Wednesday, June 26, 2013

FIRE IN THE SKY: NASA Discovers Near-Earth Asteroid 2013 MZ5 - One Of 10% Of Potentially Life-Threatening Deep Impact Space Rocks; At Least 100,000 ARE STILL OUT THERE!

June 26, 2013 - SPACE - The good news: NASA has discovered the 10,000th near-Earth object (NEO). The bad news: At least 100,000 are still out there.

NEOs are asteroids and comets that approach Earth, coming within 28 million miles (45 million kilometers) of our planet during their orbit around the sun. The vast majority of these chunks of space rock and ice are harmless — they just fly right by, minding their own business, in well-defined, well-known orbits.

NEOs also come in a range of sizes, from the pipsqueak few-footers to the rather terrifying whopper, 1036 Ganymed, that measures 25 miles (41 kilometers) across.

And now NASA has discovered the 10,000th NEO — a 1,000 feet (300 meters) wide asteroid affectionately named 2013 MZ5.

“Finding 10,000 near-Earth objects is a significant milestone,” said Lindley Johnson, program executive for NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations (NEOO) Program at NASA Headquarters. “But there are at least 10 times that many more to be found before we can be assured we will have found any and all that could impact and do significant harm to the citizens of Earth.”

That means there’s at least 100,000 of these (potentially) marauding space rocks still to be tracked down, a feat that NASA is tackling head-on.

The latest asteroid was spotted by the Maui-based Pan-STARRS-1 telescope as part of a NASA-funded, University of Hawaii-managed PanSTARRS survey. 2013 MZ5 is by no means a hazardous asteroid and is not expected to be any threat to Earth of the foreseeable future.

The discovery of 2013 MZ5 is the latest in a long line of NEO discoveries, most of which have been made by NASA projects over the last 15 years.

“The first near-Earth object was discovered in 1898,” said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. “Over the next hundred years, only about 500 had been found. But then, with the advent of NASA’s NEO Observations program in 1998, we’ve been racking them up ever since. And with new, more capable systems coming on line, we are learning even more about where the NEOs are currently in our solar system, and where they will be in the future.”

Although many more space rocks remain to be found, it’s believed that the majority of big, potentially hazardous NEOs have been discovered. Of the 10,000 discoveries so far, roughly 1,000 are larger than one-kilometer across. From this size and up, should one hit Earth, it would have global consequences for the planet and all life on it. So far, none of these large objects pose a threat. Even better news is that only a few dozen of the largest NEOs remain to be found.

As the NEOs get smaller, they’re harder to detect, meaning the vast majority of undiscovered NEOs are small, but not insignificant, objects. For example, any space rock measuring 30 meters (100 feet) or bigger can cause significant damage to a populated region should it hit. Less than one percent of NEOs 30 meters and smaller have been spotted so far.

Asteroid 2013 MZ5 as seen by the University of Hawaii's PanSTARR-1 telescope. (NASA).

In 2005, NASA was directed by Congress to find 90 percent of all NEOs 140 meters (460 feet) or larger. It is believed there are around 15,000 NEOs of that size, 30 percent of which have been discovered so far.

So NEO programs are finding new objects at an average rate of 3 per day, greatly enhancing our ability of tracking and identifying potentially hazardous NEOs. But as can be seen from the numbers, it’s not necessarily the largest, civilization-ending NEOs that may cause concern, it’s the smaller, city-killing NEOs that may take us by surprise.

As the asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February showed us, it doesn’t take a huge piece of space rock to cause widespread damage and injury to a populated region. The Chelyabinsk meteor was only 15 meters (50 feet) wide. - FOX News.

EXTREME WEATHER: Major Heat Wave For Western United States In The Making - Reaching Most Dangerous Levels, Challenging Records And Elevating Wildfire Threat; Death Valley In California Could Reach 128 Degrees Fahrenheit!

June 26, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Temperatures will be at full throttle later this week over the interior West, reaching dangerous levels, challenging records and elevating the wildfire threat.

While many folks over the interior West are accustomed to and expect hot weather during the summer the developing pattern will take the heat to the extreme. In some cities record highs for any date throughout the year could be equaled or breached.

The weather this week will favor an expanding area of sunshine and building heat over the West. As temperatures soar to record-challenging levels, dry fuel and the potential for spotty dry thunderstorms will push the wildfire threat to new areas and raise the risk in other locations.

Building heat, drought and the risk of wildfires could result in a fireworks ban in some communities as Independence Day activities increase.

The pattern bringing clouds, showers and cool air to the Northwest will gradually erode, dissolve and disappear.

Once the pattern sets up, the heat wave will last through next week in many areas. Grassy and wooded areas that are green now may become dry fuel for fires as the atmosphere heats up.

Cities that will experience record-challenging heat on a daily basis during the pattern into next week include Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boise, Idaho, Rawlins, Wyo., Medford, Ore., and Fresno, Calif.

Cities that could set new annual extreme temperature marks include Flagstaff, Ariz., Las Vegas and Reno, Nev. In Flagstaff, Ariz., the all-time record high is 97 set on July 5, 1973. In Las Vegas, the all-time record high is 117 degrees set on July 19, 2005 and July 24, 1942. At Reno, the all-time high is 108 degrees set most recently on July 5, 2007. Death Valley, Calif. could reach their hottest June temperature on record of 128 degrees set June 30, 1994

According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "People driving through desert areas during the pattern should make sure their vehicle can make the journey and that they carry extra water in case their vehicle breaks down."

With time, the heat can expand to part of the California coast by way of a slight offshore flow. However, the worst of the heat will hold up just inland. The pattern will make the beaches a hot spot to avoid the heat.


The system producing the heat and sunshine will allow widely separated, pop-up thunderstorms with time.

Most of the storms will form and die over the mountains, but there will be a few exceptions.

A few locations can receive a downpour. However, many of the storms will bring little or no rainfall. This phenomena, commonly called "dry lightning," can spark new wildfires.

While the natural spark for wildfires cannot be avoided, people are urged to be very careful when using outdoor power equipment and open flames. Never park a vehicle that has been running for any length of time over dry grass and brush as the hot exhaust can start a fire. - AccuWeather.

DELUGE: The Precursors To A Global Coastal Event - Record Rainfall Dumped On Pilbara Coast In Western Australia; An Entire Month Of Rainfall In Just 6 Hours!

June 26, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - Parts of the Pilbara have been inundated with rainfall overnight that would usually only fall during a cyclone.

The highest rainfall in the region was recorded in Karratha, where 209.2mm of rain has fallen since 9am yesterday.

Heavy rain outside Karratha.© Martin Tscheuschler

The rainfall smashed Karratha's daily June record of 60mm.

Roebourne Airport recorded 135.8mm, Karratha Airport recorded 209mm, Port Hedland 129mm, Barrow Island 73mm and Paraburdoo 52.4mm.

Main Roads reports that the North West Coastal Highway is closed to all traffic between Roebourne and Port Hedland.

The Weather Bureau has issued flood warnings for Pilbara coastal rivers.

Further heavy rainfall of 50mm to 100mm with isolated heavier falls is expected in the the Turner and Yule River catchments and inthe Port Hedland area during today.

Karratha worker Martin Tscheuschler said there had been heavy rain overnight.

He said water in the mining site in which he worked was "a foot deep, maybe two in some places".

Minor flooding is expected to continue in the Maitland River and extend toother streams between Karratha and Port Hedland during today.

The State Emergency Service advises people and communities to be aware that flooding is possible and be prepared to relocate equipment and livestock.

WATCH: Pilbara Floods.

Travellers need to be aware that road conditions may be adversely affected and travel plans may need to be reconsidered.

Do not drive into water of unknown depth and velocity.

Weather Bureau duty forecaster Rabi Rivett said the rainfall was caused by a small tropical low and a trough out to the north-west of the Pilbara, which interacted with a front and caused a cloud band and heavy rainfall.

"This is very unseasonable rainfall," he said. "The highest totals have been right on the coast.

"It's normally the type of rainfall you would see with a cyclone."

The Department of Education says Baler Primary School, Nullagine Primary School, Marble Bar Primary School, Hedland Senior High School, Roebourne District High School and Wickham Primary School have all been affected by flooding.

Roebourne/Wickham Road is closed but the Department says the water is starting to recede.

The soggy entrance to Karratha's industrial estate.© GianDP/ABC/Twitter

Work is being carried out on a roof leakage at Baler Primary School. There is also no power or a landline phone connection at the school.

Most students at Hedland Senior High School from outlying areas have been unable to attend school due to the flood waters and bus services from Point Samson, Wickham and Roebourne to Karratha Senior High School have been cancelled.

Emergency services warned residents in coastal catchments between Onslow and east of Karratha and those in the Ashburton and Fortescue River catchments to prepare for possible minor flooding overnight and today.

The rain is expected to weaken as it moves away from Karratha and starts streaming over Port Hedland throughout the morning.

Heavy falls are expected through the eastern and inland areas of the Pilbara, with the rain moving over the Kimberley by Thursday.

In the south of State overnight, North Island received 16mm of rain, Bunbury recorded 15.2mm, Collie East 10.8mm and Witchcliffe 10mm. Dwellingup recorded 17.8mm while Perth received 7.8mm of rain.

Isolated showers are forecast for Perth today, with a maximum of 19C.

The showers are expected to continue in the south tomorrow before conditions become sunny or partly cloudy by the weekend. - Yahoo.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Unusually High Number Of Dead Fish Found Washed Ashore In Canandaigua Lake, New York?!

June 26, 2013 - UNITED STATESAn investigation is underway to learn why a greater-than-normal number of fish for this time of year are washing up on shore around Canandaigua Lake.

Dead fish are washing ashore on the north end of Canandaigua Lake but on Monday it wasn't keeping
people such as these playing with their dog at the small boat launch out of the water.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

During spawning season it is typical to find dead fish washing up due to various stresses fish experience, such as in defending their turf and dealing with a rapid increase in temperature, said Canandaigua Lake Watershed Manager Kevin Olvany.

"The usual suspects" in Olvany's words are smaller fish like perch and sunfish. This season, he said, there appears to be a greater quantity of fish washing up of all varieties, which include larger fish — such as large bass. The situation warranted an investigation, Olvany said.

A recently deceased Sunfish washes ashore at the small boat launch at the north end of Canandaigua Lake.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

A large fish washes up amonngst the large rocks on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake at Kershaw Park.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

Over a dozen fish lay dead along with some garbage on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake along Kershaw Park.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

Olvany was at Kershaw Park in Canandaigua on Monday looking over the situation, and he said other sections of the lake also appear to have more fish washing up. A fish sample has been sent to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for testing and results should be back soon, he said.

The DEC is having the fish tested for viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus. A serious pathogen of fresh and saltwater fish, the rod-shaped virus affects fish of all size and age ranges. It does not pose any threat to human health, according to the DEC. The virus is causing a disease issue in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada; it can cause hemorrhaging of fish tissue, including internal organs, and can cause the death of infected fish, the DEC says. Once a fish is infected with VHS, there is no known cure.

Olvany said that even if the first test comes back negative for the virus, there will be further testing to confirm that. The virus was found in fish in Irondequoit Bay in May, Olvany said.

Paula Larivee, who walks regularly along Kershaw Park, said she was disturbed to see the number of big, dead fish — 12 inches or longer, she said — during a walk Sunday.

“When you walk there several days a week, you notice changes in the lake,” said Larivee. “This was alarming.” - MPN Now.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore In South Durras, New South Wales, Australia?!

June 26, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - As harsh weather continues, hundreds of bait fish were seen washed ashore at South Durras. With many of them still alive, a question that arose was what caused the incident.

The reasons behind the same still remained mysterious.

The event was something that was never seen before at the place. Hundreds of fishes were seen lying on shore. John Perkins, a Friends of Durras spokesman who snapped the pictures of the fishes, said that the waves came and washed them back.

It emerged that Durras Lake's entrance to the sea has been closed recently. Mr. Perkins said that it may be the reason behind unusual event. Stan Gorton, the Editor at Narooma News, said that the he had never seen yellowtail scad and slimy mackerel piled up like that earlier.

The pictures of the fishes have been sent to NSW Fisheries to find out the reason behind the same. The residents of the Batemans Bay have been asked to stay away from the waterfront as the tides are still hitting the town.

"The tide wasn't as big as the same time last year. Climate scientists say this will be 'normal' high tide in couple of decades. It's a bit of a benchmark", said Narooma local Greg Watts. - Top News.

PROTESTS & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: China Pops - 27 Dead In Massive Riots In Northwest China!

June 26, 2013 - SINGAPORE At least 27 people have been killed and three others injured after knife-wielding gangs went on the rampage through a town in far western China, according to state media.

The Xinhua news agency said mobs attacked police stations, a local government building and a construction site in the Turpan Oasis in the Turkic-speaking Xinjiang region.

Nine police officers and security guards, as well as eight civilians, were killed before police shot dead 10 of the attackers.

The death toll from the unrest was the worst in the restive region since July 2009, when nearly 200 people were killed in riots in the regional capital Urumqi, involving local predominantly Muslim Uighurs and ethnic Han Chinese.

Xinhua said Wednesday's unrest erupted at about 6am in the remote township of Lukqun, about 120 miles southeast of Urumqi.

Gangs attacked officials and civilians, stabbing people and setting fire to police vehicles, Xinhua reported.

Residents told Sky News there was a heavy police presence in the township. Search results for the words Xinjiang and Lukqun, in both English and Chinese, were unavailable on Chinese search engines.

Paramilitary police in riot gear block a road at the centre of Urumqi in China's Xinjiang Autonomous
Region September 3, 2009. Reuters

The reasons for the attacks were not immediately clear, but Xinjiang has been the scene of numerous violent incidents in recent years.

The region is home to a large population of Uighurs, and the influx of China's Han majority has led to unrest.

Many Uighurs, who have ethnic links to central Asia, accuse the Chinese government of placing restrictions on their culture, language and religion.

They also claim Beijing has encouraged the numbers of Han Chinese to rise in order to reduce the Uighurs' dominance.

China says it grants Uighurs wide-ranging freedoms and is fighting separatist terrorists in the region. It also claims to be modernising the region, which has for many years been seen as a backwater.

A map showing to location of the Turpan Oasis in Xinjiang

In 2011, the China National Petroleum Corp announced it had started large scale exploration of an oil field around Lukqun, which is thought to be the world's deepest heavy oil reserve.

In that same year, 113 oil wells were opened. Local people claim the water level has dropped in the last few years.

The report also said three rioters had been seized, and the police pursued fleeing suspects, although it did not say how many. - SKY News.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: From Mask To Helmet - Rare Hailstorm Pounds Singapore, Causing Massive Traffic Jams, Damaging Trees And Cars!

June 26, 2013 - SINGAPORE - A hailstorm, by far a very rare occurrence in Singapore, pounded the island nation on Tuesday. But government environment authorities stressed the weather disturbance has no relation at all to the ongoing cloud seeding over Indonesia.

The hailstorm, which started in western Singapore at around 3 pm on Tuesday and affected several parts of Singapore, was considered a welcome relief as it managed to somehow lift the haze clouding the city-state for the past few weeks now.

The country's National Environment Agency (NEA) immediately clarified the hailstorm experience does not have any relation at all to the ongoing cloud seeding over in neighbour Indonesia. And most importantly, it was not toxic.

"The hailstorm which hit certain parts of western Singapore is not toxic," a spokesman for NEA said in a media conference.

Hail is caused when super-cooled droplets of water come into contact with particles such as dust and freeze on contact. They are not considered hazardous. Although the hailstorm could have been caused by the haze, NEA said it has yet to confirm such theory.

Residents' Experiences

"The wind suddenly turned very cold, and these crystal-like stones started raining down. It was very frightening. I could not believe my eyes," Laura Tang told Yahoo! News.

Fitness trainer Koh Zhen Rong, who took refuge inside his car, told Asia One he heard what sounded like "seeds dropping" over the roof of his automobile.

"The torrent came in a five-minute burst; something was clanging on my windows and I went to my front door to see what was going on," Lucas Ho, a playwright and teacher, told The Straits Times. "I never thought I'd see hail in Singapore."

"[They were] very sharp droplets that were a little prickly, like sand, when it landed on my hand," 24-year-old banking executive Caydence Woo said. "The droplets also looked weird. They were coming down in straight, solid lines, instead of one by one.


No casualties were reported from the hailstorm, but it did create minor damage to property around Singapore.

Strong winds that came with the hail storm uprooted trees, creating massive traffic jams during and after the heavy downpour. Affected roads were Bukit Batok Road, Toh Guan Road and Old Jurong Road.

WATCH: Singapore Hail Storm Footage and Forecast.

The falling trees and branches damaged at least three cars that were parked at the open-air carpark on Toh Guan East Road and on Bukit Batok West Avenue 2.

The ice pellets that fell on Singapore on Tuesday were as large as 50-cent coins, according to Ang Lam Toh, a retiree. - IBTimes.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Intensified Eruptions Observed At Two Alaskan Volcanoes - Pavlof Volcano Spews 5-Mile-High Plume Of Cinders And Veniaminof Volcano Continues Low-Intensity Eruption!

June 26, 2013 - ALASKA - An Alaska volcano spewing ash and lava for the past six weeks erupted with new intensity on Tuesday, belching a plume of cinders 5 miles into sky and onto a nearby town and disrupting local flights, officials said.

The Pavlof Volcano in Alaska, seen here on May 18, has sent a plume of cinders 5 miles into the sky.
NASA via Reuters, file

The eruptions from Pavlof Volcano, on the Alaska Peninsula 590 miles southwest of Anchorage, were its most powerful since its current eruptive phase began with low-level rumblings in mid-May, according to scientists at the federal-state Alaska Volcano Observatory.

The latest series of more powerful ash-producing blasts from the crater of the 8,261-foot volcano started late on Monday and continued overnight into Tuesday, scientists said.

"For some reason we can't explain, it picked up in intensity and vigor," said Tina Neal, an observatory geologist.

While the ash plume has so far remained too low in the sky to affect jetliner traffic, topping out at an altitude of 28,000 feet, smaller planes had to fly around it, officials said.

Anchorage-based PenAir canceled one flight and re-routed others, said Missy Roberts, a company vice president.

Ash has dusted King Cove, a town of about 900 people located 30 miles southwest of Pavlof, the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported.

The National Weather Service issued an ash advisory for the region, warning of breathing problems for people with respiratory ailments and potential damage to exposed electronic equipment.

A second Alaska Peninsula volcano continued a low-intensity eruption, the observatory said. Ash from Veniaminof Volcano, 485 miles southwest of Anchorage, has been limited to the area around its 8,225-foot summit, the observatory said.

The eruptions at Pavlof and Veniaminof are unrelated, scientists say.

A third, more remote, Alaska volcano remained restless but was not currently spouting lava or ash, the observatory said.

Cleveland Volcano, 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, began an on-and-off eruptive phase in mid-2011 but has not produced an explosive eruption since May 6, according to the observatory. - NBC.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Arctic Ice Break-Away - After Drifting For Hours On Arctic Ice Floe, 20 Tourists Are Safe!

June 26, 2013 - ARCTIC - A group of tourists got a bit more adventure in the Canadian Arctic than they wanted Tuesday, after they realized the ice floe on which they were camping had split off and begun drifting into open water. The 20 tourists and their guides Wednesday afternoon.

Ice near Baffin Island, Canada, where the tourists are stranded. Photograph: Stuart Westmorland/CORBIS

The tourists were part of a week-long expedition hosted by Arctic Kingdom, a company that offers "Arctic safari" trips to guests who camp on Baffin Island and other areas to see animals such as polar bears, bowhead whales, and narwhals in their natural habitats.

But Tuesday morning, the guides woke up to realize their group was camping on top of an ice floe that had become disconnected from the shore in Admiralty Inlet, off the coast of Arctic Bay, Nunavut. They used GPS technology to confirm that their camp was drifting away, then called for help with radio satellite phones.

Graham Dickson of Arctic Kingdom says the company's guides are trained to stay far from the edge of the ice when they establish their campsites. He says strong tides from this weekend's Supermoon and strong winds caused an unexpectedly large chunk of ice to break off the mainland sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

This visualization shows the extent of Arctic sea ice on Aug. 26, 2012, compared to the average sea ice minimum
from 1979 through 2010 shown in orange. The sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more
than three decades, according to scientists from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

When the ice, which was reportedly , broke off, it took the entire camp with it.

Dickson says the Arctic Kindgom camp atop the ice floe included dining rooms, cooks, and 300-square-foot tents. "Our people had all the comforts of home in their safari camp," he said.

Many of the guests on the expedition were comfortable, happy, and easygoing throughout the rescue, Dickson says, noting that many of them were experienced world travelers.

Yvonne Niego of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police says that it is fairly common for people to get stranded on ice floes moving away from land in this area. 

WATCH: Tourists rescued after being stranded on Arctic ice floe.

"Annually we receive this sort of call for help, but it is usually just one to two people who get stranded," Niego says. "This is the first one over several years that is this large.... it's a bit extraordinary."

And with limited ability to land aircraft and helicopters, rescue efforts in this region are difficult, Niego says. The tourists received a survival kit delivery from the Royal Canadian Air Force Tuesday, which included large rafts in case the ice floe split.

Later, the tourists were able to get back on land, after their floe drifted toward the shore again. There, they waited in a small cabin with supplies and food, until a military helicopter picked them up. - NPR.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Global Food Crisis - Locust Plague Threatens To Trigger A Monumental Food Crisis In Madagascar; Over Half Of The Island's Cultivated Land And Pastures Infested!

June 26, 2013 - MADAGASCARMadagascar is in the grips of a largely uncontrolled locust plague and risks a serious food crisis. A large-scale emergency control campaign urgently requires a minimum of $22 million in funding to start in time for the next crop planting season in September. So far, FAO emergency appeals for Madagascar remain severely underfunded.

By September, FAO expects that two-thirds of the country will be infested by locusts.

Some 13 million people’s food security and livelihoods are at stake, or nearly 60 percent of the island’s total population. Nine million of those people are directly dependent on agriculture for food and income.

Sounding the alarm – more loudly

FAO has issued various warnings since August 2012 calling for financial support.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva emphasized that prevention and early action are key. “If we don’t act now, the plague could last years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. This could very well be a last window of opportunity to avert an extended crisis,” he said.

Timely control of the locust upsurge in Madagascar at an early stage would have cost $ 14.5 million in 2011-1012, but FAO only received half the funding necessary. Another campaign had to be launched, but that received barely a quarter of the required funds in 2011/2012.

When the Sahel region experienced a locust upsurge in 2003-2005, the costs of control operations exceeded $ 570 million, in addition to the economic damages in terms of lost crops and food aid.

Preventive control measures normally cost $3.3 million per year for the 10 affected Sahelian countries. So intervening only when the situation reaches a crisis point cost roughly the same as 170 years of prevention.

In order to have all the supplies and personnel in place to mount a wide-scale anti-locust campaign starting in September, funding should be allocated by July.

FAO’s locust control programme needs to be fully funded in order to monitor the locust situation throughout the whole contaminated area and to carry out well-targeted aerial control operations. Otherwise, undetected or uncontrolled locust populations will continue to breed and produce more swarms.

The plague would therefore last several years, controlling it will be lengthier and more expensive and it will severely affect food security, nutrition and livelihoods.

The complete three-year programme, which is needed to return the locust plague to a recession, requires more than $41.5 million over the next three years.

According to a recent FAO assessment mission on the impact of the current locust plague in Madagascar, in parts of the country rice and maize losses due to the locusts vary from 40 to 70 percent of the crop, with 100 percent losses on certain plots.

A joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission, supported by FAO, IFAD and WFP and in close cooperation with the Malagasy Government, is currently on the ground to measure the locust plague’s damages to food security and livelihoods. More detailed data analysis will be available in July, but the resources to start preparation for the field actions have to be available now.

Major impact on food security
According to FAO estimates, there could be losses in rice production of up to 630 000 tonnes, or about 25 percent of total demand for rice in Madagascar. This would severely affect food and nutrition security and livelihoods of the most vulnerable.

Rice is the main staple in the country, where 80 percent of the population lives on less than a dollar per day. One and a half million hectares will need to be treated by aerial spraying during the 2013/2014 campaign.
The three-year FAO programme includes:
  • improving the monitoring and analysis of the locust situation;
  • large-scale aerial and ground spraying and related training;
  • monitoring and mitigating the effect of control operations on health and the environment;
  • measuring the impact of anti-locust campaigns and the damages to crops and pasture.
- Stackyard.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: State Agencies Look Into Mysterious Fish Kill At Ashland Creek, Oregon?!

June 26, 2013 - UNITED STATESState police, fish biologists and Ashland city officials are investigating an apparent fish-kill in lower Ashland Creek along and downstream of the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

File Photo.

Ashland Director of Public Works Mike Faught said an unspecified number of fish he could not identify were found in that reach of the creek.

The plant discharges treated effluent into Ashland Creek and it was not known late Monday whether the die-off was caused by effluent released from the plant or some other source.

Faught said there were no change to dissolved oxygen levels in the plant's discharge, and there were no signs of toxic poisoning within the plant's treatment regimen.

Changes in dissolved oxygen or toxic poisoning are two common causes for some fish kills.

The dead fish apparently were discovered by a private citizen who notified Oregon Department of Fish and

Wildlife biologists in Central Point, Faught said. ODFW officials called city public works crews and an investigation was launched, he said.

Ashland Creek is a Bear Creek tributary that flows through Ashland's Lithia Park and portions of city neighborhoods before reaching the treatment plant area close to its confluence with Bear Creek. - Mail Tribune.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Mass Fish Die-Off - Wisconsin DNR Suspects Virus Killed Hundreds Of Carp!

June 26, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Wisconsin fisheries experts suspect a virus played a role in the death of hundreds of carp in Iowa and Dane counties this month.

File Photo.

David Rowe is the Department of Natural Resources' fisheries team supervisor.

He says carp in Ludden Lake near Mineral Point and Marshall Millpond in Marshall started turning up dead around the middle of June.

He says hundreds died in both locations.

Rowe says the carp likely became infected with koi herpes virus during spawning and developed a secondary bacterial infection that did them in.

Results from testing at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory are pending.

Rowe says the agency is unsure how the virus got into the water bodies. The DNR advises anyone cleaning up the dead fish to use a shovel or gloves. - TwinCities.