of the explosion could not be determined.

The explosion occurred around 2 and resulted in the Death of One woman with an additional Six being injured. The victim was 40 year old Silvia Infante Espinosa according to local reports. The explosion which destroyed 2 houses and 15 cars is being investigated, Silvia was trapped under the rubble and did not survive, the additional 6 injured were taken to hospital for treatment. According to eyewitness reports, the explosion was caused by an item that fell from the sky, the explosion happened on impact of this mysterious item. "I saw something fall from the sky light," said one woman when asked. "It's a great question," shot another neighbor. Later, a young man said: "It was like a bomb."

Meanwhile, the owner of one of the affected houses he is dismayed by the TV cameras stationed at the site. "I do not know what happened. Just know that there was an explosion," simply noted. Two blocks from the explosion, piles of rubble, wood, glass, twisted sheets of what were cars or roofs of houses. Two houses collapsed whole and there is mountains of material. This is a quiet neighborhood, all the neighbors are baffled by what's happened, it will take hundreds of workers to remove the debris. Estigation is still ongoing as fire crews and police science are present. Also present is the Minister of Justice and Security, Ricardo Casal, the Buenos Aires police chief Juan Carlos Paggi and the Peruvian Consul in Argentina Hugo Pereira. So far, we do not know the cause "I do not want to assume anything. Let's wait for the forensic skills," said the chief of the volunteer fire department of Esteban Echeverría, Guillermo Perez
. - Lanacion. (Translated)
WATCH: Fireball in the sky over Buenos Aires.

EARTH CHANGES: West Coast Storm Batters British Columbia!

Another wind storm hit the West Coast of British Columbia on Monday forcing the cancellation of several ferry routes, knocking out power to thousands and closing some highways with flooding.

Environment Canada's 10:40 a.m. forecast was calling for southeast winds of 90 to 120 km/hr over the North Coast and 60 to 80 km/hr over the southern coast to persist into the afternoon. The storm is also dumping heavy rain on the coast, particularly in the Howe Sound area which is expected to get soaked with 90 mm of rain by Tuesday morning, and the Central Coast region which will get up to 80 mm by Tuesday morning. By 1:30 p.m. PT nearly 18,000 BC Hydro customers on Vancouver Island and about 12,000 customers around the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast were without power as high winds swept through the region. About 4,000 customers in the south and central Interior also were without power on Monday afternoon. BC Ferries cancelled several sailings up and down the coast including the main route between Victoria and Vancouver on Monday morning.

Ferries spokesman Deborah Marshall said a noon ferry from Swartz Bay was able to leave just a little late, and she expected the 2 p.m. sailing to leave Tswawassen on time. "Down here in the Victoria area [the winds] have dropped a bit enough for us to sail the Coastal Celebration. The problem with the Tsawassen-Swartz Bay route is docking a Spirit Class vessel in Tsawassen in high winds can be extremely challenging. But the Coastal Celebration is a double-ended vessel and has more manoeuvrability," said Marshall. Sailings have also been cancelled or delayed from Quadra to Cortes Island, Comox to Powell River, Powell River to Texada Island, Denman to Hornby Island, as well as between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert and Alliford and Skidegate. Flooding was also affecting travel on Highway 19 on northern Vancouver Island, and on highways 37 and 37A in northern B.C. Monday's weather warning follows a weekend of heavy weather that left many West Coast residents in the dark.  Crews have managed to restore power to thousands of Fraser Valley residents overnight after heavy winds knocked out power on Sunday. But about 500 customers in the Thompson/Shuswap region remained in the dark early Monday morning. Monday morning's commute was a wet affair for West Coast residents. At the height of Sunday's windstorm, about 10,000 customers were without power in Surrey, Langley, Mission, Abbotsford and Chilliwack, according to B.C. Hydro spokesman Greg Alexis.
- CBC.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Inside Video of the Washington Monument During 5.8 Magnitude Quake that Struck US East Coast on Aug. 23!

After declaring the Washington Monument structurally sound on Monday afternoon, the National Park Service released the following video footage from inside the monument during the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the region August 23. In one of the three grainy security camera videos, large pieces of debris can be seen falling as visitors rush down a narrow staircase. According to official reports, the monument is currently closed as it undergoes repairs, as the obelisk will also require winterization to prevent further damage as colder weather approaches. There's no timetable for reopening the popular tourist landmark at this time.

WATCH: Inside the Washington Monument.

GLOBAL ALERT: Solar Watch - Geomagnetic Storm Warning!

As the Behemoth Sunspot 1302 continues to threaten the Earth with X-Class solar flares, Space Weather has just issued a severe warning for the planet.

GEOMAGNETIC STORM WARNING: A pair of closely-spaced CMEs propelled by explosions of sunspot AR1302 on Sept. 24th are heading not-quite directly toward Earth. A significant glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field is possible on Sept. 26th around 14:00 UT (+/- 7 hours). NOAA forecasters estimate a ~25% chance of geomagnetic storms when the clouds arrive. STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY: Having already unleashed two X-flares since Sept. 22nd, sunspot AR1302 appears ready for more. The active region has a complex "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for strong M- and X-class eruptions. Flares from AR1302 will become increasingly geoeffective as the sunspot turns toward Earth in the days ahead. SOLAR STATIC: Active sunspot 1302 has turned the sun into a shortwave radio transmitter. Shock waves rippling from the sunspot's exploding magnetic canopy are exciting plasma oscillations in the sun's atmosphere. The result: Bursts of static are issuing from the loudspeakers of shortwave radios on Earth. Amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded this sample from his backyard observatory in New Mexico on Sept. 24th. "Saturday was a super-strong solar day with near continuous flaring and radio sweeps," says Ashcraft. "The sound file (above) corresponds to an M3 flare at 1918 UTC. It was the strongest radio sweep of the observing day. Try listening to the radio bursts in stereo," he advises. "I was recording on two separate radios at 21.1 MHz and 21.9 MHz, and I put each one into its own channel of the audio file. This gives a spatial dimension as the bursts sweep down in frequency."
Download or Listen HERE (MP3).

WATCH: Solar Activity Update.

If you look at the following diagram from Solar Ham, you can see the dramatic increase in M-Class and X-Class flares for each month. In September, there was 20 M-Class flares and 4 X-Class flares. A stunning increase from January, earlier this year, where there was only 1 M-Class and no X-Class.

A constant bombardment of X-Rays and Gamma-Rays. We are already seeing the effects of this on the magnetosphere, which is showing a high level of fluctuation, eventually having a ripple effect on the worldwide electrical and communication grid, causing power blackouts and outages.

With additional sunspots coming around to face the Earth in the next few days with possible X-Class flares, then the magnetosphere and the global grid could be under severe pressure to ultimately collapse.

UPDATE: Subsiding Geomagnetic Storms.

According to the latest report from Space Weather, the "strong-to-severe" geomagnetic storm that hit the Earth yesterday, following the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME) is now subsiding.

SUBSIDING STORM: A severe geomagnetic storm (Kp=7-8) that began yesterday when a CME hit Earth's magnetic field is subsiding. At the peak of the disturbance, auroras were sighted around both poles and in more than five US states including Michigan, New York, South Dakota, Maine, and Minnesota. The sunspot has quieted down since unleashing dual X-flares on Sept. 22nd and 24th. Nevertheless, NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours. Any such eruptions would be Earth-directed as the sunspot crosses the center of the solar disk.
Yesterday, the Goddard Space Weather Lab reported that a “strong compression of Earth’s magnetosphere. Simulations indicate that solar wind plasma had penetrated close to geosynchronous orbit starting at 13:00UT.” The storm was so strong that the K-Index reached a level of 8 and the solar wind speed doubled with a proton density count that spiked near 10 protons/cm3.

Stay tuned. More anon.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Mass Die-Off, Invasions & Attacks on Humans?!

Here are several episodes across the globe of mass die-off of animals, as well as attacks on humans and invasion into certain areas.

Dolphins vanishing from the Cornish coast.
They were once a common sight along the Cornish coast, where their acrobatic feats have delighted visitors for decades. But the county’s bottlenose dolphins could soon be no more than a memory, experts have warned. Their numbers have plummeted from around 20 in 1991 to just six today, as they fall victim to fishing nets and pollution. According to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, 20 years ago the playful creatures accounted for 67 per cent of all marine animal sightings, but by 2008 that figure had fallen to 27 per cent. Ruth Williams, the Trust’s marine conservation manager, said: ‘The group size is now extremely low and we are concerned for their future. Although young dolphins are seen each year, the reported group size does not seem to be growing. - Daily Mail.
A petrifying moment a woman was chased by a rutting stag before being knocked to the ground in a London park.

She was left uninjured but ‘badly shaken’ from the attack, which occurred while she was watching three stags compete with each other during a mating ritual. And the extraordinary scenes were captured by photographer Robert Piper, who had also descended to Bushy Park, Richmond, to watch the display last Friday. A number of people had gathered to watch as the stags competed, as part of the breeding season which typically runs from the end of September to late October. But as a couple edged nearer to get a closer look, one stag turned its attention from its rivals and charged directly at the woman, knocking her to the ground. - Daily Mail.
The Humboldt Squid continues to invade the beaches of Northern Baja and Southern California.

WATCH: Invasion of the Humboldt Squid.

Authorities in a state in Brazil's northeast are scrambling to take the fright and the bite off the beach after piranhas sunk their teeth into about 100 beachgoers.
The problem - rather fearsome given piranhas' horror-movie teeth and ability to sink them into human flesh -- has been the biggest at the main beach area in Piaui state; authorities said they need to act fast to reduce a piranha overpopulation situation. Last weekend, at least 100 bathers were treated at the hospital in Jose de Freitas not far from Terezina, Piaui's capital, after being bitten on the heels or toes at the local beach. "Since they have no predators, piranhas have started attacking people on the beach," said Romildo Mafra, a local environment official. Environmental officials so far have added tilapia to the piranhas' local food chain hoping to quell some of the predators' hunger. - AFP.
The largest seizure of sharks ever confiscated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens was recently unloaded at South Padre Island after wardens pulled in approximately three miles of illegal gill net just offshore from South Padre Island.
It will take several hours to dispose of the net and rotting sharks. TPWD Sgt. James Dunks spoke to the Nature Report about the incident. "This is by far the most sharks I have ever gotten in one load. Myself and my deck hand have been working on this boat for 15 years and have never seen this many sharks in one net," Sgt. Dunks said. - Valley Central.
WATCH: Massive Shark kill.

A large number of fish in dams and private farms established in and around Rawalpindi district in Pakistan have died and others are continuously dying because of development of red algae, which has formed a thin filament on the surface of water.
“The fish die due to suspension of oxygen from surrounding environment to water. If the fish farmers do not remove red algae from the surface of water, all kinds of fish in dams and private farms could die,” District Officer (Fisheries) Muhammad Asif Shah told this scribe. This scribe visited different dams and fish farms including Sandy Mar Dam, Philina Dam, Khalid Bhatti Mini Dam etc where staffers informed that a large number of fish were continuously dying due to formation of thin filament on the surface of water. The lower staff was busy in removing dead fish from the water. - The News.
Toxic chemical said to be used in treatment of wood has been discharged into the Butuah Lagoon, near New Takoradi in Ghana, by an unknown timber company, resulting in the death of more than 40,000 fishes in the lagoon.
Some residents of New Takoradi, a community near the lagoon, who ate the dead fish suffered runny stomach and dehydration and had to be rushed to hospital for attention. The Butuah Lagoon is a protected area for fishing and breeding of marine species. A large tract of wetland near the lagoon which serves as a buffer zone against flood has been heavily polluted. The environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched investigation into the disposal of the toxic chemical into the lagoon to find out who was responsible. The assembly member for New Takoradi, Mr. E. Adoko and chief fisherman of New Takoradi, Nana Kow Ackon, said when residents got to know of the incident, they contacted various in industries located within the area but each of them denied discharging waste into the lagoon. - Peace FM Online.
State wildlife officials say a pneumonia outbreak has killed several bighorn sheep in the Skalkaho area in western Montana.
Officials tell the Missoulian that two dead sheep recently died from severe cases of pneumonia, and that a third sheep had been dead too long to identify the cause. Veterinarian Brent Rice of Hamilton says smoky conditions in the area from forest fires might have stressed the bighorns and made them more susceptible. Officials say that if the outbreak spreads it would be the seventh major die-off of bighorns in western Montana since 2009. - Helenair.