Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – April 14, 2015!

April 14, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

Reventador (Ecuador): Activity has been relatively intense during the past days. Frequent explosions with ash plumes of 1-2 km height and smaller pyroclastic flows have occurred from the summit vent, where a lava dome is growing.

Explosion and pyroclastic flow at Reventador on 9 April

Hekla (Iceland): Small earthquake swarms occurred at shallow depths during the past days near the volcano. The quakes were located approx. 6-10 km south of Hekla volcano and at shallow depths around 5 km.

Epicenters of recent earthquakes south of Hekla

Time vs depth of earthquakes near Hekla

The largest quakes were two magnitude 2.6 events at 4 km depth on Thursday (9 April). It is impossible to say whether the earthquakes are linked to volcanic activity and thus might be precursors of a new eruption, but Hekla is probably the most likely candidate volcano for the next eruption to occur on Iceland.

One of the country's most active, and the most frequently erupting volcano, Hekla has been believed to be "due" and have its magma chamber filled for several years now. Known for not giving much precursory signals (and only few earthquakes), an eruption would not be a surprise at all.

Klyuchevskoy (Kamchatka): After less than two weeks pause, the volcano started to erupt again - mild strombolian explosions at the summit crater and small ash emissions.

Weak steam / ash plume from Klyuchevskoy volcano today

KVERT raised the alert level again to yellow and noted that seismic activity has also shown an increase recently.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has remained essentially unchanged. Intermittent small to moderate explosions occur from the volcano's summit crater, where slow magma extrusion continues to accumulate in a moderately viscous, flat dome.

Aerial view of Popo's crater on 10 April with the partially collapsed lava dome (CENAPRED)

An aerial survey on 10 April showed that the most recent dome seen in February (numbered 55) had partially collapsed, as a result of the explosions during late March to early April.

Its remaining mass occupying the inner crater was flat and had developed a series of concentric fissures.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): Intermittent mild explosive activity with ash emissions continues at the volcano.

Ash emission at Tungurahua on 10 April

An unusual seismic swarm occurred during the night of 9-10 April, following two volcanic earthquakes at 6 km depth in the evening. More than 1300 quakes were recorded until noon of 10 April. What made it unusual was that the seismic events were of the "drumbeat" type, not seen on Tungurahua during the past 16 years, but thought to correspond to the ascent of viscous magma.

Gas emissions have continued to show an increase and the presence of black ash also suggests that a new batch of magma is arriving. These observations make the scenario of a sudden violent explosion in the near future a serious possibility.

Seismic swarm at Tungurahua 9-10 April (IGPEN)

Drumbeat seismic signals (IGPEN)

Authorities have started to take preventive measures in case of a larger eruption. Road conditions and meeting points in case of evacuations were checked and communicated to the local population. Access restrictions were imposed to potentially dangerous areas, in particular valleys draining from the volcano and the road Penipe Los Pajaros - Banos

Volcano Activity Summary as of April 13, 2015:

Currently erupting:

Ambrym (Vanuatu): active lava lakes in several craters (updated 14 Aug 2013)
Aso (Kyushu): intense strombolian activity from main vent in Nakadake crater (updated 27 Mar 2015)
Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): ash emissions, lava dome growth (updated 2 Apr 2015)
Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): strombolian explosions, ash plumes up to 500 m, extrusion of a small lava dome with rockfalls (updated 4 Nov 2014)
Colima (Western Mexico): Irregular small to moderately large explosions (updated 31 Mar 2015)
Copahue (Chile/Argentina): ash venting (updated 4 Dec 2014)
Dukono (Halmahera): thermal anomaly, probably small explosive activity in summit crater (updated 7 Apr 2015)
Erebus (Antarctica): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 8 Dec 2014)
Erta Ale (Ethiopia): active lava lake in northern pit crater, active hornito with intermittend flow in southern crater (updated 11 Jan 2013)
Fuego (Guatemala): intermittent strombolian explosions (updated 13 Mar 2015)
Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia): stromolian and phreatomagmatic explosions (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Karangetang (Siau Island, Sangihe Islands, Indonesia): growing lava dome, incandescent avalanches (updated 5 Feb 2015)
Karymsky (Kamchatka): occasional small explosions, thermal anomaly (updated 3 Apr 2015)
Kilauea (Hawai'i): new lava flow from vents on NE flank of Pu'u 'O'o (updated 13 Aug 2013)
Mount Olympus (Mars)
Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan): growing island (updated 19 Jan 2015)
Nyiragongo (DRCongo): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 26 Feb 2014)
Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania): effusion of natrocarbonatite lava inside the crater (updated 8 Jul 2013)
Poas (Costa Rica): phreatic explosions (updated 14 Oct 2014)
Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): degassing, sporadic explosions, slowly growing lava dome (updated 13 Apr 2015)
Rabaul (Tavurvur) (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): lava fountains, ash emissions from Tavurvur cone (updated 12 Sep 2014)
Raung (East Java): Large Strombolian explosions (updated 18 Mar 2015)
Reventador (Ecuador): intermittent weak to moderate explosions, occasional pyroclastic flows (updated 13 Apr 2015)
Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): ash venting, intermittent explosions (updated 27 Mar 2015)
Sangay (Ecuador): likely strombolian eruptions at summit crater (updated 13 Mar 2015)
Santiaguito (Guatemala): small explosions from the Caliente dome and active lava flow (updated 3 Feb 2015)
Semeru (East Java, Indonesia): growing lava dome, lava flow, strombolian activity (updated 26 Nov 2014)
Shiveluch (Kamchatka): growing lava dome (updated 3 Apr 2015)
Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): continuing pyroclastic flows (updated 2 Apr 2015)
Soputan (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): active viscous lava flow, explosions, rockfalls, pyroclastic flows (updated 9 Mar 2015)
Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): strombolian activity (updated 16 Feb 2015)
Tungurahua (Ecuador): volcanic unrest, ash emissions, degassing (updated 13 Apr 2015)
Ubinas (Peru): continuous ash emissions (updated 9 Apr 2015)
Villarrica (Central Chile): pulsating gas and ash emissions (updated 3 Apr 2015)
Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): ash emissions, weak strombolian explosions (updated 14 Aug 2013)
Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): intermittent ash emissions (updated 3 Apr 2015)

Eruption warning / minor activity:

Augustine (Cook Inlet (SW Alaska))
Bezymianny (Central Kamchatka Depression): steaming, weak seismic activity (updated 3 Jul 2014)
Etna (Sicily, Italy): sporadic weak ash emissions from New SE crater (updated 19 Apr 2014)
Heard (Australia, Southern Indian Ocean): possibly lava lake in summit crater (updated 5 Dec 2014)
Kavachi (Solomon Islands): no eruption since 2007 (updated 16 Jun 2014)
Kerinci (Sumatra): seismic unrest (updated 5 Jun 2013)
Kirishima (Kyushu): degassing, alert lowered (updated 25 Oct 2014)
Krakatau (Sunda Strait, Indonesia): degassing (updated 31 Mar 2014)
Kuchinoerabu-jima (Ryukyu Islands): steaming, incandescence at main crater (updated 27 Mar 2015)
Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): small explosions, lava flow? (updated 13 Sep 2014)
Lopevi (Vanuatu): eruption warning (updated 16 Dec 2014)
Manam (Papua New Guinea): seismic unrest (updated 20 Mar 2015)
Mayon (Luzon Island): steaming (updated 18 Dec 2014)
Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): ash emissions (updated 16 Dec 2014)
Nyamuragira (DRCongo): active lava lake (updated 29 Nov 2014)
Ontake-san (Honshu): steaming, low seismic activity (updated 18 Dec 2014)
Pacaya (Guatemala): ash emissions (updated 7 Feb 2015)
Papandayan (West Java): strong hydrothermal activity, increased seismicity (updated 6 May 2013)
Pavlof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): steaming, elevated seismic activity (updated 22 Dec 2014)
Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): new eruption on 4 Feb 2015 (updated 16 Feb 2015)
Rasshua (Central Kuriles)
Rincón de la Vieja (Costa Rica): phreatic explosions from crater lake (updated 21 Sep 2014)
Sacabaya (Northern Chile, Bolivia and Argentina)
San Cristobal (Nicaragua): possible ash emission on 11 April (updated 9 Mar 2015)
San Miguel (El Salvador): elevated seismic activity, pulsating gas emissions (updated 28 Jan 2015)
Shishaldin (United States, Aleutian Islands): mild explosive activity, intermittent more intense phases (updated 3 Apr 2015)
Slamet (Central Java): intense strombolian explosions (updated 12 Jan 2015)
Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): weak strombolian activity at summit vents (updated 13 Mar 2015)
Turrialba (Costa Rica): ash eruptions (updated 7 Apr 2015)
Ulawun (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): degassing, ash venting (updated 5 Aug 2013)


MASS PRAWN DIE-OFFS: Is This An Apocalyptic Sign Of An Upcoming Mega-Quake - Millions Of Dead Shrimps Found On The Shores Of Playa Brava, Chile?!

Dead prawns on Playa Brava in Iquique

April 14, 2015 - CHILE
- Playa Brava in Iquique has now turned red... Prawn red! A sign of the next big one?

Scientists are baffled by this apocalyptic mass die-off and will conduct various tests - water and shellfish - to determine the cause of this kill!

Yesterday morning the entire coast of Playa Brava in Iquique was blanketed by millions of dead or dying prawns.

The reason for this mass die-off is still unknown.

The apocalyptic event started at around 07:00.

WATCH: Massive prawn die-off in Chile.

Rescue was launched directly after.

But rough sea hampered the work of the rescuers, whose efforts were unsuccessful. - Strange Sounds.

MASS FISH DIE-OFFS: Scores Of Dead Fish Appear In The Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon In Brazil - Deepening Concerns Ahead Of The 2016 Olympics In Rio de Janeiro?!

April 14, 2015 - BRAZIL
- The bad news for Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Olympics keeps coming after scores of dead fish appeared in the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon.

With just over a year to go before the city hosts the Games' rowing and canoe competitions, officials with the legislative assembly of Rio de Janeiro Monday launched an investigation into the causes of death both in the lagoon and in other lakes and bays in the state in which this phenomenon has occurred.

The group will work in partnership with the State Environmental Institute (INEA) and the Secretariat of State for the Environment.

Officials defended the belief that the latest rains caused a temperature change of the water and the excess of decaying organic matter, which would have led to lack of oxygen killing the fish.

The note released by officials highlighted that the amount of dead fish has generated a bad smell and inconvenience to those who live near the lagoon and all the tourists that flock to the area.

Last week newly obtained footage from newspaper O Globo showed a sailor crashing into trash floating on Guanabara Bay.

The incident took place on February 14 and involved professional sailors Breno Osthoff, 20, and Rafael de Almeida Sampaio, 35.

According to Osthoff, the impact was so great the boat was forced onto its side.

Rio de Janeiro has pledged to reduce pollution in the notoriously fetid bay, but last month in an interview with the country's largest sports channel SporTV, Mayor Eduardo Paes admitted that the bay will remain mostly polluted for the games.

"The Olympics are also in a time that has very little rain, then this amount of debris that comes from five municipalities in the metropolitan region, with poor sanitation, is also controllable...I do not see as a problem for the Olympics," said Paes.

Last year biologists said rivers leading into the bay contained a superbacteria that is resistant to antibiotics and can cause urinary, gastrointestinal and pulmonary infections. - CNN.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Massive Sinkhole Opens Up On Interstate 81 In Shedandoah County, Virginia; Sinkhole Opens Up Near Park Avenue Of The Penn State Campus; James City County Battling Massive Sinkholes; Sinkholes Close Traffic In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania!

April 14, 2015 - UNITED STATES - Here are several of the latest reports of sinkholes across the United States as monumental planetary transformations continue.

Massive sinkhole opens up on Interstate 81 in Shenandoah County

A sinkhole on I-81 in Shenandoah County over the weekend was 20 feet deep and at least a lane and a half wide. (Photo: Submitted)

In an area prone to sinkholes due to the presence of porous karst in the ground, how does the Virginia Department of Transportation cope when one of these holes open up in the middle of a major thoroughfare?

It's a question they came face to face with on Sunday when a sinkhole opened up on Interstate 81 in Shenandoah County at mile marker 284, closing the left travel lane, and eventually all northbound lanes.

The hole was 20 feet deep and a lane and a half wide, said Sandy Myers, spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation. While sinkholes occur with regular frequency in the Valley, they are often on private property or off the beaten path, not in the middle of I-81, Myers said.

VDOT was alerted to the sinkhole by a county employee, Myers said. Workers were dispatched to the site to confirm it was a sinkhole and a contractor was alerted that a sinkhole would need to be excavated and filled.

Only one lane of traffic was initially closed on I-81 but when the contractor arrived and work began to repair the sinkhole, both northbound lanes were closed, causing significant delays and detours. When lanes reopened about 24 hours after the sinkhole was discovered, VDOT reported backups 13 miles long.

Filling a sinkhole is a time-consuming job, Myers said. First the hole has to be excavated and the bottom explored. It is then filled with rocks and other filler needed to support interstate travel. Finally the road has to be repaved and cooled before cars can pass over it again. The entire process took about a day.

No one was injured when the sinkhole opened up or during the filling process. - NewsLeader.

Sinkhole Slows Traffic

A sink hole has opened up near Park Avenue of the Penn State campus.

Tuesday morning crews were working to repair the damaged road near the Ford Building.

The road was not shut down.  Crews limited traffic to one lane but delays are expected throughout much of the day.

WATCH: Sinkhole opens up in Centre County.

- WeAreCentralPA.

James City County battling massive sinkholes

The Fernbrook neighborhood in James City County is dealing with sinkholes in their community. Some of the holes are two-feet deep and about four-feet wide.

County officials say the problem in the storm water drainage system in the area. They say many of the underground pipes are not properly sealed, leaking water underground. That water softens the dirt, creating the sinkholes.

Luann Fultz has one of the biggest sinkholes in the area in her front yard. She says she won’t let her daughter play in the yard. She fears the child may fall in the hole. Fultz says she and other residents try to fill in the holes with dirt and sand, but every time it rains the earth sinks in again.

County leaders says to fix the drainage system, it would cost more than 20 million dollars. Some county officials are calling for a 8.2 cent property tax increase to help fund those repairs. The county board will decided on the tax increase during their annual budget meetings later this month.

WATCH: James City County battling massive sinkholes.


Sinkholes close traffic in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

A large sinkhole opened up April 11, 2015 on Johnston Drive in Bethlehem. © Pamela Sroka-Holzmann / LehighValleyLive.com

Public works, water and sewer crews plan to spend most of this week repairing a significant sinkhole on Johnston Drive between Center and Linden streets in Bethlehem.

Mike Alkhal, city public works director, said a teenager noticed the sinkhole in the westbound lane Saturday and called 911. Neighbors say the teenager directed traffic around the sinkhole.

The sinkhole is in front of a vacant home for sale in the 400 block of Johnston Drive. The home has a smaller sinkhole in front of its front steps. Another small sinkhole is on a neighboring property owned by Nancy Sigley. The entire perimeter of all three sinkholes is blocked off with yellow tape.
Alkhal called the sinkhole significant and isn't sure of its cause.

"It can be anything," he said. "Initially, we ruled out any leaks, but we're not 100 percent ... so far we did not detect anything," Alkhal said.

Neighbors Sunday worried it would grow.

"You're never far enough away from a sinkhole," said Denny Hollinger, who lives across the street. "It looks like it's getting bigger and bigger."

Sigley, a mother of two, pointed out the sidewalk is beginning to sink in the area of the sinkhole.

Joggers trekking past the yellow tape stopped to ask what had happened Sunday afternoon, noting safety concerns for people who walk around a lot in the quiet neighborhood.

Dolores Albert, who lives across from Sigley, said she was worried.

"It is scary," she said.

Crews plan to begin repairing the sinkhole Monday. - Lehigh Valley Live.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Los Angeles Rattles With 3.5 Earthquake And 2.5 Aftershock!

The Inglewood-Newport fault is a heavy red line that starts to the left of the word Los "Angeles" in the center of the map. © www.lamag.com

- A magnitude 3.5 earthquake was reported Sunday night about a half mile from View-Park Windsor Hills in South Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 9:17 p.m. Pacific Time and occurred at a depth of 6 miles, according to the USGS.

Although tremors were felt across large swaths of Southern California, the epicenter was located near the Baldwin Hills oil fields and the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, about eight miles west of downtown Los Angeles. The proximity to the oil fields left some to speculate on social media that the earthquake owed to heavy drilling in the area.

But Dr. Lucy Jones, a USGS seismologist, wrote on Twitter that the quake occurred near the Newport-Inglewood fault and at a depth "way below the oil fields." "The focal mechanism matches the Newport Inglewood fault which was producing [earthquakes] long before we were pumping oil," Jones wrote.

The epicenter was about 2,000 feet from that of a magnitude 2.5 earthquake which was reported at 4:35 p.m. The smaller quake was a foreshock that typically precedes larger seismic activity, Jones said. A 1.3 magnitude afterschock occurred at 10:37 p.m.

In response, the Los Angeles Fire Department went into earthquake mode, with firefighters fanning out across the city to survey for possible damage.

After crews from all 106 LAFD stations inspected strategic areas across 470 square miles of the city, no damage was identified, according to fire department spokesman Shawn Lenske.  - Los Angeles Times.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Deaths Of 156 Dolphins In Japan Triggers Speculation Of Earthquake!

Residents attempt to save melon-headed whales beached on the shore of Hokota city Photo: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP

April 14, 2015 - JAPAN
- Virtually all the 156 dolphins that beached themselves over the weekend on the coast of north-east Japan have died, while the incident has also triggered speculation that another major earthquake is imminent.

Local coast guard officials managed to rescue three of the pod of melon-headed whales – also known as electra dolphins – from the beach close to the town of Kashima, but the majority have been buried where they beached themselves.

The stranding of so many dolphins has prompted comparisons with a similar incident in 2011, when 50 melon headed whales beached themselves on a nearby coast just six days before a magnitude-9 earthquake struck offshore, triggering a massive tsunami that devastated hundreds of miles of coastline and leaving around 18,000 people dead.

Commentators have also pointed out that 107 pilot whales beached themselves in New Zealand in February 2011, just two before a major quake hit the city of Christchuch, while the December 2004 quake in the Indian Ocean was preceded by more than 170 whales being stranded on beaches in Australia and New Zealand.

Scientists have suggested that dolphins and whales are sensitive to disturbances in the Earth’s electromagnetic field that are linked to movements in tectonic plates.

Melon-headed dolphins stranded on the coast in Hokota (Reuters)

Toshiaki Kishiro, head of the Cetacean Resources Group at Japan’s National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, agreed that might be one explanation for the dolphins coming ashore, but added that there may be other reasons.

“It is possible, but there is no firm evidence to ratify that theory”, Mr Kishiro told The Telegraph. “This area of Japan has had many similar cases of beachings in the past, and especially of this species, so we are trying to find out why it happens.

“Another explanation that has been put forward is that the dolphins have become confused by naturally occurring magnetic fields, or that they were trying to evade other species, such as killer whales.

"It has also been suggested that they were moving away from noise caused by ships or that their health may have been affected by parasites that caused them to become disorientated," Mr Kishiro added.

Scientific explanations have not halted the speculation, however, with messages on social media sites warning: "Is the next one coming? Be ready for a quake" and others recommending that people stock up on bottled water, tinned foods and batteries. - Telegraph.

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: Widespread Flooding – The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, And Catastrophic Storms!

April 14, 2015 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

Heavy rainfall brings flooding to parts of North Texas

Car under water in Fort Worth. © Photo: WFAA

A Flash Flood Warning has expired for Collin County and parts of Denton and Grayson Counties after one to two inches of rain fell over Tarrant and Denton Counties earlier Monday.

Meteorologists expected scattered showers and thunderstorms to hit North Texas overnight. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued for counties in the southern portion of the WFAA viewing area through 11 p.m. Monday, but it was later canceled.

For Celia de la Cruz, these April showers are bringing massive headaches.

"It just comes this way and heads that way; it's just horrible," she said.

De la Cruz was talking about the gushing, rushing water that turned her quiet Fort Worth street into raging rapids on Monday. Her neighbor shot incredible video of the water rushing through backyards and funneling onto Carleton Avenue near Interstate 30 and Hulen Street.

She tried to barricade her fence to keep the water out of her backyard, but was unsuccessful.

"It's shocking that it'll just bust through there," de la Cruz said.

Floods in Fort Worth, April 2015. Photo: Fort Worth Police Department, who urged drivers to use caution in flooded areas

Rainfall totals for Fort Worth and parts of Texas, 13 April 2015. Image: NOAA

Flooding at Jacksboro Highway & Ephraim

Car stranded at Hulen and I-30

Now her fence is broken, her yard is a mess, and her swimming pool is brown with muddy rainwater (and whatever else was picked up in the alley as the water flowed down).

It all happened Monday morning around 10 a.m., when downpours hit Fort Worth. The gushing waters also ripped up two roads in the area.

On the next street over, city crews were hard at work clearing debris from roads and patching up the holes. It's a road they've been down before.

"It's a real challenge," City Council member Dennis Shingleton observed. "It's heartbreaking."

WATCH: Rain water floods Fort Worth neighborhood.

WATCH: Dumpster floats down flooded Denton street.

Shingleton said the city is well aware this area is a flooding target. Exactly one week from now, the city will begin work on a retention basin near Camp Bowie Boulevard that is designed to reduce — but not eradicate — flooding damage in the future.

The project will be at the corner of Western and Bryce Avenues, and is called a "drainage improvement project."

"We can do things to mitigate the damage and mitigate the water, but we can't totally fix it and call it a done deal," Shingleton said.

"It is really scary when it's happening, you know?" de la Cruz said. "I'm not going to lie. It's just awful."

Flash flooding closes roads in Alabama

Flash floods hit Alabama.

An afternoon and evening filled with rainfall is causing flooding in some areas of the county.

A Flash Flood Warning remains in effect until 2:45am for southwestern Mobile County. Doppler estimated rainfall totals of over 7 to 8 inches have fallen near Grand Bay.

Multiple roads have been closed in southwestern Mobile County, including Ramsey Road, Highway 188, McGehee and AL 188, Potter Tract and Cemetery, Old Pascagoula, Serenity Gardens, McDonald Road, and I-10 at the Waffle House, Three Notch and McFarland.

Authorities say unless it's an emergency, play it safe and stay off the roads tonight.

Meteorologist Jonathan Owens is in the weather center tonight, monitoring the situation.

Meteorologist John Nodar will keep up updated on News 5 This Morning beginning at 5:00am.

Israel sees 'unseasonable downpours', flooding, and the coldest temperatures in decades

Illustrative photo of Israelis watching flash floods in Nahal Og that empties into the Dead Seat, November 26, 2014.  © Maxim Dinshtein/FLASh90

Heavy rainfall closed a road near the Dead Sea on Sunday as unseasonable downpours and stormy conditions continued to lash much of Israel over a wet weekend.

Parts of route 90 were closed to traffic as the Nahal David and Nahal Tze'elim streams, which run off into the salt-water lake, flooded the road. The highway was blocked south of Metzukei Dragot and north of Ein Bokek by the water.

Police and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority closed to the public hiking routes along wadis in the area as a safety precaution. The wadis are popular attractions during rainy seasons with hikers hoping to catch sight of rainwater from mountainous areas rushing along the riverbeds.

Israel Radio reported that hiking trails along the Nahal Darga, Nahal Hazezon, Nahal Tur, Nahal Temarim, Wadi Qelt, and Nahal Og streams were all closed to the public.

In the north, snow that had been falling throughout the weekend on the Golan Heights reached 20 centimeters at the Mount Hermon ski resort, which was closed because of the conditions, and during the day bursts of hail pounded Jerusalem.

With temperatures already at an 18-year low, forecasts called for more cold and rain across most of Israel on Sunday, reaching all the way to the Negev desert in the south and possibly even the port city of Eilat at the southern tip of the country.

The rain was expected to lighten toward the evening and then fade away over the following two days. However, the inclement weather could briefly return on Thursday.

After last week saw temperatures reach 40°C (104°F) in some areas, a sudden cold snap brought temperatures down to well below seasonal averages.

Temperatures in Jerusalem were predicted to drop below 10°C (50° F) by the evening and could fall as low as 5°C (41°F). In Tel Aviv, temperatures are expected to range from 10-14°C (50-57°F). According to the Israel Meteorological Service, average temperatures for Tel Aviv in April range from 14-22° C (57-71° F) and in Jerusalem from 12-21° C (53-69° F).

EU Provides Aid for Bulgaria, Italy and Romania Floods

August 2014 – Mizia floods from the air – Photo Bulgaria Ministry of Defence

Last week the European Commission (EC) announced plans to grant aid worth €66.5 million from the European Union Solidarity Fund to Bulgaria, Italy and Romania following the flood disasters in 2014.

Italy will receive €56 million, Romania €8.5 million and Bulgaria €1.98 million. According to the EC statement, the aid aims to partially cover the emergency costs of recovery operations following floods. It will particularly help restore vital infrastructure and services, reimburse the cost of emergency and rescue operations, and cover some of the clean-up costs in the disaster-stricken regions.

Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said: “The EU Solidarity Fund is one of our strongest symbols of solidarity in times of need. In many cases, the financial aid proposed in today’s decision will help some of Europe’s least developed regions to get back on their feet; it also demonstrates the EU’s solidarity with the 130,000 affected people who need to overcome the consequences of devastating floods.”

Flooding during October and November of 2014 in Italy affected the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont and Tuscany, leaving 11 people dead and forcing 3,000 from their homes. The city of Genoa was particularly badly affected.

Severe flooding affected 32 or Romania‘s 40 counties in May 2014. Transport, water, energy and communication infrastructure were all damaged, as well as homes, crops and livestock. The country was struck by severe flooding once again in July and August 2014, leaving over 2,300 homes damaged.

In Bulgaria, the region of Severozapaden – one of the least developed regions in the EU according to the statement by the EC – also suffered greatly from flooding in summer 2014. Most of the damage occurred in the town of Mizia and in the village of Krushovitsa. A total of 700 homes and public buildings were flooded, as well as main roads and farms. On 2 August the mayor of Mizia declared a state of emergency and over 800 people had to be evacuated. Serious damage was caused to energy, water and transport infrastructure, as well as to public buildings, cultural heritage assets and protected natural areas.

More Flood Deaths in Kenya and Tanzania

Although nowhere near the scale of flooding seen in Malawi or Mozambique earlier this year, recent flood events in Kenya and Tanzania have had a significant impact on daily life in several regions of the two countries, and after further heavy rain over the weekend, have now left a total of 21 people dead since late March.

Kenya Floods
At least 13 people have now died in floods in southern and western Kenya since heavy rainfall first began on 05 April 2015.

Flooding in Homa Bay on 10 April left seven people dead after they were swept away by flood water attempting to cross swollen rivers near Gongo and Kotieno.

Local reports say that the heavy rain has resulted in several rivers, including the Achak, Awach Kende and Oluch, to overflow.

Earlier this month, at least 5 people died in Siaya County after heavy rains resulted in flooding after local dams were breached.

In Kajiado county, one person was killed after he was swept away in his vehicle by the overflowing Olkerirai River on Sunday 05 April 2015

Around 1,500 people were forced from their homes after flood water started to rise in Muhoroni, Kisumu county, on Monday 06 April 2015.

After the recent spate of flooding in Kisumu county, the local government has made preparations to head off any outbreaks of cholera by purchasing drugs to fight cholera and other waterborne diseases in flood-hit areas.

Tanzania Floods

Heavy rain across parts of Manyara Region over the past three days has left at least 1 person dead and around 300 homeless. The worst affected area is Babati District, according to local media. Magugu, Mdori, Mbuyuwa-Mjerumani and parts of Minjingu have also been affected, although full assessments of the extent of the damage are yet to be completed.

At least 7 people died and 5,000 forced to evacuate after floods in Dar es Salaam in late March 2015 after 91 mm of rain fell in 24 hours.

Twitter and Real-Time Flood Maps

In a joint study, two Dutch organisations, Deltares and Floodtags, have developed a way to derive real-time flood maps using a combination of flood modelling and data mining from social media.
“a better view of what is actually happening during a flood”
Deltares say that, when implemented in an operational warning system, the method will create real-time maps based on tweets that people have sent a minute previously.

“This new method will eventually give crisis managers a better view of what is actually happening during a flood so they can make more effective decisions: the right measures at the right time, in the right place,” said Dirk Eilander, flood expert at Deltares.

Currently, standard flood-extent maps are derived from a limited number of sources, such as satellite images, areal images, ground observations, hydrodynamic models and post-flooding flood marks. Much of this information is usually supplied after the event. Traditional data sources don’t offer the capacity to create accurate flood-extent maps in real-time.

Social Media – New Data Sources

The emergence of social media allows access to new data sources that contain large numbers of real-time observations from local people.

Twitter has long been considered a rich potential source of real-time information on disasters and severe weather events such as floods. According to Deltares, in the city of Jakarta, Indonesia, the intensity of unique flood-related tweets during a flood peaked at almost 900 tweets a minute during floods in February 2015.

That amount of real-time data is too good an opportunity to overlook.

But data from Tweets and other social media sources may be unreliable, or at least unfocused. In order to be of use to civil protection and disaster management agencies such as BPBD in Jakarta, it needs to be filtered and validated in some way.

Combining the data processing and flood modelling expertise of Deltares with the expertise in data mining and social media of Floodtags, the joint study of the two organisations developed a procedure to use the thousands of observations generated by the social media to create reliable, real-time flood-extent maps.

Pilot in Jakarta
The study was piloted in Jakarta, during the floods of February 2015. According to Deltares, a significant number of 900 flood-related tweets per minute mentioned above included information about water depth and location. However, uncertainties arose because observations were generally rough estimates.

Deltares say that if disaster managers are to use this cloud of observations, the data needs to be filtered, enriched, validated and transformed into easily interpretable flood-extent maps.

Deltares and Floodtags therefore used what they describe as “hydrodynamic corrected Digital Elevation Maps to create real-time flood-extent maps for Jakarta”. The real-time flood-extent maps provided a good comparison with ground-truth photographs in most neighbourhoods in Jakarta.

When implemented in an operational warning system, the method will create real-time maps based on tweets that people have sent a minute previously.

Better still, the process can be used in other locations. Deltares say that this method can be scaled easily for any place in the world with enough Twitter activity.

According to Deltares, the maps are also useful in the post-flood phase for the calibration of hydrodynamic flood models and for insurance companies to obtain rapid information about areas where damage has occurred.

The research was presented at the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna on 14 April 2015.

 - Floodlist | WKRG | Times of Israel | WFAA.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Plane Crash At Klenawicus Airfield, Shelter Island, New York - Pilot In Critical Condition!

Emergency personnel investigate the scene after a plane crashed at the at the Klenawicus Airfield on Shelter Island on April 13, 2015. (Credit: John Roca)

April 14, 2015 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Police say a pilot was injured when he crashed his single-engine plane while trying to take off from an airfield on the eastern end of Long Island.

It happened just before 6:30 p.m. Monday at Klenawicus Airfield on Shelter Island.

Det. Sgt. Jack Thilberg said witnesses reported seeing the Cessna 162 go about 30 feet in the air before it veered right and crashed.

Michael Russo, 80, took off in his single-engine Cessna at around 6 p.m. Monday from Klenawicus Airfield. (April 14, 2015 8:24 AM)

He identified the pilot as 80-year-old Michael Russo of Shelter Island.

Russo was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical but stable condition. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. - NBC New York.

THE GATHERING: Major Global Military Maneuvers Ahead Of The Coming Black Celestial Event - The United States And Canada Launch Monumental Military Operations JADE HELM, MAPLE CARAVAN And MAPLE RESOLVE, Bringing Coalition Of Green Berets, SEALS, Armed Forces, Air Forces, And Marines For Major "REALISTIC MILITARY TRAINING" In Simulated "HOSTILE TERRITORY"; Sparking Fears Of Covert Warfare, Federal Takeover And Imminent Martial Law!

April 14, 2015 - NORTH AMERICA
- Plans for a 17-city Army Special Operations exercise in Texas stirred some ultra-right-wing fears of a government takeover in the Lone Star State, but local law enforcement say they've long been aware of the drill.

Operation Jade Helm

Jade Helm logo.
Operation Jade Helm will bring a coalition of forces, including the Green Berets, SEALS, and special operations commands from the Air Force and Marines to Texas for two months of "realistic military training" in a simulated "hostile" territory between July and September this summer.

Army Special Operation Command spokesman Mark Lastoria said soldiers would practice "emerging concepts in special operations warfare" in Texas.

"Training exercise Jade Helm is going to assist our Special Operations Soldiers in refining the skills needed against an ever changing foreign threat," he said.

Among the planned exercises, soldiers will try to operate undetected amongst civilian populations in some towns and cities where residents will be advised to report any suspicious activity they notice as a means of testing the military's effectiveness, said county law enforcement officials who had been briefed by the Army.

"They're going to set up cells of people and test how well they're able to move around without getting too noticed in the community," said Roy Boyd, chief deputy with the Victoria County Sheriff's Office. "They're testing their abilities to basically blend in with the local environment and not stand out and blow their cover."

But the plans caused a ruckus amongst a far-right fringe movement, characteristically distrustful of the government, who dubbed the exercise a rehearsal for military rule in Texas.

Austin-based TV and radio commentator Alex Jones, who has been warning of a government takeover for decades, reported the operation under the headline "feds preparing to invade Texas" after obtaining an unclassified Army document describing Jade Helm.

"We've got huge news ladies and gentlemen," said Jones on his Sunday TV show. "They're having Delta Force, Navy SEALS with the Army trained to basically take over."

Jade Helm forces will isolate certain geographic
areas, thus trapping a segment of the population
and keep them from fleeing to other areas.
His biggest concern was Texas' designation as a "hostile" territory on a map included in the Army document.

"Texas is listed as a hostile sector, and of course, we are," he said. "We're here defending the republic."

A swarm of followers picked up Jones' reports of the impending invasion, but the exercise had actually been reported months before by local newspapers in Victoria and Goliad. News of the drills first broke when Army representatives met with government and law enforcement officials across the state to explain planned exercises and solicit permission for use of public and private lands.

Jim Stewart, chief deputy with the Brazos County Sheriff's Office, said it's not the first time the Army has conducted special operations training off-base in Texas. He met Army officials for a February briefing on the exercises.

"Special ops for years have trained off-post for years, where they go out and have folks that are role players out on the economy," said Stewart, who worked 31 years in Army intelligence. "They'll have a scenario they'll be following and they'll interact with these roll players as if they're in another country."

He said the designation of Texas as a hostile territory was probably a role-playing exercise, where soldiers act as if behind enemy lines. Lastoria called the designation "a misinterpretation of the exercise design."

Regardless, a large handful of niche news websites raised alarm following Jones' report of the impending takeover.

Ultra-libertarian website Freedom Outpost wrote "Operation Jade Helm—military trains for martial law in American South-west."

Jade Helm soldiers will blend in with the local populations in an effort to test the effectiveness of infiltration techniques. Residents will be
encouraged and commanded to report anything they deem suspicious during the Jade Helm drill.

Sleuth Journal, a news website along a similar vein, wrote "this drill is about the brutal martial subjugation of the people of Texas, Utah and Southern California who have risen up against unspecified tyranny."

Lastoria said the Army has been receiving phone calls about the planned exercise "from concerned citizens who were provided information taken out of context."

"The concerns expressed center around misinterpretations," he said. "Unofficial sources providing inaccurate information on Jade Helm want people to believe that it's it something other than a training exercise."

Sheriffs' deputies said they would make sure local populations are aware of planned exercises, which will involve participants in civilian dress and civilian vehicles, military aircraft, low-altitude airdrops of personnel and weapons with blank rounds, to avert fearful reactions. A 2013 urban warfare exercise terrified South Houston residents as helicopters and camouflaged men with assault rifles took over Carnegie Vanguard School. Locals said they had not been warned of a scheduled drill, so they ran for shelter, assuming the worst.

Texas cities scheduled to host military exercises this summer are: Bastrop/Smithville, Big Spring, Caddo Lake, Caldwell, Christoval, College Station, Dell City, Eldorado, Goliad, Junction, Leakey, Menard, Mountain Home, San Angelo, San Antonio and Victoria. Citizens can inquire with sheriff's departments for specific plans.

An Army document explaining the exercise said Texas was selected "because Texans are historically supportive of efforts to prepare our soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors to fight enemis of the United States."

It also said the Army plans "to work with civilians to gain their trust and an unerstanding of the issues." Jade Helm will also be conducted simoltaneously across five other southwestern states. - CHRON.

WATCH: Massive military equipment heading from U.S. west coast to Canada.

Canadian and American Army convoy on route through northeastern Ontario

More than 70 military vehicles are moving through northeastern Ontario as part of Maple Caravan. The Canadian Armed Forces says it's partnered with the
United States Army to move equipment from Quebec to Alberta. (Master Corporal Simon Duchesne/supplied)
If you're seeing an increase in military convoys throughout northeastern Ontario, don't be concerned.

The Canadian Armed Forces is in the process of moving more than 70 vehicles and training equipment — including vehicles, mowers, tents and tables — from Valcartier, Quebec to Wainwright, Alberta.

It's part of Exercise Maple Caravan.

Major André Berdais said it's a partnership between Canadian and American armies.

He said it's not uncommon for the Canadian Armed Forces to train with allies, and added this move in particular took a lot of planning.

"It's a 4,000 km logistic move," he said.

"You don't often do that. So the Americans were willing to help us out on that and it helps them too for their training."

He said the plan is to not have a great impact on motorists in the region.

"The effort here is made by planners to do their very best to avoid urban areas during the rush hour so that they're not caught in the traffic," he said.

Berdais said he can confirm the vehicles — which are all American — are travelling through the region but for privacy reasons is not able to give a specific route.

This won't be the only time residents may see a convoy of military vehicles travelling through northeastern Ontario.

Berdais said in June, equipment will be transported from Wainright, Alberta to Valcartier, Quebec as part of Exercise Maple Resolve. - CBC.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Greece Prepares For Debt Default If Talks With Creditors Fail!

April 14, 2015 - GREECE
- Greece is preparing to take the dramatic step of declaring a debt default unless it can reach a deal with its international creditors by the end of April, according to people briefed on the radical leftist government’s thinking.

The government, which is rapidly running out of funds to pay public sector salaries and state pensions, has decided to withhold €2.5bn of payments due to the International Monetary Fund in May and June if no agreement is struck, they said.

“We have come to the end of the road . . . If the Europeans won’t release bailout cash, there is no alternative [to a default],” one government official said.

A Greek default would represent an unprecedented shock to Europe’s 16-year-old monetary union only five years after Greece received the first of two EU-IMF bailouts that amounted to a combined €245bn.

The warning of an imminent default could be a negotiating tactic, reflecting the government’s aim of extracting the easiest possible conditions from Greece’s creditors, but it nevertheless underlined the reality of fast-emptying state coffers.

Default is a prospect for which other European governments, irritated at what they see as the unprofessional negotiating tactics and confrontational rhetoric of the Greek government, have also begun to make contingency plans.

In the short term, a default would almost certainly lead to the suspension of emergency European Central Bank liquidity assistance for the Greek financial sector, the closure of Greek banks, capital controls and wider economic instability.

Although it would not automatically force Greece to drop out of the eurozone, a default would make it much harder for Alexis Tsipras, prime minister, to keep his country in the 19-nation area, a goal that was part of the platform on which he and his leftist Syriza party won election in January.

Germany and Greece’s other eurozone partners say they are confident that the currency area is strong enough to ride out the consequences of a Greek default, but some officials acknowledge it would be a plunge into the unknown.

Greece’s finance ministry on Monday reaffirmed the government’s commitment to striking a deal with its creditors, saying: “We are continuing uninterruptedly the search for a mutually beneficial solution, in accordance with our electoral mandate.”

In this spirit, Greece resumed technical negotiations with its creditors in Athens and Brussels on Monday on the fiscal measures, budget targets and privatisations without which the lenders say they will not release funds needed to pay imminent debt instalments.

The government is trying to find cash to pay €2.4bn in pensions and civil service salaries this month.

It is due to repay €203m to the IMF on May 1 and €770m on May 12. Another €1.6bn is due in June.

The funding crisis has arisen partly because €7.2bn in bailout money due to have been disbursed to Greece last year has been held back, amid disagreements between Athens and its European and IMF creditors over politically sensitive structural economic reforms.

These included an overhaul of the pension system, including cuts in the payments received by Greek pensioners, and measures to permit mass dismissals by private sector employers.

Although debt reduction was a central theme of Syriza’s successful election campaign, the government changed tune after taking office and insisted that it would meet all its obligations to the IMF.

However, Yanis Varoufakis, finance minister, made clear last week that the government took the view that its top priority should be to meet its domestic commitments, including an obligation to continue paying pensions to citizens. - FT.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Asiana Airlines Plane Makes Crash Landing And Skids Off Runway In Japan - Plane Left Facing The Wrong Way After Spinning 180 Degrees; 20 People Injured; Hiroshima Airport Closed!

Local media were on the scene to report on a plane that crash landed and skidded off the runway in Japan

April 14, 2015 - JAPAN
- Twenty people have been injured after a plane made a crash landing and skidded off the runway at Hiroshima Airport in Japan.

There were believed to be 74 passengers and seven crew members on board Asiana Airlines flight OZ162 when it was reported to have made a tailstrike and skidded off the runway.

Japanese media are reporting that the plane spun 180 degrees after impact to be left facing the wrong way on the runway.

Twenty people are believed to have been injured after the plane had a tailstrike at Hiroshima

The airport has been closed as a result of the crash, and emergency services are at the scene, with injured passengers being taken to hospital.

The Airbus A320 had set off from Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea to Hiroshima, when it is believed to have missed the landing point on the runway.

Local television footage appeared to show evidence of a hard landing and no sign of the landing gear, along with images of evacuation slides that were deployed.

Television footage appeared to show evidence of a hard landing and no sign of the landing gear (file photo of different plane model)

NHK, the national public broadcaster in Japan, described it as a crash landing and reported that the plane overran the runway at 8pm local time.

Asiana Airlines Inc, based in Seoul, is one of South Korea's two major airlines, along with Korean Air.

An Asiana Airlines flight crashed two years ago as it approached San Francisco's airport in an accident that left three teenagers dead and nearly 200 other passengers injured. - Daily Mail.

CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS & NEW WORLD DISORDER: ISIS Camp Is Now Just A Few Miles From Texas - Mexican Authorities Confirm!

April 14, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- ISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector.

The exact location where the terrorist group has established its base is around eight miles from the U.S. border in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States, the same knowledgeable sources confirm.

During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

Law enforcement and intelligence sources report the area around Anapra is dominated by the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Cartel (“Juárez Cartel”), La Línea (the enforcement arm of the cartel) and the Barrio Azteca (a gang originally formed in the jails of El Paso). Cartel control of the Anapra area make it an extremely dangerous and hostile operating environment for Mexican Army and Federal Police operations.

According to these same sources, “coyotes” engaged in human smuggling – and working for Juárez Cartel – help move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico. To the east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed “coyotes” are also smuggling ISIS terrorists through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas. These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing.

Mexican intelligence sources report that ISIS intends to exploit the railways and airport facilities in the vicinity of Santa Teresa, NM (a US port-of-entry). The sources also say that ISIS has “spotters” located in the East Potrillo Mountains of New Mexico (largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management) to assist with terrorist border crossing operations. ISIS is conducting reconnaissance of regional universities; the White Sands Missile Range; government facilities in Alamogordo, NM; Ft. Bliss; and the electrical power facilities near Anapra and Chaparral, NM. - Judicial Watch.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: The H5N2 Strain - United States Finds First Case Of Lethal Bird Flu In Commercial Chicken Flock!

April 14, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- A flock of 200,000 hens in Wisconsin is the first commercial U.S. chicken operation to become infected with a lethal strain of bird flu, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, widening the impact of a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of turkeys this year.

The chickens were at an egg-laying facility in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, between Madison and Milwaukee, and represented the state's first case of the H5N2 flu, according to the Agriculture Department.

Wisconsin authorities did not identify the owner of the chickens, which will be quarantined and culled to prevent the disease from spreading.

Since the beginning of the year the flu, which can kill nearly an entire flock within 48 hours, has been found in commercial poultry operations and backyard poultry flocks in 11 states stretching from Oregon to Arkansas.

The discoveries have prompted major overseas buyers, including China and Mexico, to restrict imports of U.S. poultry and eggs in the $5.7 billion export market. Producers such as Tyson Foods Inc have strengthened biosecurity measures to keep the disease off farms.

Migratory ducks are believed to be spreading the virus as they travel to northern states after spending the winter farther south, veterinarians have said.

Epidemiologists and veterinarians said on Monday they were concerned more about the geographic spread of the disease than the first infection in a commercial chicken operation. Chickens had been expected to become infected, just as turkeys became infected.

"The big deal is it's in another state," said John Glisson, vice president of research for the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association.

Neither chickens nor eggs from the Wisconsin facility will enter the food system, officials said.

Investigators were trying to determine how the flu entered the facility but may never be able to pinpoint it, said Wisconsin's assistant state veterinarian Darlene Konkle.

Teams in other states with infections have been exploring the possibility that farm workers or vehicles may have spread the virus by tracking contaminated feces from wild birds into barns.

"We've been on heightened alert with our biosecurity measures," said Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council. "I don't see that changing anytime soon."

Last week, the Agriculture Department reduced its forecasts for poultry exports by nearly 6 percent from March due partly to bird flu outbreaks.

No human cases of the flu have been detected. - Yahoo.