Category: Pandemics


H7N9 bird flu found to spread through the air

Virus can also infect pigs, say HKU researchers, who warn officials to maintain tight scrutiny even though threat seems under control

Friday, 24 May, 2013, 5:50am


The H7N9 bird flu virus can be transmitted not only through close contact but by airborne exposure, a team at the University of Hong Kong found after extensive laboratory experiments.

Though the virus appears to have been brought under control recently, the researchers urged the Hong Kong authorities to maintain strict surveillance, which should include not only poultry but humans and pigs.

“We also found that the virus can infect pigs, which was not previously known,” said Dr Maria Zhu Huachen, a research assistant professor at HKU’s School of Public Health.

There have been 131 confirmed human infections, with 36 deaths, the World Health Organisation said. All but one of the cases was on the mainland. The virus appears to have been brought under control largely due to restrictions at bird markets and there have been no new confirmed cases since May 8.

But Zhu said that although there was no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission, their study provided evidence that H7N9 was infectious and transmissible in mammals.

In the study, to be published today in the journal Science, ferrets were used to evaluate the infectivity of H7N9. It was found the virus could spread through the air, from one cage to another, albeit less efficiently.

Inoculated ferrets were infected before the appearance of most clinical symptoms. This means there may be more cases than have been detected or reported.

We also found that the virus can infect pigs, which was not previously known … People may be transmitting the virus before they even know that they’ve got it
Dr Maria Zhu Huachen, HKU’s School of Public Health

“People may be transmitting the virus before they even know that they’ve got it,” Zhu said.

Additional tests using pigs, a major host of influenza viruses, showed that they could also get infected with H7N9. Zhu warned that H7N9 may combine with pig viruses to generate new variants.

On a more positive note, it was found that the virus is relatively mild.

“Most of the fatal H7N9 cases had underlying medical conditions, so there are probably some other factors that contribute to this kind of fatality,” Zhu said.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Scientists create hybrid flu that can go airborne

H5N1 virus with genes from H1N1 can spread through the air between mammals.

02 May 2013

Researchers have crossed two strains of avian flu virus to create one that can be transmitted through the air — and possibly settle on the cilia of lung cells as in this conceptual image.

KARSTEN SCHNEIDER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

As the world is transfixed by a new H7N9 bird flu virus spreading through China, a study reminds us that a different avian influenza — H5N1 — still poses a pandemic threat.

A team of scientists in China has created hybrid viruses by mixing genes from H5N1 and the H1N1 strain behind the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and showed that some of the hybrids can spread through the air between guinea pigs. The results are published in Science1.

Flu hybrids can arise naturally when two viral strains infect the same cell and exchange genes. This process, known as reassortment, produced the strains responsible for at least three past flu pandemics, including the one in 2009.

There is no evidence that H5N1 and H1N1 have reassorted naturally yet, but they have many opportunities to do so. The viruses overlap both in their geographical range and in the species they infect, and although H5N1 tends mostly to swap genes in its own lineage, the pandemic H1N1 strain seems to be particularly prone to reassortment.

“If these mammalian-transmissible H5N1 viruses are generated in nature, a pandemic will be highly likely,” says Hualan Chen, a virologist at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who led the study.

“It’s remarkable work and clearly shows how the continued circulation of H5N1 strains in Asia and Egypt continues to pose a very real threat for human and animal health,” says Jeremy Farrar, director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Flu fears

Chen’s results are likely to reignite the controversy that plagued the flu community last year, when two groups found that H5N1 could go airborne if it carried certain mutations in a gene that produced a protein called haemagglutinin (HA)2, 3. Following heated debate over biosecurity issues raised by the work, the flu community instigated a voluntary year-long moratorium on research that would produce further transmissible strains. Chen’s experiments were all finished before the hiatus came into effect, but more work of this nature can be expected now that the moratorium has been lifted.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Janet C. Phelan
Activist Post

Amidst allegations by a highly placed Colonel in the Chinese army that the U.S. has released a bioweapon in Mainland China, concerns are ramping up that this year’s version of the avian flu, H7N9, may turn into a major pandemic.

The last few years have seen several false alarms on the pandemic front. Neither the bird flu of 2004 nor the swine flu of 2009-2010 ended up being of much concern, although agencies from the WHO on down certainly created quite a flurry around both of these flu bugs.

H7N9 has already shown itself to have a high mortality rate, higher in fact than the Spanish flu of 1918, which caused 50 million deaths worldwide. The latest figures show H7N9 as having a mortality rate of 21- 24%. Out of 131 reported cases, thirty-one have died and most remain on the critical list. The bug has already jumped from Mainland China to Taiwan and a number of articles on H7N9 have nervously published the flight paths out of China to the rest of the world, which show how quickly an infected person or persons could create a global pandemic.

According to Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general for health, security and the environment, “This is definitely one of the most lethal influenza viruses that we have seen so far.”

Already, there are questions as to whether H7N9 has mutated and is now transmissible from human to human. Of those who have been documented as infected with this flu, several are family members of others who have been infected. As quoted in Quartz on April 18, “The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission said on Thursday it could not rule out human-to-human transmission in the case of a Shanghai family—two brothers, at least one of whom has the virus, and their 87-year-old father, who was the first confirmed H7N9 fatality. A husband and wife in Shanghai also both contracted H7N9.” (Source)

 

Read Full Article Here

Date: 26 April 2013 Time: 09:44 PM ET

 

Influenza A H7N9 as viewed through an electron microscope. Both filaments and spheres are observed in this photo.
Influenza A H7N9 as viewed through an electron microscope. Both filaments and spheres are observed in this photo.
CREDIT: CDC

Jeff Nesbit was the director of public affairs for two prominent federal science agencies and is a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report, where this article first ran before appearing in LiveScience’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

It’s time for the world’s public health officials to pay very close attention to the new bird flu outbreak in China first detected in March. To put it bluntly, there are now some seriously dangerous developments occurring around the new disease outbreak in China that infectious disease specialists and international public health specialists need to track closely.

Let’s start with three new developments reported on earlier this week by Jason Koebler, U.S. News & World Report’s science and technology correspondent:  the first reported case of the new bird flu strain outside China; the fact that any potential vaccine tests in animals (not humans) may be up to six weeks out; and, more ominously, that Chinese officials suspect that there may be cases of human to human transmission in the 100-plus reported cases (which include 22 deaths). [Bird-Flu Update: Possible Cases of Human-to-Human Transmission Investigated]

“The situation remains complex and difficult and evolving. When we look at influenza viruses, this is an unusually dangerous virus for humans,” Keiji Fukuda, the World Health Organization’s assistant director-general for health security, said Wednesday at a briefing.

Chinese officials —and public health officials around the world —had hoped that this potentially virulent and deadly bird flu strain (H7N9) could be contained inside China and that it would not progress or mutate to the point where humans could transmit the strain to other humans. But, of the patients analyzed so far, half appear to have had no contact whatsoever with poultry.

Now, with the first reported case outside China appearing in Taiwan this week — a 53-year-old male, Taiwanese citizen who worked in the Jiangsu Province in China, developed symptoms three days after returning to Taiwan, according to Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center —and the fact that Chinese officials are publicly saying that at least some of the existing cases may have involved human-to-human transmission, this new bird flu strain could spread —and fast. [New Bird Flu Virus: 6 Things You Should Know]

None of this is good.

Right now, 18 percent of the cases in China have ended in deaths. While this is still less deadly than the previous avian flu outbreak in China six years ago —the H5N1 bird flu virus eventually killed more than 300 people after spreading from China to other countries in 2006 —the death rate for this new Chinese bird flu epidemic is more than triple the mortality rate of tuberculosis in China today.

 

Read Full Article Here

China: H7N9 Outbreak to Potentially Become Deadliest in History with Over 20% Mortality Rate

KUNMING, CHINA - APRIL 10: (CHINA OUT) A technician conducts tests for the H7N9 bird flu virus at the Kunming Center for Disease Control (CDC) on April 10, 2013 in Kunming, China. As of yesterday, China has confirmed five new cases of H7N9 in Shaoxing, Jiangsu and Shanghai. So far, China has reported 33 H7N9 bird flu cases, including nine deaths. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

KUNMING, CHINA – APRIL 10: (CHINA OUT) A technician conducts tests for the H7N9 bird flu virus at the Kunming Center for Disease Control (CDC) on April 10, 2013 in Kunming, China. As of yesterday, China has confirmed five new cases of H7N9 in Shaoxing, Jiangsu and Shanghai. So far, China has reported 33 H7N9 bird flu cases, including nine deaths. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

OpEd

by Shepard Ambellas
Intellihub.com

April 26, 2013

BEIJING — As of Thursday 109 people have been confirmed to be dead from the H7N9 virus which emerged rather quickly this April after the typical flu season.

Human-to-human transmission has not yet been documented. However, reports from the World Health Organization state that 40% of the victims did not have contact with any type of poultry raising concern amongst the medical community.

Even more alarming is the fact that the virus has over a 20% mortality rate right out of the gate. If this proves to continue, we could possibly be looking at one of the most deadly viral outbreaks of all time. This is backed up by others such as journalist, Patrick Di Justo, who wrote, “As of today, dividing the number of confirmed cases by the number of deaths makes it look as though H7N9 is an especially bad flu, with a twenty-per-cent mortality rate. If true, this would be terrifying: the 1918 Spanish Flu, which has been called one of the deadliest plagues in human history, also had a mortality rate of around two percent.”

Some are equating the recent H7N9 outbreak to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu, which proved to be a money maker for vaccine manufactures worldwide while also paving the way for fast-tract vaccination manufacturing with no accountability. This was all achieved through WHO regulation, policy and international treaties which essentially supersede US law in most cases allowing vaccine manufactures to rake in immense profits while adding any ingredients to their cocktails they wish. Once again putting taxpayer dollars into the pockets of select private corporations.

Now in 2013 with the newly emerging H7N9, we see the same pattern as it has been reported that, “For now, the C.D.C. is working with pharmaceutical manufacturers to reverse-engineer H7N9 in order to help develop a potential open-source (i.e. freely shared ) vaccine, if a special vaccine becomes necessary.”

Once again we see the rhetoric, pre-positioning of assets, information, propaganda and advise, all working in conjunction to give the world the perfect Problem, Reaction and Solution.

Read  Full Article Here

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Leading scientists urge President Obama’s advisers to investigate ethical issues raised by creating highly infectious strain of bird-flu

Virus could easily be transmitted between people

Health officials carry sacks of culled chickens after bird flu was found at a farm in Agartala, India
1 / 1

A group of leading scientists has urged President Obama’s advisers to investigate the ethical issues raised by a decision to create a highly infectious strain of bird-flu virus that could be transmitted easily between people.

The scientists, who include a former UK Government chief scientist and a Nobel laureate, said that it is “morally and ethically wrong” to create a new type of influenza virus in the laboratory that is more lethal and transmissible than what actually exists in nature.

Two teams of flu researchers – led by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison – announced in 2011 that they had succeeded in mutating the H5N1 avian virus so that it could in theory be transmitted through the air between people.

They stopped the research last year as part of a wider voluntary moratorium following public outrage over the work. But they announced an end to the moratorium earlier this year, and even an expansion into new areas involving other viruses and diseases.

In a strongly-worded letter sent to the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, opponents of the research warned that there has not been enough debate over the threats posed by lifting the moratorium on increasing the transmissibility of highly lethal viruses such as the H5N1 strain of bird-flu.

They said that the 60 per cent mortality rate of the H5N1 virus – on the relatively rare occasions that it has infected humans – puts it in a “class of its own” and that attempting to make it more transmissible through laboratory experiments is tantamount to risking a devastatingly deadly flu pandemic.

Read  Full Article Here

 

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Japan prepares countermeasures against new H7N9 bird flu virus

Posted on April 24, 2013 by Ida Torres in Features, National with No Comments

Japan prepares countermeasures against new H7N9 bird flu virus

The Japanese government will be introducing countermeasures in case an outbreak of the new strain of the bird flu virus, H7N9, reaches Japanese shores. The health ministry panel has listed down several measures, including granting the prefectural governor the authority to endorse for hospitalization the suspected patients and to impose work restrictions in case of an outbreak.

The virus, which has killed 21 and infected around 104 people in China, has not materialized yet on Japanese shores, but the threat and possibility is always there, especially now that they suspect it has the potential to spread to and through mammals, including people. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will be introducing the new measures by early May and they will also be revising some government ordinances under the Infectious Disease Law and the Quarantine Law. Under the new measures, patients who work in the hospitality or food industries are required to not go in or else risk getting punished if they refuse to comply.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Related articles

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April 21, 2013

An Australian analysis of H7N9

Epidemiological Curve and Mortality Rate

What would most concern the relevant authorities is the very high mortality rate in the first weeks and months of the outbreak.

Currently there are 102 laboratory confirmed cases including 20 confirmed fatalities, a mortality rate of 19.6%. For context the mortality rate of SARS was 9.6%.

9 persons (8.8%) are known to have recovered and have been discharged from hospital or treatment.

The most recent fatality via Xinhua was on the 21st April.

Here is an infographic looking at those hospitalised, confirmed fatalities and patients that have had confirmed recoveries. At the suggestion of @vanebobadilla I’ve also included breakdowns by sex using the most current available data (see embedded notes for details).

H7n9_infographic

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Earthquakes

MAG UTC DATE-TIME
y/m/d h:m:s
LAT
deg
LON
deg
DEPTH
km
 Region
MAP  4.7   2012/09/30 23:04:44   41.443   81.868 35.0  SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA
MAP  4.4 2012/09/30 22:47:25   2.954   127.599 58.1  MOLUCCA SEA
MAP  4.6   2012/09/30 22:39:16   38.284   142.144 15.8  NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP  4.5   2012/09/30 21:49:27   56.322   164.351 30.4  KOMANDORSKIYE OSTROVA, RUSSIA REGION
MAP  4.7   2012/09/30 20:43:39   2.521   89.939 15.0  NORTH INDIAN OCEAN
MAP  3.0 2012/09/30 19:17:17   35.523   -96.778 5.0  OKLAHOMA
MAP  3.3 2012/09/30 18:00:27   19.661   -64.230 63.0  VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP  3.7 2012/09/30 16:59:39   68.478  -147.328 2.7  NORTHERN ALASKA
MAP  7.3   2012/09/30 16:31:36   1.916   -76.355 168.3  COLOMBIA
MAP  2.6 2012/09/30 16:27:23   63.848  -148.806 104.6  CENTRAL ALASKA
MAP  5.4   2012/09/30 15:35:54   22.992   146.050 35.0  VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
MAP  3.1 2012/09/30 14:29:31   51.574  -173.280 16.9  ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA
MAP  3.0 2012/09/30 13:41:25   19.280   -64.034 96.0  VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP  4.3 2012/09/30 09:30:13   8.396   -77.105 43.2  PANAMA-COLOMBIA BORDER REGION
MAP  2.7 2012/09/30 07:22:14   19.560   -64.384 58.0  VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP  4.3 2012/09/30 07:14:42   38.303   71.383 47.6  TAJIKISTAN
MAP  4.2 2012/09/30 06:49:25   26.997  -111.585 9.7  GULF OF CALIFORNIA
MAP  3.3 2012/09/30 06:44:19   53.636  -159.180 40.9  SOUTH OF ALASKA
MAP  2.6 2012/09/30 06:03:37   51.482  -178.257 29.8  ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA
MAP  3.1 2012/09/30 05:47:38   19.675   -64.552 29.0  VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP  3.0 2012/09/30 05:36:12   19.542   -64.326 67.0  VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP  3.1 2012/09/30 04:46:26   19.969   -64.194 24.0  NORTH OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
MAP  3.1 2012/09/30 04:09:03   32.768   -96.915 5.1  NORTHERN TEXAS
MAP  3.4 2012/09/30 04:05:01   32.847   -96.956 5.0  NORTHERN TEXAS
MAP  2.6 2012/09/30 04:03:35   17.980   -64.260 26.0  VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP  3.1 2012/09/30 02:26:00   60.192  -149.094 16.5  KENAI PENINSULA, ALASKA
MAP  3.0 2012/09/30 02:13:08   38.830  -122.760 1.3  NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP  3.0 2012/09/30 01:53:31   18.765   -67.372 59.0  PUERTO RICO REGION
MAP  4.9   2012/09/30 01:52:26   2.606   89.721 10.1  NORTH INDIAN OCEAN

Globe with Earthquake Location………………………….

7.1 mb – COLOMBIA

Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude 7.1 mb
Date-Time
  • 30 Sep 2012 16:31:34 UTC
  • 30 Sep 2012 11:31:34 near epicenter
  • 30 Sep 2012 10:31:34 standard time in your timezone
Location 1.969N 76.315W
Depth 150 km
Distances
  • 62 km (39 miles) SSE (149 degrees) of Popayan, Colombia
  • 89 km (55 miles) WNW (296 degrees) of Florencia, Colombia
  • 137 km (85 miles) NE (51 degrees) of Pasto, Colombia
  • 345 km (214 miles) NE (45 degrees) of QUITO, Ecuador
Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 3.0 km; Vertical 6.9 km
Parameters Nph = 717; Dmin = 885.8 km; Rmss = 0.89 seconds; Gp = 57°
M-type = mb; Version = A
Event ID us 2012gdap

For updates, maps, and technical information, see:
Event Page
or
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

National Earthquake Information Center
U.S. Geological Survey
http://neic.usgs.gov/

by WALT ZWIRKO

WFAA

Twin earthquakes

IRVING — The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 3.4 magnitude earthquake centered near Irving at 11:05 p.m. Saturday.

Four minutes later, there was a magnitude 3.1 quake in West Dallas. Both were estimated at a depth of 3.1 miles.

News 8 has been receiving calls and Facebook postings from people who felt the earth moving in Richardson, Garland, Coppell, Dallas, Grapevine, and other locations in North Texas.

The epicenter of the initial quake was located near MacArthur Boulevard and Rochelle Road near Farine Elementary School, according to coordinates provided by the USGS.

The second tremor was centered near the intersection of Loop 12 and Interstate 30, about six miles southeast of the first earthquake.

Irving’s emergency operators were flooded with more than 400 calls after the initial quake as people reported such minor damage as cracks in some walls and a ceiling, pictures knocked down and a report of a possible gas leak, according to an emergency official, Pat McMacken. City officials said they were still following up on the various reports early Sunday.

Beverly Rangel’s home on New Haven Street in Irving was at the epicenter of the first quake. “The table started shaking,” she said. “It’s a pretty heavy table for it to be shaking!”

“I kind of got scared,” said her son, Emmanuel. “I was sitting right here, and the couch just started shaking.”

Ashley Finley in Las Colinas said she felt two tremors that shook her walls and furniture.

Cheryl Gideon in Irving said she and her neighbors all ran outside.

Irving police checked neighborhoods near the epicenter to ensure there was no damage.

“We felt it twice in Euless about five minutes apart,” wrote Denise Perez. “We weren’t sure if a plane had crashed or the roof was caving in. It sounded massive.”

Joni Gregory of Carrollton said she was surprised she could feel the quake so far away. “The house shook a couple of times… didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “Maybe it’s wind? No, it’s too much.”

Geophysicist Randy Baldwin at the USGS earthquake center in Golden, Colorado  told The Associated Press that the quake was just strong enough to likely have been felt for about 15 or 20 miles around the epicenter. He says the quake’s online reporting system received no reports of any damages or injuries but there were some 1,200 responses from people who felt the quake.

Baldwin says smaller aftershocks are a possibility in that area in coming hours or days. He said the Saturday night quakes were detected by a seismological station located about 65 miles from the epicenter — somewhat distant — and the preliminary magnitude of 3.4 for the initial tremor could be revised up or down once further data is evaluated.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport continued operations normally during and after the quakes, which barely rattled nerves at the airport located partially within the city limits of Irving, said airport public affairs officer David Magaña. He told AP said the airport, which bustles at peak hours to get some 1,800 flights in and out daily, was in a quiet period with very little air traffic late Saturday night.

But he said those still in the airport definitely felt the quakes.

“I wouldn’t call it panic. I would call it surprise,” Magaña said.

He said members of the airport operations team immediately conducted a special inspection of the airfield, buildings and found nothing harmed by the quake.

“We don’t have any damage to report. There were no impacts or (power) outages and no disruptions to flights,” Magaña said. “I felt it at my house. It shook it a little bit but it wasn’t enough of a jolt to shake anything loose like you have in California. I’ve been in California and this was nothing like that.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related:

LISS – Live Internet Seismic Server

GSN Stations

These data update automatically every 30 minutes. Last update: October 1, 2012 07:49:12 UTC

Seismograms may take several moments to load. Click on a plot to see larger image.

CU/ANWB, Willy Bob, Antigua and Barbuda

 ANWB 24hr plot

CU/BBGH, Gun Hill, Barbados

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CU/BCIP, Isla Barro Colorado, Panama

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CU/GRGR, Grenville, Grenada

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CU/GRTK, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

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CU/GTBY, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

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CU/MTDJ, Mount Denham, Jamaica

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CU/SDDR, Presa de Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

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CU/TGUH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

 TGUH 24hr plot

IC/BJT, Baijiatuan, Beijing, China

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IC/ENH, Enshi, China

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IC/HIA, Hailar, Neimenggu Province, China

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IC/LSA, Lhasa, China

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IC/MDJ, Mudanjiang, China

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IC/QIZ, Qiongzhong, Guangduong Province, China

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IU/ADK, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA

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IU/AFI, Afiamalu, Samoa

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IU/ANMO, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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IU/ANTO, Ankara, Turkey

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IU/BBSR, Bermuda

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IU/BILL, Bilibino, Russia

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IU/CASY, Casey, Antarctica

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IU/CCM, Cathedral Cave, Missouri, USA

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IU/CHTO, Chiang Mai, Thailand

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IU/COLA, College Outpost, Alaska, USA

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IU/COR, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

 COR 24hr plot

IU/CTAO, Charters Towers, Australia

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IU/DAV,Davao, Philippines

 DAV 24hr plot

IU/DWPF,Disney Wilderness Preserve, Florida, USA

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IU/FUNA,Funafuti, Tuvalu

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IU/FURI, Mt. Furi, Ethiopia

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IU/GNI, Garni, Armenia

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IU/GRFO, Grafenberg, Germany

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IU/GUMO, Guam, Mariana Islands

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IU/HKT, Hockley, Texas, USA

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IU/HNR, Honiara, Solomon Islands

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IU/HRV, Adam Dziewonski Observatory (Oak Ridge), Massachusetts, USA

 HRV 24hr plot

IU/INCN, Inchon, Republic of Korea

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IU/JOHN, Johnston Island, Pacific Ocean

 JOHN 24hr plot

IU/KBS, Ny-Alesund, Spitzbergen, Norway

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IU/KEV, Kevo, Finland

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IU/KIEV, Kiev, Ukraine

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IU/KIP, Kipapa, Hawaii, USA

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IU/KMBO, Kilima Mbogo, Kenya

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IU/KNTN, Kanton Island, Kiribati

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IU/KONO, Kongsberg, Norway

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IU/KOWA, Kowa, Mali

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IU/LCO, Las Campanas Astronomical Observatory, Chile

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IU/LSZ, Lusaka, Zambia

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IU/LVC, Limon Verde, Chile

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IU/MA2, Magadan, Russia

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IU/MAJO, Matsushiro, Japan

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IU/MAKZ,Makanchi, Kazakhstan

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IU/MBWA, Marble Bar, Western Australia

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IU/MIDW, Midway Island, Pacific Ocean, USA

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IU/MSKU, Masuku, Gabon

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IU/NWAO, Narrogin, Australia

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IU/OTAV, Otavalo, Equador

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IU/PAB, San Pablo, Spain

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IU/PAYG Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands

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IU/PET, Petropavlovsk, Russia

 PET 24hr plot

IU/PMG, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

 PMG 24hr plot

IU/PMSA, Palmer Station, Antarctica

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IU/POHA, Pohakaloa, Hawaii

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IU/PTCN, Pitcairn Island, South Pacific

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IU/PTGA, Pitinga, Brazil

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IU/QSPA, South Pole, Antarctica

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IU/RAO, Raoul, Kermandec Islands

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IU/RAR, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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IU/RCBR, Riachuelo, Brazil

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IU/RSSD, Black Hills, South Dakota, USA

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IU/SAML, Samuel, Brazil

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IU/SBA, Scott Base, Antarctica

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IU/SDV, Santo Domingo, Venezuela

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IU/SFJD, Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland

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IU/SJG, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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IU/SLBS, Sierra la Laguna Baja California Sur, Mexico

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IU/SNZO, South Karori, New Zealand

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IU/SSPA, Standing Stone, Pennsylvania USA

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IU/TARA, Tarawa Island, Republic of Kiribati

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IU/TATO, Taipei, Taiwan

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IU/TEIG, Tepich, Yucatan, Mexico

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IU/TIXI, Tiksi, Russia

 TIXI 24hr plot

IU/TRIS, Tristan da Cunha, Atlantic Ocean

 TRIS 24hr plot

IU/TRQA, Tornquist, Argentina

 TRQA 24hr plot

IU/TSUM, Tsumeb, Namibia

 TSUM 24hr plot

IU/TUC, Tucson, Arizona

 TUC 24hr plot

IU/ULN, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

 ULN 24hr plot

IU/WAKE, Wake Island, Pacific Ocean

 WAKE 24hr plot

IU/WCI, Wyandotte Cave, Indiana, USA

 WCI 24hr plot

IU/WVT, Waverly, Tennessee, USA

 WVT 24hr plot

IU/XMAS, Kiritimati Island, Republic of Kiribati

 XMAS 24hr plot

IU/YAK, Yakutsk, Russia

 YAK 24hr plot

IU/YSS, Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, Russia

 YSS 24hr plot

Earthquake in USA on Monday, 01 October, 2012 at 05:18 (05:18 AM) UTC.

Description
Damage from a small earthquake and a subsequent aftershock in a suburb west of Dallas was mostly limited to cracked walls and knocked-down pictures, authorities said. The unscathed Dallas-Fort Worth airport, near the epicenter of Saturday’s late-night temblor, kept up with normal flight operations. Emergency officials said there were no indications of any injuries. The initial earthquake, measured at a preliminary magnitude of 3.4, struck at 11:05 p.m. central time Saturday and was centered about 2 miles north of the Dallas suburb of Irving, the U.S. Geological Survey’s national earthquake monitoring center in Golden, Colo., reported. USGS geophysicist Randy Baldwin told The Associated Press that the initial quake lasted several seconds and appeared strong enough to be felt up to 15 or 20 miles away. He said the smaller aftershock, with an estimated 3.1 magnitude, occurred four minutes later and just a few miles away in another area west of Dallas. Irving’s emergency operators were flooded with more than 400 calls after the initial quake, with people reporting minor damage, such as cracks in some walls and a ceiling, pictures that had been knocked down and a report of a possible gas leak, emergency official Pat McMacken said Sunday.
  Tsunami Information
Pacific Ocean Region
Date/Time (UTC) Message Location Magnitude Depth Status Details
30.09.2012 16:38 PM Tsunami Information Bulletin Colombia 7.4 140 km Details

Tsunami Information Bulletin in Colombia, Pacific Ocean

GuID: pacific.TIBPAC.2012.09.30.1638
Date/Time: 2012-09-30 16:38:57
Source: PTWC
Area: Pacific Ocean
Location: Colombia
Magnitude: M 7.4
Depth: 140 km
Tsunami observed: Not observed.
Original Bulletin
Tsunami Information Bulletin in Colombia, Pacific Ocean
000
WEPA42 PHEB 301638
TIBPAC

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 001
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 1638Z 30 SEP 2012

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS...EXCEPT ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...
WASHINGTON...OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

... TSUNAMI INFORMATION BULLETIN ...

THIS BULLETIN IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY.

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.  ONLY
NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE
DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND
ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

 ORIGIN TIME -  1632Z 30 SEP 2012
 COORDINATES -   2.0 NORTH   76.6 WEST
 DEPTH       -  140 KM
 LOCATION    -  COLOMBIA
 MAGNITUDE   -  7.4

EVALUATION

 A DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI WAS NOT GENERATED BASED ON EARTHQUAKE AND
 HISTORICAL TSUNAMI DATA.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY BULLETIN ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.

THE WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE PRODUCTS
FOR ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...WASHINGTON...OREGON...CALIFORNIA.

 

 

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Storms / Flooding

  Active tropical storm system(s)
Name of storm system Location Formed Last update Last category Course Wind Speed Gust Wave Source Details
Nadine (AL14) Atlantic Ocean 11.09.2012 01.10.2012 Hurricane II 230 ° 139 km/h 167 km/h 4.88 m NOAA NHC Details

Tropical Storm data

Share:
Storm name: Nadine (AL14)
Area: Atlantic Ocean
Start up location: N 16° 18.000, W 43° 6.000
Start up: 11th September 2012
Status: 28th September 2012
Track long: 1,426.96 km
Top category.:
Report by: NOAA NHC
Useful links:

Past track
Date Time Position Speed
km/h
Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Category Course Wave Pressure Source
12th Sep 2012 05:01:17 N 17° 48.000, W 45° 12.000 24 65 83 Tropical Storm 300 13 1004 MB NOAA NHC
12th Sep 2012 10:46:22 N 18° 36.000, W 46° 36.000 28 74 93 Tropical Storm 300 15 1001 MB NOAA NHC
13th Sep 2012 05:34:52 N 20° 42.000, W 50° 6.000 26 111 139 Tropical Storm 305 17 990 MB NOAA NHC
14th Sep 2012 05:11:31 N 25° 0.000, W 53° 42.000 24 111 139 Tropical Storm 330 17 989 MB NOAA NHC
15th Sep 2012 06:55:17 N 30° 0.000, W 52° 48.000 22 120 148 Hurricane I. 25 17 985 MB NOAA NHC
15th Sep 2012 10:59:20 N 30° 42.000, W 51° 24.000 24 120 148 Hurricane I. 50 13 985 MB NOAA NHC
16th Sep 2012 05:13:53 N 30° 36.000, W 46° 36.000 28 130 157 Hurricane I. 95 15 983 MB NOAA NHC
17th Sep 2012 05:22:55 N 31° 24.000, W 38° 6.000 30 111 139 Tropical Storm 75 16 987 MB NOAA NHC
17th Sep 2012 10:47:47 N 32° 0.000, W 36° 24.000 28 111 139 Tropical Storm 65 15 985 MB NOAA NHC
18th Sep 2012 05:15:16 N 33° 54.000, W 34° 12.000 15 93 111 Tropical Storm 45 18 989 MB NOAA NHC
18th Sep 2012 10:46:51 N 34° 18.000, W 33° 36.000 13 93 111 Tropical Storm 45 14 990 MB NOAA NHC
19th Sep 2012 05:31:59 N 35° 48.000, W 32° 12.000 11 83 102 Tropical Storm 25 15 993 MB NOAA NHC
19th Sep 2012 11:00:20 N 36° 24.000, W 32° 6.000 7 83 102 Tropical Storm 360 9 993 MB NOAA NHC
20th Sep 2012 05:12:41 N 37° 6.000, W 31° 24.000 6 83 102 Tropical Storm 60 9 990 MB NOAA NHC
21st Sep 2012 10:40:35 N 35° 6.000, W 27° 12.000 13 102 120 Tropical Storm 140 14 981 MB NOAA NHC
22nd Sep 2012 06:38:52 N 31° 54.000, W 26° 36.000 20 93 111 Tropical Storm 165 15 984 MB NOAA NHC
27th Sep 2012 04:58:41 N 29° 30.000, W 31° 24.000 9 83 102 Tropical Storm 220 15 993 MB NOAA NHC
30th Sep 2012 06:48:45 N 35° 36.000, W 37° 30.000 17 139 167 Hurricane I. 340 19 984 MB NOAA NHC
Current position
Date Time Position Speed
km/h
Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Category Course Wave
feet
Pressure Source
01st Oct 2012 04:38:54 N 36° 42.000, W 39° 24.000 11 139 167 Hurricane II 230 ° 16 981 MB NOAA NHC
Forecast track
Date Time Position Category Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Source
02nd Oct 2012 12:00:00 N 35° 12.000, W 37° 54.000 Hurricane I 102 120 NOAA NHC
02nd Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 35° 42.000, W 39° 0.000 Hurricane I 111 139 NOAA NHC
03rd Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 35° 24.000, W 36° 24.000 Tropical Depression 93 111 NOAA NHC
04th Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 38° 0.000, W 31° 18.000 Tropical Depression 83 102 NOAA NHC
05th Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 44° 36.000, W 26° 24.000 Tropical Depression 74 93 NOAA NHC
06th Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 50° 0.000, W 27° 18.000 Tropical Depression 74 93 NOAA NHC
20W Pacific Ocean 01.10.2012 01.10.2012 Tropical Depression 290 ° 56 km/h 74 km/h 3.05 m JTWC Details

 Tropical Storm data

Share:
Storm name: 20W
Area: Pacific Ocean
Start up location: N 16° 54.000, E 146° 18.000
Start up: 01st October 2012
Status: Active
Track long: 0.00 km
Top category.:
Report by: JTWC
Useful links:

Past track
Date Time Position Speed
km/h
Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Category Course Wave Pressure Source
Current position
Date Time Position Speed
km/h
Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Category Course Wave
feet
Pressure Source
01st Oct 2012 10:51:23 N 17° 48.000, E 145° 48.000 19 56 74 Tropical Depression 310 ° 15 JTWC
Forecast track
Date Time Position Category Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Source
02nd Oct 2012 12:00:00 N 21° 12.000, E 141° 6.000 Typhoon I 111 139 JTWC
02nd Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 19° 48.000, E 142° 30.000 Typhoon I 93 120 JTWC
03rd Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 23° 6.000, E 140° 6.000 Typhoon II 130 157 JTWC
04th Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 26° 42.000, E 140° 36.000 Typhoon II 139 167 JTWC
05th Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 32° 24.000, E 146° 24.000 Typhoon I 120 148 JTWC
06th Oct 2012 00:00:00 N 39° 30.000, E 155° 42.000 Tropical Depression 83 102 JTWC

………………………..

Today Tropical Storm Japan Capital City, Tokyo Damage level Details

Tropical Storm in Japan on Monday, 01 October, 2012 at 03:25 (03:25 AM) UTC.

Description
A weakening tropical storm was speeding out of Japan on Monday after bringing gale-strength winds to Tokyo and injuring dozens of people, causing blackouts and paralyzing traffic to the south and west of the capital. Japan’s Meteorological Agency had warned Tokyo residents to stay indoors while Typhoon Jelawat passed Sunday night. The storm then had winds of up to 126 kilometers (78 miles) an hour but weakened to a tropical storm with 108 kph (67 mph) in the morning. On Sunday, Nagoya city issued an evacuation advisory to more than 50,000 residents because of fear of flooding from a swollen river. A similar advisory was issued for more than 10,000 people in the northern city of Ishinomaki that was hit by last year’s tsunami. The typhoon left 145 people with minor injuries in southern and western Japan, about half of them on the southern island of Okinawa, public broadcaster NHK said. Tens of thousands of homes were without electricity. Kyodo news agency reported one fatality, a man who was swept away by seawater while fishing in Okinawa. Dozens of trains were halted in coastal areas around Tokyo and many stores inside the capital closed early Sunday as the storm approached. It is expected to move into the Pacific Ocean early Monday.

 

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Epidemic Hazards / Diseases

New virus in Africa looks like rabies, acts like Ebola

Frederick A. Murphy / CDC handout via EPA file

A new virus that appears similar to rabies, but has the symptoms and lethality of Ebola, shown here, has been dubbed the Bas-Congo virus. It killed two teenagers in the Congo in 2009.

By Maggie Fox, NBC News

A virus that killed two teenagers in Congo in 2009 is a completely new type, related to rabies but causing the bleeding and rapid death that makes Ebola infection so terrifying, scientists reported on Thursday. They’re searching for the source of the virus, which may be transmitted by insects or bats.

The new virus is being named Bas-Congo virus, for the area where it was found.  Researchers are finding more and more of these new viruses, in part because new tests make it possible, but also in the hope of better understanding them so they can prevent pandemics of deadly disease.

The virus infected a 15-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl in the same village in Congo in 2009. They didn’t stand a chance, says Joseph Fair of Metabiota, a company that investigates pathogens. Fair is in the Democratic Republic of Congo now, under contract to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help battle an ongoing Ebola outbreak.

“They expired within three days,” Fair said in a telephone interview. “It was a very rapid killer.”

A few days later a male nurse who cared for the two teenagers developed the same symptoms and survived. Samples from the lucky nurse have been tested and it turned out a completely new virus had infected him, Fair and other researchers report in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS pathogens.

The genetic sequences went to Dr. Charles Chiu, of the University of California, San Francisco.

“We were astounded that this patient had sequences in his blood from a completely unknown and unidentified virus,” Chiu said. They weren’t expecting that.

“Congo is very much known for having Ebola and Marburg outbreaks. Yet about 20 percent of the time we have hemorrhagic fever outbreaks that are completely negative, which means unknown causes and they are not Ebola.”

The sequencing puts this new virus on its own branch of the bad virus family tree — somewhat related to Ebola and the virus that causes Lassa fever, another horrific killer, and most closely related to the rhabdoviruses. This family usually only infects animals with one notable exception — rabies.

But rabies is not known to cause hemorrhaging. It’s plenty horrible on its own, of course, killing virtually all patients if they aren’t vaccinated soon after infection.

A nurse who took care of the first infected nurse had antibodies to the new virus. It doesn’t look like the teenagers infected one another, says Fair, but they probably infected the first nurse, who probably infected the second. Tests of other villagers have found no more evidence of the virus, however, which is good news.

“Although the source of the virus remains unclear, study findings suggest that Bas-Congo virus may be spread by human-to-human contact and is an emerging pathogen associated with acute hemorrhagic fever in Africa,” the researchers wrote.

Africa is loaded with nasty viruses. Lassa fever virus comes from a family known as arenaviruses and causes 500,000 cases of hemorrhagic fever a year. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and Rift Valley Fever viruses are in another family called bunyaviruses; Ebola and Marburg viruses are filoviruses that kill anywhere between 30 percent and 90 percent of victims. They’re also helping wipe out great apes such as gorillas in Central Africa. This adds a new one to the list.

It worries Chiu because its closest relative is spread by biting flies in Australia. “We think that is potentially a valuable clue. This virus may have come from an insect vector,” Chiu says. “What is scary about this virus is if it does happen to be spread by insects, it has the potential to be something like West Nile.”

West Nile showed up in the United States for the first time in 1999, having never been seen here before. It causes regular outbreaks in Africa and parts of Europe, however, and some experts think a mosquito or an infected person carried it on a flight to New York. It’s killed 147 people in an especially bad U.S. outbreak this year, although more than 90 percent of people infected with West Nile never even know it.

New viruses often cause disease — there was severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS, which killed 800 people and infected 8,000 in 2003 before it was stopped. Scientists are now watching a similar virus that has emerged in the Middle east.

Chiu says there is not enough information to know how deadly the new Bas-Congo virus is.

“It  has probably been lurking out there in remote areas and causing sporadic cases of hemorrhagic fever and no one had the resources to discover it,” Chiu said. “This is probably the tip of the iceberg. I believe there are many, many more of these emerging viruses that have yet to be discovered,” he added.

“This points to the importance of being vigilant, especially these remote areas of Africa and Asia. This is the area that I believe the next generation of emerging viruses will come from.”

Fair agrees, and says his team will be looking. They’ll also be checking to see if bats or insects can spread it. “It is a frightening prospect. That is why the next step in this process is to look for the vector,” Fair said.

That’s not so easy. Fair’s team and hundreds of other scientists have been looking for the reservoir — the animal or insect source –of Ebola. That would be a bat or other creature that can carry it without getting sick itself. So far they have had no luck, although fruit bats are a major suspect.

And for the new Bas-Congo virus, the trail is now three years old. “Everything we do will be as a forensic investigation,” Fair said. “We really have to go look for a needle in a sack of needles.”

And in the meantime, there’s an outbreak of Ebola to cope with. Fair says a coordinated effort is going on, although this isn’t the worst outbreak he has seen. It’s killing about 30 percent to 40 percent of patients — not nearly as bad as some strains, which killed up to 90 percent of victims.

“If you had to get Ebola, this is the strain to get,” he said.

Related stories:

 

 

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Solar Activity

2MIN News Sept 30. 2012

Published on Sep 30, 2012 by

Pole Shift Video: http://youtu.be/uI10tKuLtFU

REPEAT LINKS
Spaceweather: http://spaceweather.com/ [Look on the left at the X-ray Flux and Solar Wind Speed/Density]

HAARP: http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/data.html [Click online data, and have a little fun]

SDO: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/ [Place to find Solar Images and Videos - as seen from earth]

SOHO: http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/soho_movie_theater [SOHO; Lasco and EIT - as seen from earth]

Stereo: http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/images [Stereo; Cor, EUVI, HI - as seen from the side]

SunAEON:http://www.sunaeon.com/#/solarsystem/ [Just click it... trust me]

SOLARIMG: http://solarimg.org/artis/ [All purpose data viewing site]

iSWA: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov/iswa/iSWA.html [Free Application; for advanced sun watchers]

NASA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov:8080/IswaSystemWebApp/iSWACygnetStreamer?timestamp=…
NOAA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wsa-enlil/

US Wind Map: http://hint.fm/wind/

NOAA Bouys: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/

NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory: http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/Default.php

RSOE: http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php [That cool alert map I use]

GOES Xray: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/sxi/goes15/index.html

JAPAN Radiation Map: http://jciv.iidj.net/map/

LISS: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/monitoring/operations/heliplots_gsn.php

Gamma Ray Bursts: http://grb.sonoma.edu/ [Really? You can't figure out what this one is for?]

BARTOL Cosmic Rays: http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//spaceweather/welcome.html [Top left box, look for BIG blue circles]

TORCON: http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-torcon-index [Tornado Forecast for the day]

GOES Weather: http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/goes/ [Clouds over America]

RAIN RECORDS: http://www.cocorahs.org/ViewData/ListIntensePrecipReports.aspx

EL DORADO WORLD WEATHER MAP: http://www.eldoradocountyweather.com/satellite/ssec/world/world-composite-ir-…

PRESSURE MAP: http://www.woweather.com/cgi-bin/expertcharts?LANG=us&MENU=0000000000&…

HURRICANE TRACKER: http://www.weather.com/weather/hurricanecentral/tracker

INTELLICAST: http://www.intellicast.com/ [Weather site used by many youtubers]

NASA News: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/

PHYSORG: http://phys.org/ [GREAT News Site!]

QUAKES LIST FULL: http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/seismologist.php

 

 

 

SUBSIDING GEOMAGNETIC STORM:

A strong (Kp=7) geomagnetic storm sparked by a CME impact on Sept. 30th is subsiding now. At maximum, during the early hours of Oct. 1st, Northern Lights descended as far south in the United States as Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Montana, Minnesota, Washington, Idaho, Illinois and South Dakota. Even California experienced some auroras. Tim Piya Trepetch caught a patch of sky turning purple over the Lassen Volcanic National Park:

“Purple auroras erupted right over Lassen Peak,” says Trepetch.

California auroras are not as rare as some people think. The webmaster of spaceweather.com lives in California and has witnessed auroras no fewer than six times. The trick is knowing when to look.
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Space

 

 

 

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

ISS COMPANION:

Europe’s massive ATV-3 cargo carrier undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) on Sept. 28th. Now the spacecraft, as large as a double-decker bus, is leading the ISS in orbit around Earth. Monika Landy-Gyebnar saw it this morning flying over Veszprem, Hungary:

“I went outside to see the ISS,” says Landy-Gyebnar. “About a minute before the space station appeared, I saw a realtively bright object flying overheads almost where the ISS was to fly. Then I remembered that the ATV-3 undocked from ISS on Friday–and there it was! Just as ATV-3 has faded, the ISS emerged from the clouds and followed the small cargo vehicle towards the east.”

The ATV-3 will reenter Earth’s atmosphere on or about October 3rd, disintegrating in a spectacular fireball over the Pacific Ocean. Until then, sky watchers should be alert for the cargo vessel leading the ISS across the night sky. ATV-3 and ISS flyby predictions may be found on the web or on your smartphone.

 

 

 

 Earth approaching objects (objects that are known in the next 30 days)

Object Name Apporach Date Left AU Distance LD Distance Estimated Diameter* Relative Velocity
(2012 RH10) 03rd October 2012 2 day(s) 0.1260 49.0 98 m – 220 m 12.90 km/s 46440 km/h
(2012 QE50) 09th October 2012 8 day(s) 0.0809 31.5 450 m – 1.0 km 11.47 km/s 41292 km/h
(1994 EK) 14th October 2012 13 day(s) 0.1356 52.8 230 m – 520 m 12.22 km/s 43992 km/h
(2012 PA20) 15th October 2012 14 day(s) 0.1502 58.5 100 m – 230 m 10.36 km/s 37296 km/h
(2012 RV16) 18th October 2012 17 day(s) 0.1270 49.4 310 m – 700 m 16.14 km/s 58104 km/h

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Sinkhole

The sinkhole in Assumption Parish keeps getting bigger.The parish’s director of homeland security and emergency preparedness, John Boudreaux, says a 15-hundred square foot section of the earth caved in last week, pulling down several trees and part of a road.

The road that caved in was built to assist in the cleanup efforts. The sinkhole is about four acres in size and has grown since it emerged on August third.

150 homes in two nearby communities are evacuated as a result of the sinkhole.

Experts believe an underground brine cavern encased in a salt dome could be the cause of the sink hole. Sonar testing inside the cavern began a few days ago.

Boudreaux says an unknown substance was found at the bottom of the cavern. “The substance could be soil and sand that now has entered the cavern that created the sinkhole.”

Scientists are still trying to determine precisely why the hole appeared.

Residents and businesses in the area are growing increasingly concerned that it may swallow up their investments.

The hole filled with sludge and muck as it swallowed hundreds of yards of swampland.

Area residents have been worried not only by tremors, possibly caused by natural gas shifting underground in or near the dome, but also by concerns the value of their homes and business could suffer.

 

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Articles of Interest

Today Power Outage USA State of Colorado, [Greeley, Garden City, Evans, LaSalle and surrounding areas] Damage level Details

Power Outage in USA on Monday, 01 October, 2012 at 04:29 (04:29 AM) UTC.

Description
Power has been restored to about 17,000 Xcel Energy customers who were affected Sunday evening by an outage in the Greeley area. Xcel Energy spokeswoman Michelle Aguayo said at least 16,900 customers in Greeley, Garden City, Evans, LaSalle and surrounding areas were affected. She said the outage originated at a Greeley substation at 6:18 p.m. The outage lasted a little more than two hours. As of Sunday night, Aguayo said crews were still trying to determine the cause of the outage, but it did not appear to be weather-related. Xcel Energy’s outage hotline was inundated with calls. Aguayo said the company encourages customers to call and leave messages. Paul Sadd, a mechanic at North Colorado Medical Center, said the hospital was running on emergency power during the outage. He said several people were stuck in elevators, but workers were able to get them out safely. Aguayo said Xcel works closely with large customers like hospitals and law enforcement agencies to ensure that they have back-up power resources.

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes 'FAIR USE' of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

More Problems For The Lunch Lady

Two months ago a provider of school lunch meals in Canada, called The Lunch Lady, was identified as the source of a Salmonella outbreak that sickened 50 children.

School Lunch TrayNow the Ottawa outfit, which serves meals to 5,000 children in the Ottawa area, has been cited by Ottawa Public Health (OPH) officials for a food safety violation during a  May 14 inspection. The facility did not keep foods cooled to a proper temperature of 40 degrees F or less. The problem had been corrected by the time a re-inspection was conducted the following day.

Read Full Article Here

State Lifts Quarantine on Organic Pastures’ Raw Milk, Raw Milk Products

The statewide quarantine on Organic Pastures’ raw milk and raw-milk products, which was imposed on May 10, has been lifted, with the dairy’s owner, Mark McAfee, joyfully describing that as “breaking news” in a May 17 video on the dairy’s Facebook page.

OrganicPasturesCampylobacter.jpg

Raw milk is milk that hasn’t been pasteurized to kill harmful fecal bacteria that may be in the milk.
“We’re excited and happy to announce that . . .  our products are now available for sale once again in California,” McAfee says in the video. “We’re working hard to get the trucks and products back to the stores.”
The state imposed the quarantine after at least 10 of the people sickened by Campylobacter in 5 counties in California between January through the end of April reported drinking Organic Pastures’ raw milk prior to becoming ill. None of the patents, whose ages ranged from 9 months to 38, (six of them under 18), were hospitalized, and there were no deaths.

Hepatitis A Infects Worker at NC Donut Establishment

An employee at a North Carolina donut store has contracted a hepatitis A infection, prompting health officials to recommend vaccination for those who may have purchased food handled by the worker.

donutsrecalled-iphone.jpg

The infected individual works at the Dixie Donuts of Wilkesboro, located at 2830 West NC Highway 268. Consumers who visited the establishment on May 8 or 9 between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. or on May 10 or 12 between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. are at risk of exposure and are encouraged to get a hepatitis A vaccination from their healthcare provider.
Those potentially exposed to the virus could begin experiencing symptoms as early as May 22 and as late as June 23, according to the Wilkes County Health Department.

For Safety, Pasteurize Raw Milk At Home

May 19, 2012 By

Home pasteurization is a food safety measure used by some raw milk drinkers and advocated by some raw milk providers, because even if it’s produced on clean, organic farms, raw milk can contain pathogens.

So far this year, there have been five foodborne illness outbreaks linked to raw milk and five raw milk recalls:

Read Full Article Here

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Recalls

Foster Farms Recalls Turkey Burgers for Undeclared Allergen and Misbranding

Foster Farms of California is recalling about 15,040 pounds of turkey burgers because of misbranding and an undeclared allergen. A seasoning mix with hydrolyzed soy protein was included in the product and not declared on the label. Soy is one of the major food allergens.

Read Full Article Here

Bagged Salad Recalled for Listeria Contamination

The California Department of Public Health warned California residents not to eat certain bagged salads manufactured by River Ranch Fresh Foods, LLC due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes on Friday.

iceberglettuce-406B.jpgAccording to a news release from CDPH, Salinas, California-based River Ranch Fresh Foods initiated a voluntary recall of bagged salads after routine sampling detected Listeria monocytogenes in two packages of shredded iceberg lettuce purchased from retail locations in California and Colorado. The recalled salad products were distributed nationwide to retail and foodservice outlets under various sizes and packaged under the brand names of River Ranch, Farm Stand, Hy-Vee, Marketside, Shurfresh, The Farmer’s Market, Cross Valley, Fresh n Easy, Promark, and Sysco.

Read Full Article  Here

Ground Beef Recalled Due to E. Coli Risk

Lancaster Frozen Foods and G&W Incorporated are recalling about 6,908 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli, according to the South Carolina meat and poultry inspection department.
Lab testing by the meat and poultry inspection department confirmed a positive result for E.coli in a ground product at Lancaster Frozen Foods. That lot was held by the company, but additional ungroud product from the same lot had been used in other production lots resulting in the recall.
No illnesses have been reported.

Articles of Interest

US Department of Labor’s OSHA Establishes Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the establishment of a Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. This body will make recommendations to the Secretary of Labor on ways to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of OSHA’s administration of whistleblower protections.

Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health said in the news release, “Workers who expose securities and financial fraud, adulterated foods, air and water pollution, or workplace safety hazards have a legal right to speak out without fear of retaliation, and the laws that protect these whistleblowers also protect the health, safety, and well-being of a

Read Full Article Here

FDA Explains Ban on Korean Shellfish

Korean shellfish imports have been blocked by the U.S. since May 1 because Korean waters may have been polluted with human fecal waste, the U.S. Food and Drug Admnistration (FDA) said on Friday. Oysters, clams, mussels and scallops harvested in Korea have the potential to be contaminated with norovirus, the agency said.

korean-oysters-iphone.jpg

The Washington State Department of Health had reported the ban more than a week ago, but FDA had not publicly announced the reason for the action.
In a constituent update, FDA said all Korean certified shippers of molluscan shellfish were removed from the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL), following an evaluation that determined “the Korean Shellfish Sanitation Program (KSSP) no longer meets the sanitation controls spelled out under the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.”

California food police gone wild: LA County health enforcers conduct door-to-door raw milk confiscation operations

By Mike Adams,  
(NaturalNews) In a bombshell revelation of the depth of the food police state that now exists in LA County, California, NaturalNews has learned that the LA County health department has unleashed door-to-door raw milk confiscation teams to threaten and intimidate raw dairy customers into surrendering raw milk products they legally purchased and own. According to Mark McAfee (see quotes below), both LA County and San Diego county have attempted to acquire customer names and addresses from Organic…

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes 'FAIR USE' of any such copyrighted material.]

Earthquakes

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 23:43 PM
2.4     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 23:38 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 27 23:08 PM
2.5     8.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 22:56 PM
3.5     9.0     MAP

USGS     Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Apr 27 22:55 PM
2.7     41.8     MAP

EMSC     Prince Edward Islands Region
Apr 27 21:51 PM
4.9     20.0     MAP

GEOFON     Prince Edward Islands Region
Apr 27 21:51 PM
4.8     10.0     MAP

USGS     Prince Edward Islands Region
Apr 27 21:51 PM
4.9     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Cochabamba, Bolivia
Apr 27 21:36 PM
4.0     42.0     MAP

USGS     Cochabamba, Bolivia
Apr 27 21:36 PM
4.0     42.3     MAP

EMSC     Azores Islands Region
Apr 27 21:32 PM
3.0     15.0     MAP

EMSC     Southern Greece
Apr 27 21:20 PM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Taiwan
Apr 27 21:08 PM
4.2     7.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 27 20:15 PM
4.3     10.0     MAP

USGS     Central California
Apr 27 20:11 PM
2.6     4.7     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 27 19:44 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

USGS     New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea
Apr 27 19:22 PM
4.9     58.2     MAP

EMSC     New Britain Region, P.n.g.
Apr 27 19:22 PM
4.9     58.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 19:17 PM
2.8     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 27 18:42 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

USGS     Libertador General Bernardo O’higgins, Chile
Apr 27 18:34 PM
4.7     50.2     MAP

EMSC     Libertador O’higgins, Chile
Apr 27 18:34 PM
4.7     50.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 18:18 PM
2.7     5.0     MAP

GEOFON     Central Chile
Apr 27 17:58 PM
4.6     53.0     MAP

EMSC     Maule, Chile
Apr 27 17:58 PM
4.6     51.0     MAP

USGS     Maule, Chile
Apr 27 17:58 PM
4.7     41.6     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 27 17:36 PM
2.4     12.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 27 16:44 PM
2.8     10.0     MAP

USGS     Vancouver Island, Canada Region
Apr 27 16:22 PM
4.0     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Vancouver Island, Canada Region
Apr 27 16:22 PM
4.0     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 16:02 PM
2.6     5.0     MAP

USGS     Vanuatu
Apr 27 15:22 PM
4.5     71.5     MAP

EMSC     Vanuatu
Apr 27 15:22 PM
4.7     60.0     MAP

GEOFON     Vanuatu Islands
Apr 27 15:22 PM
4.8     10.0     MAP

USGS     Taiwan
Apr 27 14:48 PM
4.4     46.9     MAP

GEOFON     Taiwan
Apr 27 14:48 PM
4.3     20.0     MAP

EMSC     Taiwan
Apr 27 14:48 PM
4.4     43.0     MAP

USGS     Central California
Apr 27 14:47 PM
2.6     20.1     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 27 14:24 PM
2.4     13.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 14:13 PM
3.2     12.0     MAP

USGS     Puerto Rico
Apr 27 13:38 PM
2.8     8.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 13:35 PM
3.0     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Iran
Apr 27 13:27 PM
3.5     4.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 13:15 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Turkey-syria Border Region
Apr 27 13:11 PM
2.8     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 27 13:05 PM
2.7     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 12:53 PM
2.7     5.0     MAP

GEOFON     Vancouver Island, Canada Region
Apr 27 12:52 PM
4.2     10.0     MAP

USGS     Vancouver Island, Canada Region
Apr 27 12:52 PM
4.4     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Vancouver Island, Canada Region
Apr 27 12:52 PM
4.4     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 27 12:46 PM
3.6     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 27 12:37 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

USGS     Central Alaska
Apr 27 12:36 PM
3.1     118.6     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 27 12:34 PM
2.6     9.0     MAP

EMSC     Crete, Greece
Apr 27 12:30 PM
2.9     19.0     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 27 12:28 PM
2.9     11.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 27 12:18 PM
3.0     7.0     MAP

USGS     Dominican Republic Region
Apr 27 12:00 PM
2.8     84.8     MAP

EMSC     Near The Coast Of Western Turkey
Apr 27 11:47 AM
2.9     15.0     MAP

EMSC     Near The Coast Of Western Turkey
Apr 27 11:19 AM
3.6     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 11:08 AM
2.5     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Near The Coast Of Western Turkey
Apr 27 10:49 AM
3.6     8.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 27 10:43 AM
2.5     8.0     MAP

EMSC     Germany
Apr 27 10:33 AM
2.6     2.0     MAP

GEOFON     Germany
Apr 27 10:33 AM
2.5     1.0     MAP

USGS     Tajikistan
Apr 27 10:32 AM
4.6     49.2     MAP

EMSC     Tajikistan
Apr 27 10:32 AM
4.6     50.0     MAP

GEONET     Manawatu , New Zealand
Apr 27 10:32 AM
3.0     33.0     MAP

USGS     Sulawesi, Indonesia
Apr 27 10:29 AM
5.1     55.4     MAP

EMSC     Sulawesi, Indonesia
Apr 27 10:29 AM
5.1     15.0     MAP

GEOFON     Sulawesi, Indonesia
Apr 27 10:29 AM
5.1     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Central Turkey
Apr 27 10:24 AM
3.0     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 10:19 AM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 10:04 AM
2.5     5.0     MAP

USGS     Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Apr 27 09:46 AM
3.4     25.8     MAP

USGS     Southern Alaska
Apr 27 09:39 AM
3.3     121.6     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 09:16 AM
3.1     17.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 09:14 AM
3.0     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Northern Xinjiang, China
Apr 27 09:01 AM
4.2     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Luzon, Philippines
Apr 27 08:59 AM
4.5     42.0     MAP

USGS     Luzon, Philippines
Apr 27 08:59 AM
4.5     42.1     MAP

EMSC     Albania
Apr 27 08:52 AM
2.5     25.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 08:52 AM
2.5     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 08:49 AM
3.0     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Offshore Northern California
Apr 27 08:38 AM
4.1     6.0     MAP

USGS     Offshore Northern California
Apr 27 08:38 AM
3.8     13.0     MAP

EMSC     Southern Greece
Apr 27 08:01 AM
3.0     16.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 07:50 AM
2.7     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Near N Coast Of New Guinea, Png.
Apr 27 07:49 AM
4.3     123.0     MAP

USGS     Near The North Coast Of New Guinea, Papua
Apr 27 07:49 AM
4.3     123.1     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 07:49 AM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 07:39 AM
2.7     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 07:15 AM
3.1     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 07:11 AM
2.9     3.0     MAP

EMSC     Off East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Apr 27 06:48 AM
4.6     30.0     MAP

USGS     Off The East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Apr 27 06:48 AM
4.6     29.3     MAP

GEOFON     Off East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Apr 27 06:48 AM
4.6     15.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 06:46 AM
2.5     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 27 06:28 AM
2.9     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 06:07 AM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan
Apr 27 05:49 AM
4.5     219.0     MAP

GEOFON     Afghanistan-tajikistan Border Region
Apr 27 05:49 AM
5.0     221.0     MAP

USGS     Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan
Apr 27 05:49 AM
4.5     224.5     MAP

USGS     Virgin Islands Region
Apr 27 05:39 AM
3.1     49.0     MAP

EMSC     Near East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Apr 27 05:37 AM
5.0     27.0     MAP

GEOFON     Near East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Apr 27 05:37 AM
5.1     20.0     MAP

USGS     Off The East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Apr 27 05:37 AM
4.9     33.9     MAP

EMSC     Central Turkey
Apr 27 05:36 AM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Kuril Islands
Apr 27 05:17 AM
4.2     157.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 05:11 AM
3.0     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 04:45 AM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 27 04:42 AM
2.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Southwestern Siberia, Russia
Apr 27 04:37 AM
4.2     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 04:33 AM
2.9     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 04:06 AM
2.4     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 03:58 AM
2.7     3.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 27 03:51 AM
3.2     4.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 27 03:37 AM
3.0     11.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 27 03:32 AM
3.2     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 03:10 AM
2.5     4.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 03:01 AM
2.8     12.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 27 02:55 AM
2.5     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 02:54 AM
3.4     19.0     MAP

USGS     Western Montana
Apr 27 02:38 AM
2.6     9.7     MAP

USGS     Central Alaska
Apr 27 01:46 AM
3.1     107.8     MAP

EMSC     North Indian Ocean
Apr 27 01:41 AM
4.8     60.0     MAP

USGS     North Indian Ocean
Apr 27 01:40 AM
4.8     15.6     MAP

GEOFON     North Indian Ocean
Apr 27 01:40 AM
5.1     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 01:38 AM
2.9     36.0     MAP

EMSC     Cyprus Region
Apr 27 01:27 AM
3.1     1.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 01:26 AM
3.0     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 01:21 AM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 01:18 AM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 01:01 AM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Northern Italy
Apr 27 00:59 AM
2.6     9.0     MAP

GEONET     West Coast
Apr 27 00:58 AM
3.9     5.0     MAP

USGS     Mona Passage, Dominican Republic
Apr 27 00:50 AM
3.0     86.0     MAP

USGS     Kodiak Island Region, Alaska
Apr 27 00:36 AM
2.6     101.1     MAP

EMSC     Ionian Sea
Apr 27 00:35 AM
2.6     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Near The Coast Of Western Turkey
Apr 27 00:22 AM
3.4     8.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 27 00:02 AM
2.5     5.0     MAP

sources: USGSEMSCGFZGEONET

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Volcanic Activity

Nyamuragira volcano (DR Congo): new lava lake forming in summit crater ?

Saturday Apr 28, 2012 00:23 AM | Age: 9 hrs
BY: T

Nyamuragira volcano in the DR Congo might be forming a new lava lake in its summit caldera.
The volcano’s last eruption from the Kimanura fissure NE of the summit caldera seems to have ended by now. Until early to mid March, a lava lake was observed in the eastern vent and a strong heat source could be detected on satellite imagery, but has now disappeared.
Seismic explosion signals from a source under the summit were noted on 24 February from the summit crater and overflights showed increased degassing from the central pit, which contained a lava lake until 1940. This activity increased in April and a strong SO2 odor from this area suggests the presence of near-surface magma. Scientists and the park rangers are speculating about the possibility that a new lava lake in the summit crater might be about to form.

  Current Emergencies

15 28.04.2012 Volcano Activity Mexico State of Puebla, [Popocatepetl Volcano] Damage level Photo available! Details

Popocatépetl volcanic activity

Published on Apr 27, 2012 by

The Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico has presented 12 low-intensity exhalations, which were accompanied by emissions of water vapor, gas and only on three occasions moderate amounts of ash.

VIDEO: View of Popocatepetl volcano with fumes and gas being released.

Video by Odette Cid, http://www.demotix.com/users/cid-autant.


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Extreme Temperatures/ Weather

 Short Time Event(s)

  27.04.2012 Forest / Wild Fire USA State of Texas, [Kountze Region] Damage level Details

High Wind Warning

 GREAT FALLS MT

Gale Warning

LOS ANGELES/OXNARD CA
POINT ARENA TO POINT CONCEPTION
POINT CONCEPTION TO GUADALUPE ISLAND

Freeze Warning

BUFFALO NY
CLEVELAND OH
BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
MOUNT HOLLY NJ
BURLINGTON VT
STATE COLLEGE PA
CHARLESTON WV
BINGHAMTON NY
NEW YORK NY
ALBANY NY
TAUNTON MA
PITTSBURGH PA
DETROIT/PONTIAC MI
GRAND RAPIDSMI
GRAND JUNCTION CO

Hard Freeze Warning

SALT LAKE CITY UT

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Storms, Flooding

 

India - Cyclone ravages 40 Tinsukia villages, 3 killed.

A severe cyclone accompanied by heavy hailstorm that reaped through the Tinsukia district in the late afternoon Wednesday claimed three lives, besides causing heavy damage to property. More than 40 villages under Kakopathar, Pengeree and Dhola police stations have faced the fury of the cyclone. At Majbari village of Kakopathar, a big tree fell over a nine-year-old girl killing her instantly. There are reports of injuries to several other people in the areas affected by the cyclone. The cyclone played havoc in the entire areas destroying hundreds of residential houses, animal sheds, granaries, schools and other government buildings. There are reports of heavy losses of livestock and wild animals in the cyclone. The National Highways 37 and 52 have been blocked by uprooted trees for several hours. The power supply and telecommunication system have also been disrupted in the cyclone-affected areas of the district, which are yet to be fully repaired. The exact amount of losses in the cyclone is yet to be assessed. The storm destroyed hundreds of houses, demolished a hospital and a church, besides uprooting trees and disrupting power supply in the two districts. The storm accompanied by rains lasted for about 30 minutes, leaving a trail of destruction in most parts of the two districts with Doomdooma circle in Tinsukia being among the worst hit. A few names of affected villages and tea estates are Talap, Dangri, Tezipathar, Katorbasti, Borali, Maithong, Laina, Khobang, Dhola, Haikhati, Ghutung Gaon, Kherbari, Samguri, Kakopathar, Dirak in Tinsukia district. In Laina tea estate alone, some 91 houses were demolished, its hospital roof blown away and a church pulled down. Road communication was severely disrupted in several areas with uprooted trees and electric poles blocking highways and other roads. Government officials failed to give estimate of the total number of displaced people, affected villages and tea estates since the assessment was being carried out. Around 3,000 people are believed to have been rendered homeless. Most parts of the district plunged into darkness since midnight and the powert supply has not yet been restored.

 

 

  Current Emergencies

  26.04.2012 Flash Flood MultiCountries [Haiti and Dominican Republic] Damage level Details
Local – 25 April 2012, 9:27 AM
Storm Olga. File.

SANTO DOMINGO.- The Emergency Operations Center (COE) issued flash flood and mudslide warnings to four provinces and alerts to 13 others, as a frontal system will bring downpours ant thunderstorms to many parts of the country.

The COE declared Montecristi, Puerto Plata, Santiago and Maria Trinidad Sanchez provinces under warnings, and issued alerts for Valverde, Samaná, Santiago Rodriguez, Espaillat, Dajabón and Hermanas Mirabal.

It said Monseñor Noel, La Vega, Duarte, Monte Plata, Hato Mayor, San Pedro and El Seibo provinces should also be on the lookout for flash floods.

 Short Time Event(s)

27.04.2012 Tornado USA State of Colorado, [Prowers, Kiowa and Bent counties] Damage level Details

7 Homes, Hog Farm Destroyed in Colorado Tornadoes

EADS, Colo. April 27, 2012 (AP)

At least seven homes and a hog farm were destroyed early Friday after authorities said rare nighttime tornadoes ripped through sparsely populated counties on the southeastern Colorado plains.

State officials say no deaths have been reported, only minor injuries from the twisters reported in Prowers, Kiowa and Bent counties. Preliminary findings indicate five tornadoes touched down.

Officials in the Prowers County city of Lamar said deputies and state troopers spotted a fast and large tornado south of town that ripped through homes.

One home in Bent County and two in Prowers County were destroyed, said state emergency management division spokeswoman Micki Trost. In Kiowa County, four homes and a former church building were damaged or destroyed, said Chris Sorensen of the county sheriff’s office.

The damage included one home in Chivington, in Kiowa County, that was totaled after the five people sleeping inside escaped, owner Therisa Brown said. She added there was no warning before her home was demolished.

“We woke up to the roof getting ripped off,” Brown said. “We went to the living room, and we lifted a wall off of a friend who was staying with us. That’s when the tornado circled back, and it hit the house again. We barely made it into the bathroom.”

Read Full Article Here

 

Most of Colombia’s 32 regions are suffering from flooding.

The country has seen widespread flooding in recent years, with some 3.6 million people, about 8% of the population, affected. 2012 seems set to continue this pattern. Army engineers have been busy evacuating people and livestock from disaster zones, working on roads, combating landslides, building emergency bridges and delivering aid. They were recently summoned to try to block off a burst river bank in one municipality of the capital Bogota. In the flood plains around the Chicu River, it was easy to spot the engineering problems. There are huge potholes in the streets, infrastructure was placed on delicate and unstable wetland. This is Bogota’s main problem. The capital lies at an altitude of 2,600m (8,530ft), and is criss-crossed by countless rivers that are constantly at risk of overflowing. Indeed Colombia as a whole, with its varied topography ranging from huge flood plains and savannahs to volcanic regions and the Andes, is more at risk than most from natural disasters. Repair work is often a race against time before more rains come. People dependent on farming this land are among those who are suffering most. On 24 April, the President enacted a law aimed at improving natural disaster response and prevention at both national and local level. More than 60,000 people were affected so far this year and the rains are forecast to continue until June.

 

 

 

Winter Storm Warning

BILLINGS MT
GREAT FALLS MT

Flood Warning

MISSOULA MT
BOISE ID
SPOKANE, WA
NORTH PLATTE NE
LAKE CHARLES LA
POCATELLO ID

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Radiation/Biological Hazard

  Current Emergencies

1 19.04.2012 Biological Hazard China Ningxia Autonomous region, [Touying township] Damage level Details
  27.04.2012 Biological Hazard Kazakhstan [Statewide] Damage level Details
  • Chinese health workers cull chickens after an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus at Hong Kong's Sham Shui Po poultry market in 2008. Agricultural authorities in northwest China have culled about 95,000 chickens after an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus, state press have reportedChinese health workers cull chickens after an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus …

Agricultural authorities in northwest China have culled about 95,000 chickens after an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus, state press reported Wednesday.

The outbreak in Touying township of the Ningxia region was discovered on Friday last week after over 23,000 chickens began showing symptoms, Xinhua news agency said, citing the Ministry of Agriculture.

The ministry said the “epidemic is now under control”, the report said, while work teams have been sent to the area to step up prevention measures.

China is considered one of the nations most at risk of bird flu epidemics because it has the world’s biggest poultry population and many chickens in rural areas are kept close to humans.

In January, a man in southwest China’s Guizhou province died after contracting the bird flu virus, the second such fatality reported in China this year, health authorities said.

 Short Time Event(s)

1 28.04.2012 Nuclear Event USA State of California, [Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant] Damage level Details

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California knocked offline by jellyfish-like creatures called salp

Diablo Canyon Power Plant / AP

This photo provided by the Diablo Canyon Power Plant on Friday shows salp, a gelatinous sea creature, at a nuclear reactor intake structure.

By James Eng, msnbc.com

In Japan, it was a monstrous earthquake and tsunami that brought down the Fukushima nuclear plant. In California, it’s a tiny, jellyfish-like sea creature called salp that’s causing problems at the Diablo Canyon atomic plant.

An invasion of salp has prompted Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to temporarily shut down a nuclear reactor at Diablo Canyon, in Avila Beach, San Luisa Obispo County, on the central California coast.

A giant swarm of the transluscent barrel-shaped organisms this week clogged intake screens that are used to keep marine life out of the seawater that is used as a coolant for the nuclear plant.

On Wednesday, PG&E officials reduced power output at the Unit 2 reactor, then decided to shut it down altogether “until conditions improve at the intake structure.” The plant’s other reactor, Unit 1, had already been shut down earlier in the week for a planned refueling and maintenance outage.

Read Full Article Here

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Solar Activity

2MIN News Apr27: Solar Activity, GeoMagnetics, World Update

Published on Apr 27, 2012 by

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Epidemic/Pandemic

  Current Emergencies

3 24.04.2012 Epidemic Hazard Vietnam Province of Quang Ngai, [Son Ky Commune] Damage level Details

 Short Time Event(s)

  27.04.2012 Epidemic Ukraine Multiple areas, [Western part of the country] Damage level Details
27.04.2012 Epidemic Hazard USA State of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Damage level Details

Euro 2012: Ukraine advises visiting supporters to get measles jabs

• Measles outbreak hit western areas of Ukraine in March
• ‘Epidemic expected to accelerate and spread’

Football fans measles jabs

Football supporters have been urged to have measles vaccinations if they are travelling to Ukraine for Euro 2012. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images

Ukraine – which hosts the European Championship in June together with Poland – has urged fans to get vaccinated against measles before visiting, the Kiev Post newspaper reported on Wednesday.

“If you plan to come to Ukraine, please get vaccinated at home,” the newspaper quoted Oleksandr Kravchuk, deputy head of the state sanitary and epidemiological service, as saying. “The situation with measles is unfavourable in our country.”

The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), a European Union agency in charge of fighting infectious diseases, reported a measles outbreak in the former Soviet republic last month with more than 5,000 cases registered.

The outbreak was concentrated in the west of the country bordering on Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

“The epidemic is expected to accelerate and spread geographically during the peak transmission season for measles from February to June,” ECDC said.

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Wildlife

Dolphins are Mysteriously Dying Around the World

By Eddie Sage on 27 April 2012

Since January, dead dolphins have washed ashore in Peru, the death toll reaching a staggering 877. Scientists are still trying to explain the bizarre deaths, and their best prediction at the moment is that its due to a virus outbreak or acoustic trauma.

Environmental authorities are investigating the deaths of more than 800 dolphins that have washed up on the northern coast of Peru this year.

The dolphins may have died from an outbreak of Morbillivirus or Brucella bacteria, said Peruvian Deputy Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandria, according to Peru’s state-run Andina news agency. Speaking to CNN, he said he expects test results to be ready within the week.

“Right now, the most probable hypothesis is that it’s a virus outbreak,” he said.

Quijandria said Thursday that 877 dolphins have washed up in a 220-kilometer (137-mile) area from Punta Aguja to Lambayeque, in the north of the country.

More than 80% of those dolphins were found in an advanced state of decomposition, making it difficult to study their deaths, according to Andina.

Earlier last week, the Peruvian government put together a panel from different ministries to analyze a report by the Peruvian Sea Institute (IMARPE). Officials have been able to conclude that the dolphins’ deaths were not due to lack of food, interaction with fisheries, poisoning with pesticides, biotoxin poisoning or contamination by heavy metals.

“When you have something this large, my gut would tell me that there’s something traumatic that happened,” Sue Rocca, a marine biologist with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, told CNN. She floated a number of number of possibilities as to what could have killed the animals, including acoustic trauma, but concluded that investigators just don’t know yet. “More investigation needs to be done,” she said.

More then 200 Dolphins have beached themselves on Manila Bay, Philippians

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

 Short Time Event(s)

  27.04.2012 Terror Attack Ukraine Dnipropetrovska Oblast, Dnepropetrovsk Damage level Details

Ukraine Terrorist Attacks

Published on Apr 27, 2012 by

We have it confirmed officially that four explosions happened in the Ukraine’s third largest city of Dnepropetrovsk in the east of the country. Twenty-seven people have received injuries, no people passed away so far as we understand. Twenty-five of them have been hospitalized, nine of them are children and some of them are in a very severe condition with very severe wounds. Now, the authorities are still trying to determine what exactly happened, but we do know that four self-made explosive devices went off with about a 20-minute difference each.

All were put in trash bins at tramway stops. Interesting that all those tram stops were on the very same tramway line in the central part of Dnepropetrovsk. Now panic is gripping the city, with people staying in their offices too afraid to go home fearing that more blasts could happen. The public transport has been suspended in the central part of the city, and mobile phones do not work, probably because authorities are afraid of more blasts and that’s why they are jamming all the cell phone connections.

Also, the Internet is just literally flooded with panic-driven messages that as many as 10 explosions have in fact happened in the city, but this has not been yet confirmed by the authorities. We for now know only of four explosions in the city of Dnepropetrovsk. But we are certainly waiting for any more developments from the eastern Ukrainian city.

Certainly, the authorities have already launched an investigation on terrorist attack, but nobody has yet claimed any responsibility for these actions and such things are in fact untypical for Ukraine. These things could be called irregularity, because Ukraine is not known for terrorist attacks on its soil. But investigators are saying that this is most likely a terrorist attack, because, as I’ve said, all of the four explosive devices were self-made and the fact that they went off with a particular time difference certainly adds to the theory that this was an orchestrated terrorist attack on Ukraine’s third largest city. Now, certainly while we are waiting for more information and explanation on who is behind this attack, already this attack has some serious implications, especially given that in just about 40 days Ukraine will have the Euro 2012 football championship starting here. And certainly with such string of explosions in its third largest city with a population over one million people puts serious concerns about the security during the football tournament and could in fact jeopardize the whole football championship. We have to wait and see what the authorities have to say, and whether they would be able to find those responsible for this attack in Dnepropetrovsk.

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Earthquakes

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 23:46 PM
3.4     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 23:40 PM
3.0     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 23:27 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 23:07 PM
2.4     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 23:02 PM
2.7     3.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 22:34 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Southern Greece
Apr 26 22:28 PM
2.9     20.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 22:26 PM
2.4     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 22:22 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

USGS     Long Valley Area, California
Apr 26 22:19 PM
2.6     4.5     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 26 22:18 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 22:18 PM
2.6     5.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 26 22:17 PM
4.3     10.0     MAP

USGS     Southwest Of Sumatra, Indonesia
Apr 26 22:16 PM
4.3     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Southwest Of Sumatra, Indonesia
Apr 26 22:16 PM
4.3     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 26 22:07 PM
2.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 22:05 PM
4.9     8.0     MAP

GEOFON     Turkey
Apr 26 22:05 PM
4.6     10.0     MAP

USGS     Western Turkey
Apr 26 22:05 PM
4.6     5.8     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 22:02 PM
3.0     5.0     MAP

USGS     Island Of Hawaii, Hawaii
Apr 26 21:36 PM
2.9     36.9     MAP

USGS     Long Valley Area, California
Apr 26 21:08 PM
2.5     4.5     MAP

EMSC     Crete, Greece
Apr 26 21:03 PM
2.8     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 19:58 PM
2.8     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 26 19:53 PM
3.4     4.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 19:48 PM
2.5     3.0     MAP

EMSC     Albania
Apr 26 19:33 PM
2.5     25.0     MAP

USGS     Off The West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 26 19:21 PM
5.5     26.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 26 19:21 PM
5.6     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Off W Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 26 19:21 PM
5.4     10.0     MAP

USGS     Mona Passage, Dominican Republic
Apr 26 18:43 PM
3.3     43.0     MAP

EMSC     Hokkaido, Japan Region
Apr 26 18:41 PM
5.2     60.0     MAP

GEOFON     Hokkaido, Japan Region
Apr 26 18:41 PM
5.2     70.0     MAP

USGS     Hokkaido, Japan Region
Apr 26 18:41 PM
5.1     67.2     MAP

GEOFON     Vanuatu Islands
Apr 26 17:26 PM
4.7     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 26 17:26 PM
3.2     7.0     MAP

USGS     Southern Alaska
Apr 26 17:03 PM
2.5     13.7     MAP

EMSC     Ceram Sea, Indonesia
Apr 26 17:01 PM
4.8     20.0     MAP

GEOFON     Irian Jaya Region, Indonesia
Apr 26 17:01 PM
4.8     22.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 26 16:55 PM
3.0     7.0     MAP

GEOFON     Chile-bolivia Border Region
Apr 26 16:46 PM
4.3     97.0     MAP

USGS     Antofagasta, Chile
Apr 26 16:45 PM
4.4     110.4     MAP

EMSC     Antofagasta, Chile
Apr 26 16:45 PM
4.4     103.0     MAP

USGS     Off The Coast Of Northern California
Apr 26 16:25 PM
3.0     11.8     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 26 16:23 PM
3.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 16:10 PM
3.0     3.0     MAP

USGS     Baja California, Mexico
Apr 26 14:48 PM
2.6     10.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 26 14:39 PM
4.2     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Romania
Apr 26 14:32 PM
4.0     126.0     MAP

USGS     Southern California
Apr 26 13:01 PM
2.5     3.6     MAP

USGS     Long Valley Area, California
Apr 26 12:20 PM
2.5     4.5     MAP

EMSC     Central Turkey
Apr 26 11:53 AM
3.0     12.0     MAP

EMSC     Central Turkey
Apr 26 11:41 AM
2.6     9.0     MAP

USGS     Dominican Republic Region
Apr 26 11:18 AM
3.4     87.0     MAP

USGS     Near The Coast Of Southern Peru
Apr 26 07:57 AM
4.2     67.7     MAP

EMSC     Near Coast Of Southern Peru
Apr 26 07:57 AM
4.2     68.0     MAP

EMSC     Near The Coast Of Western Turkey
Apr 26 07:47 AM
2.5     17.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 26 07:24 AM
2.5     9.0     MAP

EMSC     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 26 06:50 AM
3.3     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 26 06:45 AM
2.7     10.0     MAP

GEOFON     Fiji Islands Region
Apr 26 06:38 AM
4.8     623.0     MAP

USGS     Fiji Region
Apr 26 06:38 AM
5.0     616.7     MAP

EMSC     Fiji Region
Apr 26 06:38 AM
5.1     614.0     MAP

GEONET     Taupo   ,New Zealand
Apr 26 06:13 AM
2.4     2.0     MAP

GEOFON     Afghanistan-tajikistan Border Region
Apr 26 05:54 AM
4.1     152.0     MAP

USGS     Tajikistan
Apr 26 05:54 AM
4.2     164.9     MAP

EMSC     Tajikistan
Apr 26 05:54 AM
4.2     162.0     MAP

EMSC     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 26 05:51 AM
2.7     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 05:50 AM
2.7     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Germany
Apr 26 05:27 AM
2.4     20.0     MAP

USGS     Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Apr 26 04:24 AM
3.9     70.7     MAP

EMSC     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 26 04:13 AM
3.0     9.0     MAP

USGS     Southwestern Siberia, Russia
Apr 26 04:11 AM
4.4     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Southwestern Siberia, Russia
Apr 26 04:11 AM
4.4     30.0     MAP

GEOFON     Southwestern Siberia, Russia
Apr 26 04:11 AM
4.3     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 26 03:42 AM
3.1     2.0     MAP

USGS     Baja California, Mexico
Apr 26 03:25 AM
2.5     6.3     MAP

USGS     South Of The Fiji Islands
Apr 26 02:49 AM
4.8     34.6     MAP

EMSC     South Of Fiji Islands
Apr 26 02:49 AM
4.6     100.0     MAP

GEOFON     South Of Tonga Islands
Apr 26 02:49 AM
5.0     30.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 26 02:43 AM
2.8     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Sicily, Italy
Apr 26 01:59 AM
2.4     26.0     MAP

EMSC     Romania
Apr 26 01:59 AM
2.7     118.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 26 01:29 AM
2.8     118.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 26 01:06 AM
2.4     15.0     MAP

EMSC     Southern Iran
Apr 26 00:30 AM
3.5     20.0     MAP

USGS     Central Alaska
Apr 26 00:10 AM
4.0     93.4     MAP

GEOFON     Central Alaska
Apr 26 00:10 AM
4.4     92.0     MAP

sources:  USGSEMSCGFZGEONET

Swarm: Long Valley caldera rattled by small series of tremors

Posted on April 26, 2012
April 26, 2012Long Valley, CA – A series of 8 tremors have erupted at the Long Valley super-volcano caldera over the last 24 hours- two yesterday, and six tremors today. The tremors today were a 1.1 mag (3.2 km), a 2.5 mag (4.5 km), a 1.6 mag (4.5 km), a 1.2 mag (2.8 km), a 1.5 mag (7.9 km) and a 1.3 mag at (3.7 km). This could be the beginning of a swarm so we’ll keep monitoring events and look for updates. –The Extinction Protocol

New dangers and earthquake risks found in Washington

3 more potentially disastrous faults discovered along coast near Canadian border

Kelsey et al / USGS

This LiDAR image acquired in 2006 by USGS shows five paleoseismic study sites (red dots with block perimeters) and three Holocene faults (solid red lines) inferred from the data.

By Crystal Gammon

OurAmazingPlanet
updated 4/26/2012 12:37:04 PM ET

Tectonically speaking, there’s a lot going on in the Pacific Northwest. From the Cascadia subduction zone, where the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is slowly pushing its way underneath the North American plate, to the Seattle Fault, where Native American legends recorded a massive earthquake 1,100 years ago, the region has its fair share of seismic hazards.

Now add to that three more potentially dangerous faults in the Bellingham Basin, a tectonically active area along the coast of Washington, near the Canadian border. A team of researchers has discovered active tectonic faults in this region nearly 40 miles (60 kilometers) north of any previously known faults.

“We’ve known for a long time that the whole Pacific Northwest region is contracting very slowly north-to-south, at the rate of a few millimeters per year,” said Richard Blakely, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., who was part of the study. “It doesn’t sound like very much, but when you concentrate that contraction on specific faults, they can become rather dangerous.”

Big enough
The faults Blakely and his colleagues found are reverse faults — a type of tectonic fault where one side is shoved up over the other side — and the team estimates they’re capable of triggering magnitude-6.0 to -6.5 earthquakes.

“That’s big enough to cause damage and hurt people, but it’s not as severe as a magnitude-7 earthquake, such as the one that occurred on the Seattle fault 1,100 years ago,” Blakely told OurAmazingPlanet.

Read Full Article Here

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Volcanic Activity

Russian Shiveluch volcano spews ash 10.7km above sea level

Published: Thursday, Apr 26, 2012, 18:02 IST
Place: Vladivostok | Agency: ANI

The Shiveluch volcano on Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula on Thursday ejected an ash cloud to as high as nearly 11km above the sea level, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

An ash column from the volcano rose to a height of 10.7km above the sea level.

There was no immediate threat for the population, and no emissions of volcanic dust were monitored in neighboring villages.

Two earthquakes were registered at the volcano over the past 24 hours, which was given the highest Red Aviation Code.

This was the most powerful eruption of ash registered at Shiveluch this year. Shiveluch has been active for more than four weeks.

Shiveluch, standing 3,283 meters above the sea level, is Kamchatka’s northernmost active volcano.

Strong activity continues at Indonesia’s Mount Lokon volcano

by The Extinction Protocol

Posted on April 26, 2012
April 26, 2012 – REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA – Head of Data Center for Information and Public Relations of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Sutopo Purwo Nugrogo said Lokon was shaken by another volcanic tremor in Tomohon, North Sulawesi. In addition, the volcano is stirred by 1 to 3 shallow tremors every 5 minutes. If activity continues to increase at the volcano, officials fear an eruption could be imminent. The volcano remains at alert status 3 for now. The public is admonished to monitor the news for the latest updates about the volcano and a 2.5 kilometer exclusion zone remains in effect around the volcano’s parameter. –ROL  (translated)
  Current Emergencies
14 26.04.2012 Volcano Activity Mexico State of Puebla, [Popocatepetl Volcano] Damage level Photo available!

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Extreme Temperatures/ Weather

Short Time Event(s)
Upd. Date (UTC) Event Country Location Level Details
 
 
 
 
  26.04.2012 Forest / Wild Fire China Province of Yunnan, [Near to Luohe Village] Damage level Details

Freeze Warning

BINGHAMTON NY
TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
GRAND FORKS ND
LA CROSSE WI
STATE COLLEGE PA
TAUNTON MA
WILMINGTON OH
CLEVELAND OH
BURLINGTON VT
NEW YORK NY
INDIANAPOLIS IN
GRAND RAPIDS MI
MOUNT HOLLY NJ
ALBANY NY
DETROIT/PONTIAC MI
GREEN BAY WI
CHICAGO IL
 BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC

Hard Freeze Warning

NORTHERN INDIANA

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Storms, Flooding

  Current Emergencies
Upd. Date (UTC) Event Country Location Level Details
  26.04.2012 Flash Flood MultiCountries [Haiti and Dominican Republic] Damage level Details

Winter Storm Warning

 GREAT FALLS MT

High Wind Warning

RIVERTON WY
CHEYENNE WY
 ALBUQUERQUE NM

Flood Warning

SPOKANE, WA
MISSOULA MT
BLACKSBURG VA
BOISE ID
PENDLETON OR
LAKE CHARLES LA
POCATELLO ID

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Radiation

Senior Scholar, Institute for Policy Studies

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is Far From Over

Spent reactor fuel, containing roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at Chernobyl, still sits in pools vulnerable to earthquakes.

More than a year after the Fukushima nuclear power disaster began, the news media is just beginning to grasp that the dangers to Japan and the rest of the world are far from over. After repeated warnings by former senior Japanese officials, nuclear experts, and now a U.S. senator, it’s sinking in that the irradiated nuclear fuel stored in spent fuel pools amidst the reactor ruins pose far greater dangers than the molten cores. This is why:

• Nearly all of the 10,893 spent fuel assemblies sit in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes, with roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at Chernobyl

• Several pools are 100 feet above the ground and are completely open to the atmosphere because the reactor buildings were demolished by explosions. The pools could possibly topple or collapse from structural damage coupled with another powerful earthquake.

• The loss of water exposing the spent fuel will result in overheating and can cause melting and ignite its zirconium metal cladding resulting in a fire that could deposit large amounts of radioactive materials over hundreds, if not thousands of miles.

This was not lost on Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who after visiting the site on April 6, wrote to Japan’s U.S. ambassador, Ichiro Fujusaki, that “loss of containment in any of these pools… could result an even larger release of radiation than the nuclear accident.”

The urgency of the situation is underscored by the ongoing seismic activity where 13 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0-5.7 have occurred off the northeast coast of Japan between April 14 and 17. This has been the norm since the first quake and tsunami hit the Dai-Ichi site on March 11 of last year. Larger quakes are expected closer to the power plant.

Read Full Article Here

Chernobyl in Fukushima’s shadow – nuclear energy today and in the future

ingress_image

This photo taken in the abandoned town of Pripyat, which was formerly populated by Chernobyl workers, begs the question of what nuclear power’s foggy future means to generations to come.

Twenty-six years has passed since the Chernobyl catastrophe. And although Fukushima has somewhat eclipsed Chernobyl, the memory of the late Soviet period disaster remains a living memory to many people, especially specialists among whom, as before, there is no consensus on the present and future of nuclear energy. Aleksandr Nikitin, 26/04-2012 – Translated by Charles Digges

Today, there is great distrust of the safety of nuclear power plants has is seen worldwide. First Chernobyl then Fukushima forced a whole array of countries to reassess their attitude toward nuclear power. There have been no new nuclear plants built in the United States over the past 26 years. Now Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium will be shuttering their reactors. Spain is in the process of electing not building any new nuclear reactors, and Italy decided not to begin a nuclear energy industry at all.  In post-Fukushima Japan, only one reactor out of the country’s 54 is still running. The future of nuclear energy there is especially foggy as the wrecked reactors at Fukushima are in such a condition that they “temporarily or partially” re-achieve criticality – in other words, the emergency is not over. According to expert analysis, more than 30years will be required to fully dismantle Fukushima.

The list of those casting a suspicious eye on nuclear power goes on: In March this year, Bulgaria decided to stop construction of it’s Belene Nuclear Power Plant despite the financial losses it would incur. This is the first instance that an active international contract for the construction of a nuclear power plant has been dissolved. Mexico is putting of the construction of 10 nuclear reactors in favor of developing natural gas power plants. The Lithuanian Seimas, or parliament, is deciding to put to a popular referendum on October 12 the construction of the Visaginas nuclear power plant. India is experiencing difficulties in launching its Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant because of months of thousands-strong protests by local residents demanding its closure in the seismically active area.

It would also seem that the huge expenses of accident clean up and compensation to victims of the Fukushima disaster, which currently however somewhere around $245 billion, is influencing the mood pro-nuclear countries as well. In France, which relies on nuclear for 78 percent of its energy, Nikolai Sarkozy’s opponent from the socialist party, François Hollande – who in current opinion polls is surpassing the incumbent – has suggested cutting France’s reliance on nuclear power by a third by 2025, that is to say to 50 percent of the country’s energy. The fate of nuclear power in the world’s most atomically power country in the world is therefore be decided after the run off round of presidential elections on May 6 (as Sarkozy failed to capture the majority in the first round of balloting on April 22). And China, which wants to shake its large dependence on coal fired plants, and is building more nuclear power plants than anyone else, has begun to invest huge resources in renewable energy, seeing this energy source’s future.

World financial markets have also reacted world situation with nuclear power. Bank Austria, which is a subsidiary of the Italian UniCredit, has cut off a credit line it previously issued to a Slovak company that is building Reactor Units 3 and 4 at Mochovce in Slovakia. European energy giants RWE and E.On have declared that they no longer want to be involved in building new nuclear power plants in Great Britain.  Private companies are exiting the nuclear market as well. Of special resonance was the decision by Germany’s engineering-giant Siemens to pull out of nuclear power reactor and product production. Uranium markets went into a slump after Fukushima. Because of this, Russian State nuclear corporation Rosatom was unable to complete a deal to acquire 100 percent of the shares in Austria’s Mantra Resources Limited, which mines uranium in Tanzania.

Nuclear power cannot survive in a market economy. And for that reason, no country based on a market economy has built a single nuclear power plant since the Chernobyl disaster. Nuclear Energy requires large scale government support. The nuclear power plants in Russia and China belong to the state. Until 2004, the French government entirely owned Electricité de France, which operated every nuclear power plant in the country. Even today, though, even more than 80 percent of the company’s shares belong to the government.

Read Full Article Here

Construction of Chernobyl shelter starts on anniversary

by Staff Writers
Chernobyl, Ukraine (AFP) April 26, 2012

Ukraine launched Thursday construction of a new shelter to permanently secure the stricken Chernobyl plant as it marked the 26th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

President Viktor Yanukovych pressed a symbolic button at the construction site, watched by workers and ambassadors from countries including China and Japan that contributed to the huge project, expected to cost 1.5 billion euros.

“In the name of Ukraine, I express my deep thanks to all the donor countries to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund for their understanding and effective aid to our country in overcoming the consequences of the worst man-made disaster in human history,” Yanukovych said, as cranes loomed over the site.

“We have felt that the whole world has come to help us.”

An explosion during testing at the power plant in the early hours of April 26, 1986, sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread across Europe, particularly contaminating Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

An international drive has raised funds from governments towards building a new permanent covering to slide over a temporary concrete-and-steel shelter that was hastily erected after the disaster and has since developed cracks.

The 20,000-tonne arched structure that spans 257 metres, known as the New Safe Confinement, is designed to last for a century, and will contain hi-tech equipment to carry out safe decontamination work inside the ruined reactor.

“This construction in its scale has no equals in the world,” Yanukovych said.

The construction of the shelter is expected to cost 990 million euros and to be put in place in 2015, while the decontamination work on the site will push the total cost up to 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion).

Yanukovych said in his speech at the site that “the completion of this project will guarantee the environmental safety of all the surrounding land and make it impossible for radiation to reach the atmosphere.”

Chernobyl is only around 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Kiev and lies close to the borders with Russia and Belarus. The area around the plant is still very contaminated and is designated as a depopulated “exclusion zone.”

International donors have so far agreed to contribute 550 million euros ($730 million) to the project, with the balance coming from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

As the president visited the site, some 1,000 Chernobyl clean-up workers rallied in Kiev over cuts to their benefits in the latest of a string of angry protests over the austerity measure, the Interfax news agency reported.

The Soviet Union ordered thousands of people to take part in the clean-up in Ukraine following the Chernobyl accident, working without adequate protection.

Although only two people were killed in the initial explosions, the United Nations atomic agency says that 28 rescue workers died of radiation sickness in the first three months after the accident.

According to Ukrainian official figures, more than 25,000 of the cleanup workers, known as “liquidators” from then-Soviet Ukraine, Russia and Belarus have died since the disaster.

Ukraine on Thursday announced that it was awarding state honours to more than 40 of the liquidators and Yanukovych laid flowers and held a minute’s silence at a memorial at the power station.

On Thursday, relatives of victims held a remembrance ceremony in front of a memorial in Kiev as soldiers in dress uniform stood guard. Chernobyl veterans also attended a memorial ceremony in Minsk.

In neighbouring Belarus which also suffered from Chernobyl’s nuclear fallout about 2,000 supporters of the former Soviet republic’s opposition took to the streets to commemorate the disaster and denounce political repression.

Demonstrators brandished banners saying “We are suffering from Chernobyl”, “There’s no such thing as civilian nuclear energy”, and “No to nuclear power plants in Belarus”.

Other demonstrators shouted anti-regime slogans such as “Freedom to political prisoners”.

photo-zzh-am/ma/gk/db

Related Links
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Audit Finds Broken EPA Radiation Monitors Broken And Unmaintained

  Posted by – April 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm – Permalink Source via Alexander Higgins Blog

Audit Finds Broken EPA Radiation Monitoring System Needs Attention

Despite being designated as critical infrastructure in the War on Terror a government audit reveals  a system of broken and unmaintained EPA RADNET radiation monitors.

As many of my regular readers already know, I compiled an application that displays radiation readings for every US city being under surveillance by the Federal government’s EPA RADNET monitors.

As many have repeatedly noticed for over a year, and as previously reported,  the graphs often display no information for certain cities as the EPA data set is empty for those locations.

We now get official confirmation from a Federal Audit performed by the Office of the Inspector General on the status of the network.

The audit has found a system of broken and unmaintained monitors being neglected by the EPA despite the fact the agency has secured tens of millions of dollars of Taxpayer money to keep the system up and running.

The system has been designated as critical infrastructure that is vital to our national security as part of the War on Terror and move over the federal government has reassured the public that the system would be used to assure the levels of radiation falling on the United States from the Fukushima nuclear fallout did not reach harmful levels.

Read Full Article Here

Short Time Event(s)

Today Nuclear Event USA State of Wisconsin, [Point Beach Nuclear Plant] Damage level Details

Generator testing leads to alert at Wisconsin nuclear power plant

The Point Beach nuclear power plant issued an alert after exhaust from a generator created increased carbon monoxide levels in its turbine building.

By: Associated Press report, Associated Press

TWO RIVERS, Wis. — The Point Beach nuclear power plant issued an alert after exhaust from a generator created increased carbon monoxide levels in its turbine building.

Its owner and operator, NextEra Energy Resources, says there was no impact on the operation of the plant or the safety of employees or the public. The state’s Emergency Operations Center was activated after the plant issued an alert at about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

NextEra spokeswoman Sara Cassidy said exhaust from diesel generators being tested by workers on the non-nuclear side of the plant seeped into an adjacent room where carbon monoxide was detected. Cassidy said the room was ventilated and readings returned to normal.

The Point Beach plant is located on the shore of Lake Michigan in Manitowoc County.

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Climate Change

Cut world population and redistribute resources, expert urges

Nuclear disaster or plague likely unless population shrinks and natural resources are reassigned to poor, says Prof Paul Ehrlich

Image of Paul R. Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich says we face ‘catastrophic or slow motion’ disasters unless population is brought under control and resources redistributed. Photograph: Rex Features

The world’s most renowned population analyst has called for a massive reduction in the number of humans and for natural resources to be redistributed from the rich to the poor.

Paul Ehrlich, Bing professor of population studies at Stanford University in California and author of the best-selling Population Bomb book in 1968, goes much further than the Royal Society in London which this morning said that physical numbers were as important as the amount of natural resources consumed.

The optimum population of Earth – enough to guarantee the minimal physical ingredients of a decent life to everyone – was 1.5 to 2 billion people rather than the 7 billion who are alive today or the 9 billion expected in 2050, said Ehrlich in an interview with the Guardian.

“How many you support depends on lifestyles. We came up with 1.5 to 2 billion because you can have big active cities and wilderness. If you want a battery chicken world where everyone has minimum space and food and everyone is kept just about alive you might be able to support in the long term about 4 or 5 billion people. But you already have 7 billion. So we have to humanely and as rapidly as possible move to population shrinkage.”

Read Full Article Here

Listen to Interview  Here

Warm ocean currents behind majority of ice loss from Antarctica

Apr 26, 3:02 pm

London, April 26 (ANI): Warm ocean currents attacking the underside of ice shelves are the dominant cause of recent ice loss from Antarctica, researchers have claimed.

The finding brings scientists a step closer to providing reliable projections of future sea level rise.

An international team of scientists used a combination of satellite measurements and models to differentiate between the two known causes of melting ice shelves: warm ocean currents thawing the underbelly of the floating extensions of ice sheets and warm air melting them from above.

The researchers concluded that 20 of the 54 ice shelves studied are being melted by warm ocean currents. Most of these are in West Antarctica, where inland glaciers flowing down to the coast and feeding into these thinning ice shelves have accelerated, draining more ice into the sea and contributing to sea-level rise.

This ocean-driven thinning is responsible for the most widespread and rapid ice losses in West Antarctica, and for the majority of Antarctic ice sheet loss during the study period.

“We can lose an awful lot of ice to the sea without ever having summers warm enough to make the snow on top of the glaciers melt. The oceans can do all the work from below,” said the study’s lead author Hamish Pritchard of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Read Full Article Here

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Solar Activity

2MIN News Apr26: NASA, Magnetic Storm

Published on Apr 26, 2012 by

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Epidemic

Rio declares dengue epidemic

by Staff Writers
Rio De Janeiro (AFP) April 25, 2012

Rio de Janeiro has declared a dengue epidemic after diagnosing more than 50,000 cases of the tropical mosquito-borne infection this year and over 500 in the last week alone.

“We have a plan focused on the epidemic and we continue to be in a state of alert,” Hans Dohmann, the city’s health secretary, said late Tuesday, adding that the number of cases had surpassed 300 per 100,000 residents per month.

State-run Agencia Brasil meanwhile reported that 517 people had been struck with the disease last week alone.

The state of Rio de Janeiro has reported a total of 64,423 confirmed cases thus far this year, with 13 deaths, 12 in the city itself.

Last year authorities recorded 168,242 cases and 140 deaths.

Dengue is caused by any one of four viruses transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

Symptoms include high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, skin rash and mild bleeding. In its advanced stage the disease causes hemorrhages.

The World Health Organization estimates there are 50-100 million dengue infections worldwide each year.

Related Links
Epidemics on Earth – Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola

Climate right for Asian mosquito to spread in N. Europe

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) April 25, 2012

The climate in northwestern Europe and the Balkans is becoming suitable for the Asian tiger mosquito, a disease-spreading invasive species, scientists said on Wednesday.

The warning comes from scientists at the University of Liverpool, northwestern England, who say the two regions have been having progressively milder winters and warmer summers.

These temperate conditions favour the mosquito, which gained a foothold in Albania in 1979 and is now present in more than 15 countries on Europe’s southern rim.

“Over the last two decades, climate conditions have become more suitable over central northwestern Europe — Benelux, western Germany — and the Balkans,” they said.

At the same time, drier conditions in southern Spain have made that region less welcoming for the insect, they said.

The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), a native of tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia, can transmit viruses that cause West Nile fever, yellow fever, dengue, St. Louis and Japanese encephalitis and other diseases.

In 2005-6, it caused an epidemic of chikungunya, a disease that attacks the joints, on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

A year later, it unleashed an outbreak of chikungyuna in the Italian province of Ravenna. In 2010, it was fingered as a transmitter of dengue virus in France and Croatia.

As of last December, the mosquito was present in more than 15 countries, from southern Spain to parts of Greece and Turkey, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Reporting in Britain’s Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the Liverpool team looked at European weather records for 1950-2009 and ran a widely-used computer model to simulate weather trends for 2030-2050.

“Similar trends are likely in the future with an increased risk simulated over northern Europe and slightly decreased risk over southern Europe,” says the study.

“These distribution shifts are related to wetter and warmer conditions favouring the overwintering of A. albopictus in the north, and drier and warmer summers that might limit its southward expansion.”

The paper points out that weather alone does not mean that the species will automatically spread there.

It also notes that the study did not consider vegetation or soil types which also determine whether the mosquito would be able to breed there. In addition, cold snaps or hot, dry spell also help limit mosquito survival, and these too were not included in the investigation.

In the mid-1960s, the Asian tiger mosquito was limited to some parts of Asia, India and a handful of Pacific islands.

It has since spread to North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East, as well as Europe, mainly by hitchhiking a ride in exported materials.

Related Links
Epidemics on Earth – Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola

Current Emergencies

1 19.04.2012 Biological Hazard China Ningxia Autonomous region, [Touying township] Damage level Details 3 24.04.2012 Epidemic Hazard Vietnam Province of Quang Ngai, [Son Ky Commune] Damage level Details

Short Time Event(s)

Today Biological Hazard USA State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Damage level Details

Short Time Event(s)

Today Biological Hazard Australia State of Tasmania, [Port Esperance, Hastings Bay (Southport) and the coastline between] Damage level Details

Short Time Event(s)

26.04.2012 Biological Hazard Thailand Province of Ang Thong, [Chamlong in Sawangha district] Damage level Details

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Articles of Interest

Diversity aided mammals’ survival over deep time

by Staff Writers
Nashville, TN (SPX) Apr 25, 2012


Mammals have demonstrated the ability to dramatically alter their size and completely change their diet when their environment is altered.

When it comes to adapting to climate change, diversity is the mammal’s best defense. That is one of the conclusions of the first study of how mammals in North America adapted to climate change in “deep time” – a period of 56 million years beginning with the Eocene and ending 12,000 years ago with the terminal Pleistocene extinction when mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, giant sloths and most of the other “megafauna” on the continent disappeared.

“Before we can predict how mammals will respond to climate change in the future, we need to understand how they responded to climate change in the past,” said Larisa R. G. DeSantis, the assistant professor of earth and environmental studies at Vanderbilt who directed the study. “It is particularly important to establish a baseline that shows how they adapted before humans came on the scene to complicate the picture.”

Establishing such a baseline is particularly important for mammals because their ability to adapt to environmental changes makes it difficult to predict how they will respond. For example, mammals have demonstrated the ability to dramatically alter their size and completely change their diet when their environment is altered.

In addition, mammals have the mobility to move as the environment shifts. And their ability to internally regulate their temperature gives them more flexibility than cold-blooded organisms like reptiles.

The study, which was published on Apr. 23 in the journal PLoS ONE, tracked the waxing and waning of the range and diversity of families of mammals that inhabited the continental United States during this extended period. In taxonomy, species are groups of individuals with common characteristics that (usually) can mate; genera are groups of species that are related or structurally similar and families are collections of genera with common attributes.

Scientists consider the fossil record of mammals in the U.S. for the study period to be reasonably complete. However, it is frequently impossible to distinguish between closely related species based on their fossil remains and it can even be difficult to tell members of different genera apart.

Therefore the researchers performed the analysis at the family level. They analyzed 35 different families, such as Bovidae (bison, sheep, antelopes); Cricetidae (rats, mice, hamsters, voles); Equidae (horses, donkeys); Ursidae (bears); Mammutidae (mammoths); and Leporidae (rabbits and hares).

The study found that the relative range and distribution of mammalian families remained strikingly consistent throughout major climate changes over the past 56 million years.

This period began with an extremely hot climate, with a global temperature about six degrees hotter than today (too hot for ice to survive even at the poles) and gradually cooled down to levels only slightly higher than today. It was followed by a dramatic temperature drop and a similarly abrupt warming and finished off with the Ice Ages that alternated between relatively cold glacial and warm interglacial periods.

“These data clearly show that most families were extremely resilient to climate and environmental change over deep time,” DeSantis said.

Horses were consistently the most widely distributed family from the Eocene to the Pliocene (and remained highly dominant, just not number one, in the Pleistocene). In contrast, families with more restricted ranges maintained lower range areas.

Thus, their work demonstrates that mammals maintained similar niches through deep time and is consistent with the idea that family members may inherit their ranges from ancestral species. The idea that niches are conserved over time is a fundamental assumption of models that predict current responses of mammals to climate change.

The analysis also found a link between a family’s diversity and its range: Family’s with the greater diversity were more stable and had larger ranges than less diverse families.

“Diversity is good. The more species a family has that fill different niches, the greater its ability to maintain larger ranges regardless of climate change,” said DeSantis.

While most families during certain periods of time yielded either gains in species/genera (e.g., Oligocene to Miocene) or losses (Miocene to Pliocene), these changes were remarkably consistent through time with overall gains or losses in one genera typically yielding a gain or loss in of about two species.

Although the extent of family ranges remained relatively constant, the study found that these ranges moved south and east from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. That is most likely a response to the general climate cooling that took place during the period. However, southeastern movement of ranges from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene may also be complicated by the influx of South American animals when the Isthmus of Panama was formed.

This triggered a tremendous exchange of species that has been labeled “The Great American Interchange.” As a result, some of the southern movement of families’ ranges may have been due to the influx of South American mammals, like the sloth and armadillo, moving north, the researchers cautioned.

The study also looked for evidence that families containing megafauna or other species that went extinct during the terminal Pleistocene extinction (also known as the Quaternary or Ice Age extinction) might have been in decline beforehand, but failed to find any evidence for any such “extinction prone” families. If climate change was the culprit, DeSantis and her team expect to see differences between families containing megafauna and those composed of smaller animals. However, the fact that they didn’t find such evidence cannot completely rule out this possibility.

The role that diversity plays in mammalian adaptation is particularly important because mammal species have been going extinct in record numbers for the past 400 years. In a 2008 report, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature predicted that one in four species of land mammals in the world faces extinction. As a result, the diversity of mammalian families is declining at a time when they need it the most to cope with a rapidly changing climate.

Co-authors on the paper were graduate students Rachel A. Beavins Tracy, Cassandra S. Koontz, John C. Roseberry and Matthew C. Velasco. The project was supported by funds from Vanderbilt University.

Related Links
Vanderbilt University
Explore The Early Earth at TerraDaily.com

GPS could speed up tsunami alert systems: researchers

by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) April 25, 2012

Global positioning systems (GPS) could provide faster tsunami alerts than current warning set-ups, German researchers said Wednesday, citing data collected in last year’s deadly Japan earthquake.

“On the occasion of the Fukushima earthquake, we analysed data from more than 500 GPS stations and showed that a correct estimate of the magnitude of 9.0 and of the generated tsunami could have been possible in just three to four minutes after the earthquake,” Andrey Babeyko, a scientist from the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam, said in a statement.

This “shows again what potential a GPS shield has in tsunami early warning systems,” he added.

The findings were presented at a week-long conference of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna.

If an earthquake occurs near the coast, it can take just 20-30 minutes before a resulting tsunami hits land, but GPS measurements taken almost while the earthquake is still happening would enable a faster assessment of its scale, the researchers said.

Traditional measuring methods require more time to provide an accurate picture, often underestimating the magnitude of a quake at first, they added.

In the case of last year’s earthquake in Japan, the authorities became aware of its scale only 20 minutes after the event, possibly leading to many more casualties than if a warning had gone out earlier, according to GFZ.

Some 19,000 people died when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the northeastern coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 triggered a tsunami and a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

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