Friday, December 7, 2012

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Explosion Near Eagle, Alaska Leads to Mysterious Geological Slump - Significant Slumping as Deep as 200 Feet?!

December 07, 2012 - ALASKA - Residents in the Yukon River community of Eagle are excited about a mysterious geologic event that is emitting fire, steam and a sulfur smell. Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve lead Interpretative Ranger Pat Sanders says it all started on Sept. 27.

Photo by Linda Stromquist, NPS.
“An explosion was heard, in Eagle, which is rare so of course we were interested,” Sanders said.  Sanders says on Oct. 10 a fire was spotted about 2 miles up the Tatonduk River, known locally as Sheep Creek. She says the fire spread to about 15 acres.  “And on the 15th of October we had snow and the fire was still going although it appeared to be emitting steam and there was a sulfur smell,” Sanders said.  No one has been on the ground there yet, but overflight photographs reveal a slumping area that is steaming and looks a lot like a mini volcano crater.  Sanders says the area is about 25 miles Northeast of Eagle and it’s located on Doyon land. She says both NPS and USGS geologists suspect it is a shale oil rock deposit. Sanders says the area has two slumping craters that cover about a five acre area. 

“It’s been really interesting to watch because it’s still steaming and still burning but if it is indeed oil shale as USGS suspects, oil shale and sulfur, it could be as deep as a thousand feet which means it could have been burning for some time from a lightning strike years ago and it’s been burning underground and finally burned enough to cause a slump or a crater like depression in the earth so until we actually get boots on the ground and we don’t know when that’s going to happen, we’re not going to know,” Sanders said.  Sanders says it’s difficult to tell from the hazy aerial pictures, but the craters appear to be as deep as 150 to 200 feet and she says there has been significant slumping since it was first observed. She says the Hard Luck Creek fault is in the area and is an active fault. USGS geologist Marti Miller says it’s more likely to be burning oil shale not a burning coal seam.  “But we’re fairly confident that it’s not a hot spring or some other type of volcanic related incident,” Miller said.  Which will be disappointing news to Pat Sanders in Eagle.  “Of course everyone in Eagle is hoping it’s going to be a thermal event and we’ll end up with a hot springs but maybe that’s just because it was 45 below last week,” Sanders said.  NPS geologist Linda Stromquist says, although they would like to examine the site sooner, at this point in the year it is probably prudent to wait until better weather and daylight conditions improve, toward spring. - Alaska Public.

MASS UFO SIGHTINGS: The Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Across America?!

December 07, 2012 - WORLDWIDE UFOs - Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the United States.

Wisconsin - 27th of November, 2012.

Las Cruces, New Mexico - 28th of November, 2012.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  - 29th of November, 2012.

Brooklyn, New York - 3rd of December, 2012.

Grand Blanc, Michigan - 4th of December, 2012.

Longview, Texas - 4th of December, 2012.

Los Angeles, California - 5th of December, 2012.

Wisconsin - 5th of December, 2012.

Nevada - 7th of December, 2012.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Shocking Bridge Collapse in Turkey From Heavy Snow!

December 07, 2012 - TURKEY - Heavy snow in Turkey piled up on a pedestrian walkway causing it to collapse.

Startled: A small crowd of passersby gather around the hole to take a closer look.
Walkers strolling along this snowy street had a nasty surprise when a pedestrian bridge suddenly collapsed without warning. A security camera captured the shock of passersby as a large section of the walkway - which was weighted down by snow - crumbled in Corum, Turkey. 

One student is understood to have been injured when the bridge suddenly collapsed, but there were no other casualties. Video footage from the security camera shows a youngster standing just inches from the affected section of the bridge as it begins to fall in.

Dash for safety: As the walkway starts to crumble, the boy can be seen running
towards the road to avoid falling into the gap left behind.
The boy can be seen running into the road to avoid falling into the gap. After the split-second collapse a small crowd of shocked passersby gather around the hollow that the bridge had spanned to take a closer look.  It is not known what caused the collapse. Authorities have said work is already underway to repair the collapsed walkway. - Daily Mail.

WATCH: Shock bridge collapse in Turkey - Crucial moment around 30 seconds...

DISASTER IMPACT: Powerful Earthquake Injuries 13 in Japan, 1 Still Missing!

December 07, 2012 - JAPAN - About 13 people were injured and one still missing after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolted off eastern coast of Japan Friday.

Two seniors were found injured in Aomori and Miyagi Prefectures respectively Saturday morning, local police said. The rest 11 injured were reported Friday after the quake, which also triggered tsunami up to one meter high along parts of Japan's Pacific coast.

Photo taken on Dec. 7, 2012 shows the scene of Japan's Tokyo after an earthquake. A 7.3-magnitude earthquake jolted off the east coast of Honshu of Japan, resulting in a tsunami warning for the country's northeastern coastal areas, according to Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). (Xinhua/Ma Ping).
Iwate authorities said they are still searching for a senior, who went missing after evacuating in a boat from Kuji port in the prefecture in response to tsunami alerts.

Japan's nuclear regulator said no abnormalities were detected at nuclear plants in the affected region, including Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini plants.

Over 20,000 people evacuated and railway services and an airport were suspended temporarily after the temblor.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was probably an aftershock of the catastrophic temblor hit the region in March 2011.

The agency also warned that there would be an aftershock up to magnitude 6 within a week. - Xinhua.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Thousands of Fish Have Been Found Mysteriously Dead in Guangdong and Pudong in China?!

December 07, 2012 - CHINA - Washington trainee reporter Wu Jiachuan yesterday, the "Golden Bridge river Jingxian a large number of dead fish have been many days" as the subject reported the Southern District of Pudong Jinqiao Export Processing Zone near a large number of dead fish phenomenon, but as of reporters the day of press, did not respond to the environmental protection department of Pudong New District Industrial Zone Office, Ministry of Lands. But then there are users Heqing industrial area a few kilometers away again found large quantities of dead fish. Yesterday afternoon, the reporter contacted again cityscape of Pudong New Area Environmental Protection Bureau, and has been related replies, however, this reply was a bit puzzled.  Netizen "Gu Xixi" Illustrated wrote on his microblogging relevant departments given from work to see Heqing industrial zone the river Sure enough, there are large areas of dead fish. Drowned? Or freeze to death?

Large Fish Kill Found In A River In Pudong.
interpretation will what is it? "his photos on the same newspaper reported yesterday, a large river of dead fish, the fish turned up a white belly, and into the film.  Reporters yesterday the new content as well as users of the reported location of dead fish, contact the staff of the Office of the cityscape of Pudong New Area Environmental Protection Bureau, the staff in the investigation, told reporters that "at two locations in the area of ​​water quality meets the measurement standard, we also exclude a site near the phenomenon of corporate pollution, Jinqiao Processing Zone of wastewater through treatment and then discharged into the river. "  See reporters clearance outside the industrial park and Customs retreat area of ​​environmental impact assessment in a 2008 released by the Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences, Jinqiao Export Processing Zone, Southern District publicity ":" within the Jinqiao Export Processing Zone (South) focus on the development of export-oriented parts industry, the use of domestic components assembled export as well as the processing of the whole industry; leading industries: electronic information, optical and electrical machinery, precision machinery, fine chemicals and other high-tech, high value-added, high export enterprises. nearby residents told reporters, no sewage, and really could not guess the source of pollution from where.  Pudong Environmental Protection Agency Office of the staff at the same time, said to reporters, Jinqiao Park property sector has found some fish in the river, she said: "According to the property to prevent fishing once played dispute Heqing river the same thing. "she said, the park property speculate whether fishing is dosing," but there is no evidence, but confirmation is not factory sewage and other reasons. - SINA [Translated].

25,000 Tilapia Found Mysteriously Dead in Guangdong Huizdong.
Tilapia reporter Luo Yuming fishpond almost all dead, and let the town of Huidong beam of farmers Zhu Buddha new very sad: "It was to the Spring Festival, they can market ... 1 to 3 December, Zhu Buddha is located about 25,000 tilapia die-offs in the town Xiaohe Tung Village cross slope group of fish ponds, he suspected that the partners owe usury poisoning caused fishponds. Liang town government and Huidong police have been involved in the investigation. Yesterday, the South is a reporter came to the new Buddha Zhu approximately 16 acres of fish ponds, see some dead fish pond floating shore, he pulled out a few days ago of dead fish, large pound small seven hundred eighty-two , strong odor of corruption. Zhu said the new Buddha, December 1, 12:00 am, feeding the fish when he saw a large number of tilapia "crazy", like rushing up toward the shore, some fish unnatural deaths, the 2nd and the 3rd, about 25,000 Luo non-fish almost to death and exhausted, but in the same fish ponds, carp, silver carp, male, but no deaths.

 Zhu said the new Buddha, count dead fish by the wholesale price of about 70,000 yuan, coupled with the previously invested more than 40,000 yuan the fry of money and fish feed money, the overall loss of nearly 110,000. To fish autopsy to determine the cause of death. Liang town government official said yesterday that the town has been involved in investigating the matter, the aquaculture sector has fishponds taken away by the water and dead fish specimens testing. Huidong Police also took away the dead fish specimens for laboratory testing and investigation, preliminary estimates of fish is due to the sudden drop in temperature lead to death. The Tilapia case strong cool weather Will death? City Institute of Fisheries Technology, an expert may tilapia not cold, the case of the arctic weather will be a large number of deaths, but the market is really only poisoned tilapia without hurting the other fish "speed culling" to go through the dead fish anatomy test in order to determine the cause of death. - Shuichan [ Translated].

These two incidents now bring the event summary for 2012 to 439 mass death events in 68 different countries.

ICE AGE NOW: UK Braces For More Snow As Cold Snap Across Europe Shows No Signs Of Letting Up!

December 07, 2012 - BRITAIN - The cold snap gripping Europe shows no sign of letting up as the UK braces for snow next week.

Overnight frosts will continue throughout next week, with increasingly wintry showers turning from sleet into snow.

A woman walks her dog through snow in Goathland, North Yorkshire, on Wednesday. © Anthony Chappel-Ross/PA.

A few centimetres of snow could fall in the east and hilly parts of the south-east on Friday.

Snow is continuing to fall on higher ground across Scotland, but will struggle to settle after sleet showers.

The rain and sleet will move southwards over the country while other parts will stay dry after clear spells. A cold wind is expected to sweep the entire country as temperatures struggle to rise above 4C or 5C.

Alexi Boothman, forecaster at MeteoGroup, said showers and sleet are likely to continue throughout the day. "Down south will experience mostly rain but some snow is likely to fall on higher ground in areas such as Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. This band is moving south quickly, with clear skies behind this," she said.

"It will be a mostly dry day for most parts apart from the east and southeastern parts, where sleet showers will be falling until lunchtime. Kent and the far south-east look set to stay fairly damp following a fair amount of rain, and the eastern coast and parts of Wales are also set for showers."

Weather warnings have been issued for Scotland, northern England and parts of the Midlands and East Anglia as ice is likely to form on untreated surfaces following rainfall.

Overnight the wind will ease and skies will clear, and temperatures will be close to freezing in most places. A cold and frosty start is expected for the weekend, with plenty of sunshine before wet and windy weather returns on Saturday.  - Guardian.

RED DAWN: Disaster Preparedness and Control of the Third Dimension Earth - China to Flatten 700 Mountains For New Metropolis in the Desert!

December 07, 2012 - CHINA - A long, long time ago, an old Chinese peasant named Yu Gong decided to move two inconveniently located mountains away from blocking the entrance to his home. Legend has it he struggled terribly, but ultimately succeeded. Hence the Chinese idiom "Yu Gong moves the mountains." Where there's a will, there's a way. Now Chinese developers are putting old Yu to shame. In what is being billed as the largest "mountain-moving project" in Chinese history, oneof China's biggest construction firms will spend £2.2bn to flatten 700 mountains levelling the area Lanzhou, allowing developers to build a new metropolis on the outskirts of the north-western city.

The Lanzhou New Area, 500 square miles (130,000 hectares) of land 50 miles from the city, which is the provincial capital of arid Gansu province, could increase the region's gross domestic product to £27bn by 2030, according to the state-run China Daily. It has already attracted almost £7bn of corporate investment.
The project will be China's fifth "state-level development zone" and the first in the country's rapidly developing interior, according to state media reports. Others include Shanghai's Pudong and Tianjin's Binhai, home to a half-built, 120-building replica of Manhattan. China's state council, its highest administrative authority, approved the Lanzhou project in August. The first stage of the mountain-flattening initiative, which was reported on Tuesday by the China Economic Weekly magazine, began in late October and will eventually enable a new urban district almost 10 square miles in size northeast of downtown Lanzhou – a small, but important part of the Lanzhou Nnew area project to be built. One of the country's largest private companies: the Nanjing-based China Pacific Construction Group, headed by Yan Jiehe, is behind the initiative. The 52-year-old former teacher is portrayed in China as a sort of home-grown Donald Trump – ultra-ambitious and preternaturally gifted at navigating the country's vast network of "guanxi", or personal connections.

Yan was born in the 1960s as the youngest of nine children. After a decade of working as a high-school teacher and cement plant employee, he founded his construction firm in 1995 and amassed a fortune by buying and revamping struggling state-owned enterprises. In 2006 the respected Hu Run report named Yan – then worth about £775m – as China's second-richest man. His latest plan has evoked a healthy dose of scepticism. Lanzhou, home to 3.6 million people alongside the silty Yellow River, already has major environmental concerns. Last year the World Health Organisation named it the city with the worst air pollution in China. The city's main industries include textiles, fertiliser production and metallurgy. Liu Fuyuan, a former high-level official at the country's National Development and Reform Commission, told China Economic Weekly that the project was unsuitable because Lanzhou is frequently listed as among China's most chronically water-scarce municipalities. "The most important thing is to gather people in places where there is water," he said. Others also pointed to the financial risk of building a new city in the middle of the desert. "All this investment needs to be paid back with residential land revenue, and I don't see much on returns in these kinds of cities," said Tao Ran, an economics professor at Renmin University in Beijing. "If you have a booming real estate market it might work, but it seems to me that real estate in China is very, very risky."

In an email interview, a China Pacific Construction Group spokeswoman dismissed criticisms of the project as unjustified. "Lanzhou's environment is already really poor, it's all desolate mountains which are extremely short of water," said Angie Wong. "Our protective style of development will divert water to the area, achieve reforestation and make things better than before." Yan's plans could be considered "a protective style of development, and a developmental style of protection", she said, adding: "I think whether it's England or America, or any other country, no one will cease development because of resource scarcity caused by geography." A promotional video posted on the Lanzhou new area website shows a digitally-rendered cityscape of gleaming skyscrapers and leafy parks. Against a driving operatic score, the camera zooms out from a large government building to reveal features of the area's imagined urban topography: a clock tower, a new airport, an oil refinery, a light-rail system, and a stadium packed with cheering fans. The new area "will lead to an environmentally sustainable economy based on energy-saving industries" including advanced equipment manufacturing, petrochemical industries and modern agriculture, wrote Chinese Central Television on its website. The Lanzhou city government could not be reached for comment. - Guardian.

WATCH: The Lanzhou Project promotional video.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Cat Parasite Toxoplasma Uses "Trojan Horse" to Infect Human Brain and May Cause Suicidal Thoughts and Risk-Taking - 40 Percent of Britain Infected!

December 07, 2012 - BRITAIN - A food-borne parasite that infects domestic cats can get inside the human brain by commandeering special cells of the immune system which it uses as a Trojan horse to enter the central nervous system, a study has found. Scientists believe they have finally discovered the mechanism that allows Toxoplasma gondii – a single-celled parasite – to pass from the human gut to the brain where it may cause behavioural changes.

A food-borne parasite that infects domestic cats can get inside the human brain by commandeering special cells
of the immune system which it uses as a Trojan horse to enter the central nervous system, a study has found.
Researchers have shown that the parasite can infect the dendritic white blood cells of the immune system causing them to secrete a chemical neurotransmitter that allows the infected cells, and the parasite, to cross the natural barrier protecting the brain. Toxoplasma gondii can live in many different species but it can only complete its life cycle in cats, which secrete the parasite in their faeces. Studies have shown that toxoplasma affects the behaviour of rats and mice, making them more likely to be eaten by cats, thereby completing parasite’s complex life-cycle. Latest figures released in September by the Food Standards Agency show about 1,000 people a day in Britain – 350,000 a year – are being infected with toxoplasma, probably from either direct contact with cats or by eating poorly-cooked meat or vegetables.

Up to 40 per cent of the British population are believed to be infected with toxoplasma and although the vast majority show no apparent symptoms, there is a risk to unborn children if their mothers become infected for the first time during pregnancy. However, recent studies have also suggested that toxoplasma may be a trigger for psychological disturbances in humans, including schizophrenia, although the research has fallen well short of showing a cause-and-effect. Antonio Barragan of Sweden’s Centre for Infectious Diseases at the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm said that when infected with toxoplasma human dendritic cells, which are not part of the central nervous system, begin to secrete a neurotransmitter called GABA which is normally produced by brain cells. “For toxoplasma to make cells in the immune defence to secrete GABA was as surprising as it was unexpected…This was unknown before. It means that the parasite had the capacity potentially to manipulate the central nervous system,” Dr Barragan said. - The Independent.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Tokoroa, New Zealand!

December 07, 2012 - TOKOROA, NEW ZEALAND - As if the world has not shaken enough. New Zealand falls victim to Friday’s onslaught of earthquakes throughout the globe. A strong Magnitude 6.3 earthquake jolts residents of Tokoroa, New Zealand. The quake hit 19km SE of Tokoroa.

On December 22nd of last year a series of strong earthquakes struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch. It too was on a Friday although it is Saturday presently in that country.  Last years quake rattled buildings, sending goods tumbling from shelves and prompting terrified holiday shoppers to flee into the streets. There was no tsunami alert issued and the city appeared to have been spared major damage.

Again speaking of last year’s tremor, the first 5.8-magnitude quake struck on a Friday afternoon, 16 miles (26 kilometers) north of Christchurch and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Minutes later, a 5.3-magnitude aftershock hit. About an hour after that, the city was shaken by another 5.8-magnitude temblor, the U.S.G.S. said, though New Zealand’s geological agency GNS Science recorded that aftershock as a magnitude-6.0. Both aftershocks were less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) deep. New Zealand is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is geologically active. No damage has been reported as the seismic event just occurred 10 minutes ago. As soon as we have word of news from that area in the world we will provide an immediate report. - The Guardian Express.

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. 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. - USGS.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Mysterious Green Flash Lights Up Texas Sky?!

December 07, 2012 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - Was it a meteor? A plane? Or was it something else? Reports of a bright flash were reported throughout SE Texas around 7 a.m., including many sightings right here in Houston, but as far east as Louisiana.

It’s origin is unknown, but many eyewitnesses said they saw the same thing: a flash, similar to lightning, lighting up the sky. NEWS 92 FM spoke to Carolyn Sumner with the Houston Museum of Natural Science to find out what the flash of light might be:

Credit: Marcus Sullivan/NEWS 92 FM.
Sumner said eyewitnesses are needed by the museum to investigate this phenomenon. Nancy Humphries was driving her kids to school in Katy when she saw the flash of light.

The reports flooded in online on NEWS 92 FM’s social media accounts. Twitter follower @BigHarryDaddy tweeted he saw the flash at Highway 6 and Alief Clodine. Through the fog, he reports, there was no defined shape to the event.

Sue Langgard, of Seabrook, saw the flash around 6:45 a.m., she reports. “Very bright explosion of green light followed by bright blue tail,” she wrote, adding it, “went low across the sky from Northeast to Southwest.”

Langgard’s sighting is similar to that of Facebook followers Antonio Martinez and Jaime Garza. Garza, however, isn’t convinced it can be easily explained.

“It can’t be a meteor, never seen it light up a sky like that,” he wrote. - News 92FM.

WATCH: Mysterious lights over Texas.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Thousands of Fish Found Dead and Dying on the Kiawah Island, South Carolina?!

December 07, 2012 - SOUTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES - The big red drum was choking to death. The three fishermen jumped into Jason Schall’s Toyota Sequoia and laid the 45-inch game fish in Chris Mims’ lap, its tail hanging out the window.  Behind them in Egret Pond on Kiawah Island, masses of other fish were dead or dying.  The fish kill was large, but not so unusual in the Lowcountry, where sudden temperature changes in the air or water cool the surface waters of hot ponds and flip surface and bottom waters, choking off dissolved oxygen the fish need.  This November kill, however, was unusual because kills in ponds tend to happen in summer, and open water kills in bitter winter cold.  It also was strange because Egret Pond isn’t a confined pond; it’s a long, narrow tidal pond feeding to the Kiawah River.

The kill occurred only at the outfall end of the pond.  Most fish lost to pond kills tend to be bait fish: blueback herring and Atlantic menhaden. But at Egret Pond, the three anglers found larger fish: flounder, red and black drum.  By 5:30 a.m., the men had been working for more than five hours to rescue game fish from the mass of suffocating fish.  They hurried the big drum to a nearby tidal creek, resuscitated the fish by pulling it back and forth in the water, then released it. It was one of a number of big game fish they saved.  My car will never look the same,” Schall said. But, “it was well worth it.” 

As the sun rose on the horizon, it’s light revealed thousands of dead fish covering the eastern third of the pond’s 16 acres.  “We lost an estimated 5,500 pounds of fish,” mostly the herring and menhaden, said Tammy McAdory, executive director of the Kiawah Island Community Association.  An email from Norm Shea, the director of Kiawah Lakes Management, to Schall stated that the pond also lost 31 red drum, 27 flounder, six black drum and eight sheepshead.  “We mostly focused on saving the large red drum,” Mims said. “Using a net, we removed as many suffocating red drum as we could from the pond and put them in a tidal creek across the street. The fish were very lethargic, but they came to.”  The rescuing anglers also included Jason Bennett. 

Kiawah Island is not foreign to the fish kills such as this one.  “It’s something that happens from time to time. In 2009, 8,500 pounds of fish were lost to oxygen deprivation in a Kiawah pond. In 2005, in the largest kill to date, 12,000 pounds were lost,” Shea said.  It’s often hard to tell exactly why fish kills occur. Experts have speculated that this particular kill could have been the result of weather conditions, stratification and/or tidal inflow, all of which would cause oxygen depletion in the water.  After the Egret Pond kill occurred, Shea was keeping watch on three other ponds in case of a kill.  By daybreak at Egret Pond, the three fishermen could do no more. They drove to a nearby Waffle House, where they sat exhausted, wet and smelling of fish, talking over the incredible night.  Suddenly the men broke out into laughter when Schall told them that his Toyota Sequoia, which was now covered in fish slime, had just been professionally detailed. - The Post and Courier.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Killer Disease Behind 3 Dozen Buffalo Deaths in Kanchanpur, Nepal Remains Mystery?!

December 07, 2012 - NEPAL - Over three dozen buffaloes died from unidentified disease in Kanchanpur district during the past two weeks.

A local farmer said that over one dozen buffaloes died at Dekhatbhuli and Krishnapur alone in Kanchanpur district from the unidentified disease.

A buffalo-rearing farmer said that the disease spread for the past two weeks has killed three buffaloes in Dekhatbhuli and remaining in Krishnapur VDC.

A local Keshav Raj Joshi said that symptoms of the disease include the buffaloes not eating grass or hay, difficulty in excreting, trembling, salivating and falling on the ground.

The symptoms were seen on most of the pregnant buffaloes, said Joshi.

Local farmers said that over three dozen buffaloes died due to the disease and the farmers of the area are worried after buffaloes started to die.

Technicians at the District Livestock Services Office have suggested not to give grass brought from the forest areas to the buffaloes, Joshi added.

Farmers said the problem remains even after they stopped giving grass brought from the forest area to the buffaloes, and they have complained that the Office did not take any initiative to control the disease.

Information Officer at the District Livestock Services Office, Kanchanpur, Shankardutta Joshi said a technical team has been mobilized to control the disease. - The Himalayan Times.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful Magnitude 7.3 Mega- Earthquake Strikes Coast of Honshu, Japan - Tsunami Warning Issued! UPDATE: Strong 6.2 Aftershock Strikes Japan's East Coast!

December 07, 2012 - JAPAN - A tsunami alert was issued for Japan's northeast coast Friday after a powerful 7.3-magnitude undersea earthquake struck, setting buildings in Tokyo swaying violently. Media reports said a one-metre-high wave could sweep ashore in Miyagi prefecture, an area badly hit by the March 2011 tsunami that devastated a large swathe of coast in the northeast, killing thousands.

Broadcaster NHK, quoting the national meteorological agency, said the tsunami is expected to hit at 5:40 pm (0840 GMT). The United States Geological Survey measured the quake's magnitude at 7.3. NHK said the Japan Meteorological Agency had issued a tsunami warning, one notch lower than a tsunami alert, for the Pacific coast of Iwate, Fukushima, Aomori and Ibaraki prefectures. A 50-centimetre tunami was expected to hit the coast of Iwate at 5:40 pm, Fukushima at 5:50 pm, and Aomori and Ibaraki at 6:00 pm. Nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power told AFP there were no reports of further damage at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The powerful 7.3 earthquake did not generate a Pacific-wide tsunami, a US early warning agency said. There was no threat of a tsunami in the wider Pacific Ocean, according to the US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, but it warned an earthquake of that magnitude could generate a tsunami that can be destructive for local coastlines. - Channel News Asia.

WATCH: 7.3 magnitude earthquake strikes Japan.

UPDATE: Strong 6.2 Magnitude Aftershock Strikes Japan's East Coast!

A strong 6.2 magnitude aftershock has just struck southeast of Ofunato, several minutes after the 7.3 mega-earthquake. The 6.2 tremor hit at 08:31:14 UTC local time and was located at 37.939°N 143.763°E, with a depth of 29.2km (18.1miles). The quake had an epicentre of 218km (135miles) SE of Ofunato, Japan; 220km (137miles) SE of Kamaishi, Japan; 222km (138miles) ESE of Ishinomaki, Japan; 226km (140miles) SE of Otsuchi, Japan; and 440km (273miles) NE of Tokyo, Japan.

The latest update out of Japan is that the Miyagi prefecture was hit by a tsunami of 1 meter in height; Japan's national broadcaster NHK reports. A small 20 centimeter tsunami was observed at Ofunato City in Iwate Prefecture at 18:10 local time, according to Japan Times. No elevated levels of radiation was seen at the Fukushima reactors, that was badly damaged in the 2011 Japan earthquakes.

Seismotectonics of Japan and Vicinity.

Japan and the surrounding islands straddle four major tectonic plates: Pacific plate; North America plate; Eurasia plate; and Philippine Sea plate. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, beneath Hokkaido and northern Honshu, along the eastern margin of the Okhotsk microplate, a proposed subdivision of the North America plate. Farther south, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath volcanic islands along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This 2,200 km-long zone of subduction of the Pacific plate is responsible for the creation of the deep offshore Ogasawara and Japan trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of Circumpacific island arcs. Similarly, the Philippine Sea plate is itself subducting under the Eurasia plate along a zone, extending from Taiwan to southern Honshu that comprises the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto trench.

Subduction zones at the Japanese island arcs are geologically complex and produce numerous earthquakes from multiple sources. Deformation of the overriding plates generates shallow crustal earthquakes, whereas slip at the interface of the plates generates interplate earthquakes that extend from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. At greater depths, Japanese arc earthquakes occur within the subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea plates and can reach depths of nearly 700 km. Since 1900, three great earthquakes occurred off Japan and three north of Hokkaido. They are the M8.4 1933 Sanriku-oki earthquake, the M8.3 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, the M9.0 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the M8.4 1958 Etorofu earthquake, the M8.5 1963 Kuril earthquake, and the M8.3 1994 Shikotan earthquake. - USGS.

FIRE IN THE SKY: The Celestial Convergence - Giant Asteroid Set to Buzz Earth Next Week, One of the Largest Asteroids That Comes Anywhere Near Earth!

December 07, 2012 - SPACE - A giant asteroid is set to buzz Earth next week, and astronomers are already keeping their eyes on the skies—but not because 4179 Toutatis poses any danger. Toutatis, at 2.7 miles (4.46 kilometers) long and 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) wide, is one of the largest asteroids that comes anywhere near Earth. But only an astronomer would consider its closest approach to be "near." When the peanut-shaped rock is at its closest to the Earth on December 12, it'll be more than 4.3 million miles (6.9 million kilometers) away, or more than 18 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

A computer-generated model of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis. Image courtesy Michael Busch.
So why are astronomers eagerly awaiting Toutatis? By figuring out what the asteroid is made of, they'll have a better picture of the early days of the solar system. And by refining a model of the asteroid's rotation, they'll get a better idea of its composition. Michael Busch, a fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, studied radar images of Toutatis' previous passes—the asteroid approaches Earth every four years—to try to figure out how it was moving through space. "It's tumbling," Busch said. "It's spinning around its long axis, while that in turn is precessing around in a circle, like a gyroscope." Busch and his colleagues were hoping to use radar images taken in 2000, 2004, and 2008 to update a 1996 model of Toutatis' spin state. "[But] this became more complicated when we understood that [gravitational] tides were changing the spin," he said.
Every time Toutatis came close to the sun or the Earth, gravity would tug slightly on the asteroid, changing its spin by a tiny fraction. But over the years, those tugs added up. Once Busch and his collaborators were able to account for these changes, they had a much better model of its spin. And that told them how the asteroid's mass was distributed. Toutatis is shaped sort of like a lumpy peanut, or from some angles, like a poorly built snowman. It's long and narrow, with two distinct lobes, one smaller than the other. Busch's analysis found that the asteroid's shape isn't the only thing that's lumpy; its mass is also distributed in a lumpy fashion rather than evenly spread throughout the asteroid. "It may have a quite complicated internal structure," he said.

It's possible the asteroid got its internal structure when a smaller body smashed into it, throwing material off. "That can fracture it, just like hitting a surface with a hammer," Busch said. Toutatis could also have been created when two objects collided and stuck. Or, it could have been created through the YORP effect, which explains how nothing but sunlight can cause an asteroid to start spinning. "Wind blowing on a propeller makes the propeller spin," said Dan Scheeres, an astrodynamics professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who's been studying Toutatis for almost two decades. And that's similar to what happens when photons hit an uneven body, making that body spin faster, he added. Scheeres thinks that a faster-spinning Toutatis could have eventually spun so fast that it began throwing off material into space, becoming two separate bodies. These bodies would have eventually slowed down and recombined, starting the process over again. It's still just a theory, Scheeres said, but the model explains how Toutatis and other so-called contact binaries could exist. Scheeres and Busch will be analyzing their new observations of Toutatis as it gets closer to Earth over the next week; Busch plans to refine his model of the asteroid's spin after seeing the new radar images. But astronomers aren't the only ones who will be able to see Toutatis on its flyby. Backyard hobbyists can get in on the fun too. At its closest approach, Toutatis will be "too faint to see with the naked eye, but well within the range of a small backyard telescope," Busch said. And no, it's not going to hit Earth, so doomsday theorists, relax. "There may be more nonsense circulating about Toutatis than many other objects, but that's because it's a large object that makes repeated close flybys of Earth and has an interesting shape," he said. - National Geographic.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - 5.3 Magnitude Quake Jolts Xinjiang, China!

December 07, 2012 - CHINA - No reputable scientist has ever claimed the existence of an earthquake season, and yet, this fall can certainly be characterized as a global seismic season. With the recent flurry of tremors scattered worldwide it may be time to take another look at the global threat they present.

Moments ago a magnitude 5.3 quake hit Southern Xinjiang, China, the quake is just one of many that have been around the 5.0 rang or high, which have hit the earths topography this Friday. In June of 2011 a similar 5.3-magnitude earthquake hit the remote county in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region causing a car pileup which left eight people injured. The quake jolted Toksun County of Turpan Prefecture at 9:53 a.m., according to the China Earthquake Networks Center last year. Toksun County is about 160 km from Urumqi, the regional capital. While there are no reports of damage just yet, we’re still waiting on a report by one of our correspondents out of China. As this report was being fashioned a twelfth quake 4.7 in strength has as again hit Ishinomaki, Japan. - Guardian Express.

Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity.
Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.

The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (lest than200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.1 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region. - USGS.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking Developments at the Louisiana Sinkhole - Dangerous Gas Discovered at Sinkhole Thursday!

December 07, 2012 - LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES - Hydrogen sulfide gas was detected Thursday morning in equipment that is part of an operation designed to burn off methane from a cavern beneath Texas Brine’s salt dome site in Assumption Parish, officials said. But the potentially dangerous hydrogen sulfide gas does not appear to have escaped into the atmosphere from the salt cavern well between the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou communities, parish and company officials said. “The fact is, nothing vented into the atmosphere as best as anybody could ascertain,” said Sonny Cranch, spokesman for the Houston-based company.

Detection occurred between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and led to the shutdown of the well, said John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The colorless gas, which has a rotten egg smell, is flammable and can be poisonous at high enough concentrations, but it also is a common problem that accompanies oil and gas drilling. The gas is heavier than air and can spread long distances aboveground. Boudreaux said a subsequent test by parish officials later Thursday morning did not detect the gas on Texas Brine’s site and community-based air monitors also have not detected hydrogen sulfide. The cavern well is one Texas Brine had been ordered to drill months ago by the state Office of Conservation to investigate the company’s failed salt cavern in the Napoleonville Dome south of La. 70 South. As well as diagnostic testing of the cavern, the investigatory well is being used to remove crude oil and vent methane gas from the cavern. Cranch said workers were removing oil and gas Thursday, detected a faint rotten egg smell and saw that the flare attached to the well appeared to burning off hydrogen sulfide. A worker inserted an analysis device in a valve providing access inside a pipe that carries the methane to the flare stack, Cranch said. The piping is part of separating equipment that divides oil and gas rising up from the investigatory well. The worker found a reading of 19 parts per million inside the flow pipe at a point before the gas reached the flare, Cranch said.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration says workers should not be exposed to hydrogen sulfide already diffused in the atmosphere at 20 parts per million for more than 15 minutes in a work day. The federal worker-safety agency says concentrations of 100 ppm are immediately dangerous to life and health, and death has been known to occur within 30 minutes at concentrations greater than 600 ppm. The rotten egg odor can be faintly detected at 0.3 ppm and eye irritation can occur at 10 to 20 ppm, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says. Scientists believe the Texas Brine cavern failure caused a sinkhole to form between the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou areas just east of the dome and set in motion an underground chain of events that released oil and gas from natural pockets along the salt dome. Boudreaux said officials plan to monitor the well Friday during oil and gas removal to see whether hydrogen sulfide can be detected again. Texas Brine officials encountered hydrogen sulfide Nov. 19 in a separate vent well on the company site south of La. 70 South. A small amount of the gas escaped into the atmosphere for about five seconds from a similar separator unit designed to divide water and gas from the vent well, officials have said. The gas was found in the well bore and appeared to have come in contact with water in a separation tank. Company officials have said they shut in that vent well and plan to permanently plug it. The well reached nearly 500 feet deep to the salt dome caprock, an area of salt domes known to contain sulphur in some cases. Other vent wells still burning off trapped methane under the Bayou Corne area are much shallower. Boudreaux said scrubbing equipment can be installed to keep the hydrogen sulfide from escaping from the investigatory well. That well reaches past the caprock and inside the salt dome to the top of the Texas Brine salt cavern at a depth of 3,400 feet. - The Advocate.