CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 168

Issue 168 COVER.jpg

The Ministers Corner.jpgThe Minister’s Corner

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

The Pouring Out of Father’s Wrath

By Johanna

When you look around you what do you see? When you watch the news what do you see the most? Have you heard about the economy? Have you searched the news for any large cases of diseases? How about doing a search of recent news articles that would correlate with the pouring out of Father’s wrath? There are tons of things out there that we don’t have room to fit into this newsletter. So when you have a free moment how about doing a search to see what you find.

Revelation 16:1-3

The First Bowl

1 Then I heard a loud voice from the sanctuary saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.” 2 The first went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and severely painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.

The Second Bowl

3 The second poured out his bowl into the sea. It turned to blood like a dead man’s, and all life in the sea died.

Nahum 1:5-7 The mountains quake before Him, and the hills melt; the earth trembles at His presence—the world and all who live in it. 6 Who can withstand His indignation? Who can endure His burning anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, even rocks are shattered before Him.

Destruction of Nineveh

7 The LORD is good,
a stronghold in a day of distress;
He cares for those who take refuge in Him.

The Withering Wheat

By Regina

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are investigating the yellowing of upward of 40,000 acres of wheat in Umatilla and Morrow counties…OSU Morrow County Extension associate professor Larry Lutcher said 30,000 to 40,000 acres of wheat in his county have plants with yellow or purple tips. The discoloration spreads inward and downward on the leaf. In some cases, plants are completely desiccated and will not recover. (Source: Capital Press)

The above is portions of an article reported seven days ago via the internet and I could not help but see symbolism in it. Additionally, I also found the inspiration for which I’d been praying as the basis of this week’s message to the flock.

Jeremiah 12:4 How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? Because of the evil of its residents, animals and birds have been swept away, for [the people] have said, “He cannot see what our end will be.”

Joel 1:17 The seeds lie shriveled in their casings. The storehouses are in ruin, and the granaries are broken down, because the grain has withered away.

John 15:6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

“wither>verb 1 (esp of a plant) to droop, wilt, or shrivel up 2 to fade or waste: all hope withered away 3 to decay, decline, disintegrate 4 to cause to wilt, fade, or lose vitality 5 to abash, esp with a scornful look 6 to harm or damage”

Anything that withers, does so because it is sick, diseased or due to cold, darkness or drought. All of these reasons contain symbolisms also which can be correlated to the spiritual things that Yahweh provides – sickness due to malnourishment or malnutrition, cold due to lack of warmth, darkness due to lack of light, and drought due to lack of life giving water. The parallel we can see in what is happening with the wheat mentioned in the above article correlates with what is happening and will continue to happen to the people of this world.

Matthew 3:12 His winnowing shovel is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn. But the chaff He will burn up with fire that never goes out. “winnow >verb 1 blow air through (grain) in order to remove the chaff. 2 remove (chaff) from grain. 3 reduce the number in a set of (people or things) gradually until only the best ones are left.”

That it has occurred to wheat fields alone is also symbolic, as we have learned in the past the reason why Crop Circle patterned signs are found in wheat fields, barley and corn, linseed, soy, rapeseed and rye. It is because from all these crops comes chaff when separated and because the signs in these fields are meant to convey an important group of messages within any given pattern and again reveal Father’s Word and intelligence coming into the equation.

“chaff >noun 1 the husks of grain or other seed separated by winnowing or threshing. 2 chopped hay and straw used as fodder. -PHRASES separate (or sort) the wheat from the chaff distinguish valuable people or things from worthless ones.”

It is Father’s servants, the “wheat”, (not the withered but the healthy) that will be cleared from the earth, gathered, and placed in the “barn” which is the sanctuary of safety. But those that do not receive the mark of salvation, the “chaff” – will be destroyed in the symbolic lake of fire judgment.

And, knowing that Father is nature and that nature is used not only to convey messages and signs from above, but also to deliver punishment and wrath, it fits in perfectly with what we are witnessing all around us during this Tribulation. In the same way in that the withering wheat fields have been affected by calamity and will never recover, Yahweh’s wrath and final judgment is also that from which there will not be a recovery made no matter how hard Satan and mankind may try to overcome and avoid what has been prophesied to occur.

As the weather and other natural phenomena, as well as insect problems worsen, even the news media reporters will be puzzled at what’s coming upon this planet. And like those terrors and plagues like those of ancient Egypt, the worst is still ahead. Eventually the entire planet will be made to know that it all comes from Father’s anger.

Father is gradually reducing the people to reveal what is just ahead for all of mankind if they do not repent and seek Him and Christ in Truth.

Two Words

By Deborah

Destruction. Salvation. Two words. One leads to death, the other leads to life.

Destruction – noun
1.the act of destroying: wanton destruction of a town.
2.the condition of being destroyed; demolition; annihilation.
3.a cause or means of destroying.

abolishing, abolition, annihilation, assassinating, bane, carnage, crashing, crushing, disintegrating, disrupting, dissolving, downfall, elimination, end, eradication, extermination, extinction, extinguishing, extirpation, havoc, invalidating, invalidation, liquidation, loss, massacre, murder, overthrow, ravaging, ruin, ruination, sacking, shattering, slaughter, slaying, subjugation, subversion, subverting, undoing, wreckage, wrecking

Romans 9:22 And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction?

Salvation – noun
1.the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.
2.the state of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
3.a source, cause, or means of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
4.Theology . deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.

Synonyms –
conservancy, conservation, deliverance, emancipation, escape, exemption, extrication, keeping, liberation, lifeline, pardon, preserval, preservation, redemption, release, reprieve, restoration, safekeeping, sustentation

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

The choice we must all make.

Acts 4:12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live,

We would like to announce the arrival of Book Two, the continuation of Chosen: End Times Truths Revealed.

Book Two starts where the first book left off and includes accounts from ministers Regina, Johanna, Deborah, and Elisha, describing their individual journeys and experiences in their service to Yahweh and Christ over the past several years in autobiographical form.

It is available in .pdf form for free via and will be updated monthly.

The Journey Continues

Below is a sneak-peek of each of the books included in Chosen, Book Two


There are many days in which I feel as though I must stop and focus and just try to get through the next 24 hours, some days even just the next hour, and then that day passes and the next arrives and passes, and arrives until all of a sudden a year has passed, and then two and four and now five. It’s odd how time can seem to pass so slowly and quickly at the same time. Many of these days, the good and the not-so-good, I will recount here and many have receded to the deeper recesses of my mind but what I’m able to remember, I share with you here honestly and openly…


On October 2nd or 3rd of 2005, I was on this website were there were camera’s placed through out peoples homes who claimed that they were being haunted. I have always liked supernatural things. I believed in ghost, angels and demons. I started talking to this woman and asked her how she see’s the things that she does. I also told her that I believed in spirit guides. She told me that she couldn’t help me with the guides but that she knew of a website where I could find some answers. She sent me the link to a forum by the name of “Beyond This World”. After looking at a few things and noticing that they had psychic exercises I decided to sign up to become a member…


Word came to us toward the end of May 2010 that we were to begin documenting our experiences ending where Chosen left off. Each Minister is to produce a “book” of our own that will be incorporated into Chosen. Its a little daunting to say the least. I have not been journaling as Regina has been (it isn’t something I naturally do). Also, I actually do not have a very good memory. But I trust that those things that Father wishes us to recall we will. We have been guided by Michael to read the book of ACTS to guide us. It seems to focus on events that show times of strong guidance from/interactions with Holy Spirit…


In 2006, I was able to reconnect with a long time friend. I found out she had co-authored a book. Considering how we had grown up together I was interested in the fact that she had written one and wanted to read it myself. She, Regina, sent me the book and some more details about it. I found out it was a lot to take in and did so in baby steps with much prayer and guidance from Father. I was blessed to freely ask any question of Regina and felt comfortable in doing so. I read the book with an open mind and while some of it confirmed my deepest suspicions other information provided was such an eye-opener…


Father’s Ministry had actually begun well before I joined. Before I joined, I was searching for Wisdom. There seems not to be any reason to need a reason to search for Wisdom (and it is known that Father and Christ also personify Wisdom), though I also sought to make other people’s lives peaceful, happy, and better. It also came as a revelation that all the wise sayings would not be able to be remembered verbatim, but they could be taken into one’s heart, where at least they could be remembered in a way that would not dwindle.

Nourishment from the Throne

“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6

Some New Things to Share

Joe: First, before I share the other, I need Johanna to post the “When the unexpected comes?”by Johanna” article on this thread that was included in: Chosen – End Times Newsletter Issue 138.

When the unexpected comes?

Through the unexpected things

That happens in our lives

We draw from God the strength we need

To carry on with Christ

For He will always hold us up

Whenever it gets too tough

And carry us through the hardest times

When we can’t feel His love

I know that at these times we feel

Abandoned by our Lord

We wonder what is going on

We can’t feel His presence at all

But He has not abandoned us

Nor forsaken us in our need

He allows the unexpected things

Be life lessons we should heed

So we will grow with deeper faith

And be strengthened in the Lord

Then when we face the storms of life

We’ll be stronger than before

So when the unexpected comes

Remember God’s in control

And nothing in life is ever wasted

But are memories that we hold

So when others come across our path

That are facing what we’ve faced

We’re more than able to share God’s love

And touch them with His grace.

© By M.S.Lowndes

Joe: Thank you. That was so heartfelt by the consortium of holy ghosts that it was entered into the latest publishing of the newly revised Jerusalem publication that’s now called the “Johanna’s Enlightenment” and is named after you in part to honor your wisdom. By the way Johanna, the consortium realizes you did not write that article, but that you had the wisdom to include it. That’s why they have honored you.

One other thing I need posted here, is “The Kingdom and Rapture Truths by Deborah.” I just need to check the original and that no mistake was made on Seraiah’s part, and then I will proceed.

Johanna: Here you go Joe.

The Rapture and Kingdom Truths

By Deborah

Recently I had the opportunity to share the nourishment we’ve been given about the Rapture and Millennium. The questions posed were ones I know many others have had in the past so I thought I would go ahead and share what transpired.

What do folks think about the Rapture? Pre- Mid- or Post- Trib?

A. We have been experiencing the Tribulation for a few years now. There will be an initial Rapture of the faithful, and then after a period of time there may be a second Rapture if any are found worthy. Then Armageddon. There will be no survivors.

Q. Question? Why no survivors?

A. Father has provided many examples to show how He intends to ultimately deal with the inequity on this planet. He rescues those whom He has selected and the rest are judged and destroyed. In order to restore the earth to what was originally planned, not one stone will be left unturned.

Luke 17:27 people went on eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day Noah boarded the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Luke 17:29 But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all.

Ezekiel 9 Vision of Slaughter in Jerusalem

1 Then He called to me directly with a loud voice, “Come near, executioners of the city, each [of you] with a destructive weapon in his hand.” 2 And I saw six men coming from the direction of the Upper Gate, which faces north, each with a war club in his hand. There was another man among them, clothed in linen, with writing equipment at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 Then the glory of the God of Israel rose from above the cherubim where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. He called to the man clothed in linen with the writing equipment at his side. 4 “Pass throughout the city of Jerusalem,” the LORD said to him, “and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations committed in it.”

5 To the others He said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him and start killing; do not show pity or spare [them]! 6 Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, as well as the [older] women and little children, but do not come near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple. 7 Then He said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!” So they went out killing [people] in the city.

8 While they were killing, I was left alone. And I fell facedown and cried out, “Ah, Lord GOD ! Are You going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel when You pour out Your wrath on Jerusalem? 9 He answered me: “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is extremely great; the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity. For they say: The LORD has abandoned the land; He does not see. 10 But as for Me, I will not show pity or spare [them]. I will bring their actions down on their own heads.” 11 Then the man clothed in linen with the writing equipment at his side reported back, “I have done as You commanded me.”

Q. Thank you for your answer, but i have a question about your answer? If all sinners are destroyed at the 2nd coming of Christ and the great battle, why then towards the end of the 1000 year reign do many turn and rebel against Christ and war against him, if there are only saints with their new heavenly body then how can they rebel if sin and death has been dealt with?

I think there are really two parts to this answer.

The first being that all the angels in heaven at one time were perfect and in union with Father. They existed before our creation without rebellion or sin. Then sin was cultivated within their hearts which led to their falling from perfection and eventual expulsion from heaven. The first to sin was the anointed guardian cherub over the earth we now know as Satan.

Ezekiel 28:13-16 You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every kind of precious stone covered you: carnelian, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and emerald. Your mountings and settings were crafted in gold; they were prepared on the day you were created. 14 You were an anointed guardian cherub, for I had appointed you. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 15 From the day you were created you were blameless in your ways until wickedness was found in you. 16 Through the abundance of your trade, you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I expelled you in disgrace from the mountain of God, and banished you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.

So, if the holy angels that walked with God and knew Him in truth could sin, then really anyone at any time can sin if that is what is within their heart. That is why we are told.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 The Deceitful Heart 9 The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick—who can understand it? 10 I, the LORD, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.

Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.

During the Millennium we will be learning Father’s Way, which are the laws we are to abide by. However, the culling process will not be over. Those who WILLFULLY sin after the learning period will face judgment.

2 Peter 2:22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit, and, “a sow, after washing itself, wallows in the mud.”

The second issue is the 1000 year (Millennial) reign and subsequent rebellion. We are told that Satan will be bound for those 1000 years and then released. The reason for this is two fold. The first is that Father wants us to have the opportunity to learn The Way in a safe environment without Satanic influence. However, there will be a final test before eternity can begin. This is when Satan and his demons are released from their prison.

Revelation 20:1-3 Satan Bound

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for 1,000 years. 3 He threw him into the abyss, closed it, and put a seal on it so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the 1,000 years were completed. After that, he must be released for a short time.

Revelation 20:7-8 Satanic Rebellion Crushed

7 When the 1,000 years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 They came up over the surface of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10 The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Yahweh gives us the Free Will choice to either be obedient, faithful and loyal or not. Some will rebel. Some will remain obedient.

All the scriptural guidance (Father’s Word) we have received about guarding our hearts, obedience, faithfulness apply during AND after Kingdom rule.

Joe: Who was left out of the culling process in the answer? It’s important because those that are left out are reflected in the new world that Noah and his family came to reside within after the global deluge. Another clue, is that the sinful ones become like “Their number is like the sand of the sea.” So, how can they become that many in number? What would have been required to have happened during the Millennium and afterward?

Another clue, is in the Wilderness of Sin in Moses day. What happened during wandering in the wilderness all those years?

Another clue: Who did our Mother punish for their parent’s sins in olden times?

Jeremy: The children of those brought out of Egypt.

Joe: And who else? What will take place during the Millennium that has been going on since mankind’s creation? What are humans? As pro creators what does that mean will be happening during the Millennium and onwards? Remember, all things are reflected. When 8 survived into the new world, how did we descendants of those 8 all get here?

Jeremy: The children of those children, and onward. Oh, and procreation.

Joe: That’s correct. Yes. Procreation is intended to go on for eternity

Spiritual War News

The Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness

July 18, 2010

Joe – Children, here’s the latest.


Dispatch Transcribed: Michael-Aradon stepped down from his post as the Archangel to again become Aradon WFC of the north-west region on the war’s board of chess being played out in that region. This move occurred in the latest shake up over the remaining JAC. Seraiah was recalled to Mount Zion. It is believed he will be reinstalled as the Archangel Commander over our holy angelic forces. At present, Gabriel is performing the duties until our Mother makes a decision in this matter. In other matters, the demons are now all back at planet earth and the Azmon Barrier has been reestablished in its new perimeter around the planet at its original seven miles out proximity from the planet’s atmosphere. The quadrants consisting of eight twenty-four hundred wide per column holy angelic guards are also all back in place around the earth’s perimeter at a height of seventy foot per column with the standard tower levels in place. Rotation of all columns occurs on the same cycle as before, being an eight hour cycle per column with fresh replacements. The Azmon Barrier will rotate as it has in the past with fresh holy angelic guards coming in on an eight day cycle per each section of the sphere from planet pole to pole.

Fighting has again erupted within the quadrants as demons are again resisting our Mother’s Sovereign Rule over Her creation. The converts that confiscated the arms left behind by the demons that left Earth and went to the planet Cyprus have been resisting the Cherub deputies that were assigned to round up the weapons and return them to the demons. Cherub Command stated in their latest report to Alpha Command that if the resistance continues it might be necessary for Alpha to reverse the energy poles of the converts so that the confrontations are more decisive in disarming the converts still possessing weaponry. Gabriel has taken the latest request under consideration.

The last I heard, Alpha Command believed they are based under water near the sightings. Thank you for the news releases.

The last I heard about Seraiah before this latest dispatch was that him and his team were in the Gulf of Mexico. Jake said he’s leaving his team in place when he returns to Zion. Speaking of Zion. Do you know why Alpha often uses the term Zion over Mount Zion? It is because all territory below the Mountain itself, it is termed as Zion only, and on the Mountain top itself it is of course Mount Zion proper.

I’ve been trying to keep tabs on what all is happening. I don’t really know any more about Aradon than what the dispatch stated. Jake is mum, on telling me anything more on that subject, other than he feels Seraiah will be placed back in his old position. I know Seraiah prefers being out where the action is but he will do whatever Mother asks of him. I’ll talk to all of you later if anything new is released or I find out some other way.

Jul 19, 2010

Joe – I spoke with Aradon and he said he is relieved to be out of that position. He said it was a tedious job with much pressure coming from all sides and also from the top where Mother expects the most He said that had he known the pressure, he would have done like Jaddai and declined when it was offered to him. But now, he said, “I’m very happy again.”

Jake told me that Seraiah’s assignment in the Gulf came directly from Mother. Alpha does not know what Seraiah’s team has been instructed to do. But I do know that Seraiah went to Mother and She again made him Her Archangel, and then he returned to the Gulf. No word from Alpha Command on that tidbit except what Jake shared with me and I’ve shared with all of you. We shall see what happens.

Jeremy – Are there potentially still prisoners being kept by the JAC down here?

Joe – The Jerusalem publication stated that all missing are accounted for since the reanimation’s occurred. Alpha feels there are only a handful of the JAC left in existence.

Liddia told Jake she had designed a new dispatch and that he should go ahead and use it because she will get an OK from Seraiah when she sees him again. So, here is the latest. I like it myself – don’t know how Seraiah might feel though.

See what all of you think.

Jul 20, 2010

Joe – What does the Crab Nebula reveal?




What is not all contained within the written Word, yet gives foundation for what is written elsewhere, is written in the EXPANSE and all throughout the natural order of things in existence. This is why each of you have been taught to read the signs in pics.

Jeremy – I remember looking at this image a long while ago at NASA. At first glimpse, it made me think of an oval table with people discussing things around it. I think there were also things on the table, and one person at the upper left had their hand pointing inward on the table at something.

Regina –


Joe – The spirits in the heavens take part in revealing the pictorial signs for all to witness by helping to form the signs. During the Millennium, people will still be able to view what was written in the heavens in pictorial form as a reminder of what sin brings and how it was dealt with. All constellations and other heavenly bodies speak out about creation and what is presently going on, what has been, and what will be.


Lifting the Veil

Learning How to See and Decipher Spiritual Photos

Learning What to Look for on the War Chess Board

Joe: Look closely children. This is Google’s Texas – Mexico satellite shot off TV of the Falcon Lake incident. Look for the things that are cast. They are what Alpha sees on the war board.





I can tell you that this area is a hotbed of demonic activity. See the lettering also – that the spirit world cast.

See how Mexico is cast as a beast looking at Texas?

I enjoy the History channel children, and the Swamp People are one of my favorites because of the era I originated from. I saw some spirits in one of the episodes that stood out, so I took a pic of it. See what you can see. I probably missed a lot of them.





Signs From Above

“He rescues and delivers, He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:27

Part 1: Mysterious, Glowing, Aerial New South Wales Hills (Australia) Alive with UFOs

Unknown Flying Object Photographed over Omaha, Nebraska

Three lights appearing in triangular fashion over the skies in Alberta, Canada and New York

Mysterious fireball streaking across the sky leaves onlookers bewildered

Sightings of falling fireballs/silver surfer UFOs one week apart in Santa Monica, California

Signs Down Below

But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of religion but denying its power. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Military One Step Closer to Battlefield Holograms

24 Signs That All Of America Is Becoming Just Like Detroit – A Rotting, Post-Industrial, Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland

Gunmen torch stolen cars to blockade Mexican city

Clashes as UK parliament votes for student fee rise

U.S. Military Spending Is Out Of Control: 12 Facts That Show That We Cannot Afford To Be The Police Of The World

Signs in Humanity

2 accused of NY subway station hate attack on imam

Soldier found fatally stabbed at Fort Stewart, Ga.

Police: Man Claims He’s a Vampire, Burns V on Teen

4 life terms for using girl as sex slave

Surveillance Video Shows Missing Brittany Mae Smith With Alleged Abductor


The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.

Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.

How You Can Help?

In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father’s ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small. Visit and view the many posts from those in need to see if you’re able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.

Signs in Natural Disasters

“You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 24:6-7


12/4/10 –




12/5/10 –




12/6/10 –





12/7/10 –







12/8/10 –













12/9/10 –







12/10/10 –

None 5.0 or higher.

NEW YORK – A magnitude-3.9 earthquake rattled the New York City region Tuesday (Nov. 30), rocking into the history books as THE BIGGEST QUAKE TO HIT THE AREA IN 18 YEARS. The earthquake occurred at about 10:45 a.m. EST in the Atlantic Ocean some 82 miles (131 kilometers) south-southeast of Westhampton, New York. Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region. Tuesday’s quake caused no damage and didn’t hurt anyone.

The region extending from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake. On Dec 19, 1737, a magnitude-5.2 earthquake struck the greater New York City area, and on Aug. 10, 1884, another 5.2 earthquake occurred in the same area, reportedly felt from Virginia to Maine. More recently, in 2001, two earthquakes hit Manhattan – a magnitude-2.4 in January and a magnitude-2.6 quake in October.

Earthquake risk spurs race for faster supercomputer – The rush to build more-powerful supercomputers is part of a larger race to solve some of mankind’s biggest problems. Using a supercomputer, a team has been running simulations of how an earthquake might affect Southern California. Running at 1.75 petaflops, Jaguar is the world’s second-fastest supercomputer. But now the team is preparing applications to run on Blue Waters, a 10-petaflop system that’s being built by IBM for use late next year. An application with a runtime of 4,000 hours per processor on Jaguar could be completed in just 770 hours on Blue Waters. There is urgency to the need for more computing power: Experts estimate that there’s a 99% chance of a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake during the next 30 years in California. It could be years before that happens, but “I can tell you, all the seismologists are very nervous…We are very concerned about the current state of the faults in Southern California. Tthe San Andreas fault is “locked and loaded and ready to roll” with a sizable earthquake.

NEW ZEALAND – Huge energy of shake puzzles scientists. Scientists are puzzled why the Canterbury earthquake released MORE THAN 10 TIMES THE ENERGY a quake of its size normally would. The United States Geological Survey has calculated the waves travelling from the focus of the September 4 quake had an energy magnitude of between 7.4 and 7.8. While the quake’s actual size remains 7.1, the energy magnitude was actually what would be expected from a much larger earthquake. Those “extremely high” figures left the problem of why the recently revealed Greendale Fault and others moved the way they did that morning. It also meant it was an extremely complicated event. The shear stress released was 10 to 20 times more than expected. “It took a lot of stress to make that fault move. For its magnitude, this earthquake was UNUSUALLY efficient at generating seismic waves. Compare that to the Dusky Sound earthquake last year. That was magnitude 7.8, but had an energy magnitude of 7.6. So it was very inefficient for its magnitude in generating seismic waves.”

A “spaghetti junction” of faults beneath the Canterbury Plains and through the foothills had been known about for many years. Others were gradually forming under the Plains. “They’re basically all pointing at one place, Christchurch. It was always a matter of if, not when, these would start to arrive in our neck of the woods. We’ve known for quite a long time that there’s stirrings under a placid surface.” The earthquake was the country’s most important in almost 80 years.

Experts blame German quake series on geothermal power. A quake that caused cracks in buildings in August 2009 and six more perceptible temblors the next month probably came from an increase in hot-water pressure.


ECUADOR – The authorities have begun evacuating people from the slopes of the Tungurahua volcano after it started spewing ash. Fast-moving currents of extremely hot gas and rock could be seen flowing from the volcano’s crater. Tungurahua, some 135km (85 miles) southeast of the capital, Quito, has been in an active state since 1999. But experts say there has been a rapid increase in its seismic activity since Saturday morning. The number of explosions has increased and the ash cloud has reached 2km (1.2 miles) in height. People living on the slopes reported the ground and buildings shaking, and a rumbling sound coming from the volcano. Hot gases and rocks started flowing down the western side of the mountain at mid-morning and ash has been raining down on the villages of Pondoa and Patate. The authorities have put the region immediately around the volcano under red alert and the security forces are preventing people from entering the area. The tourist town of Banos is one of those being evacuated. In 1999, its 15,000 inhabitants were forced to evacuate when the Tungurahua had its last major eruption. Residents were not able to return to their homes for a year.

INDONESIA – As much as 43% of the 6.410 hectares of forests in the National Park surrounding Merapi has been destroyed by the recent series of eruption. The loss is estimated to be Rp 5.5 trillion. The damage has spread over 2.818 hectares of forest. Forest land is spread across several regencies in Central Java and Yogyakarta. “The forest around Yogya (Sleman) has been the worst affected.” Vegetation in the national park, dominated by pine trees, have been destroyed by clouds of heat and volcanic ash. “This does not include the 10 hectares of research forest, which was also destroyed.” The recovery will not be easy. It will take at least 40 to 50 years to restore the forest to its previous condition. The National Park authority have also asked the local communities to safeguard animals native to Mount Merapi. If such animals are found, people have been asked to report them to the relevant authorities.

RUSSIA – The Shiveluch volcano in the north of Kamchatka has spewed ash to an altitude of 5.5 kilometres. Streams of lava are flowing down its slopes. According to the Russian Academy of Sciences’ geophysical service for Kamchatka, the volcano is posing danger to overflying planes. Shiveluch is one of the biggest volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It “woke up” in December 2006 and has since remained active.

INDONESIA – Merapi Volcano Threat Downgraded, Cold Lava Still a Worry. The status of Mount Merapi Volcano was downgraded from alert to standby. “Based on instrumental and visual observations, the activity of the mountain shows a tendency to decrease and was reduced to standby status…People should not be complacent even though the status of Mount Merapi has been reduced. … Hot and cold lava flows are still a threat.”

The community should remain cautious of the threat from hot clouds and cold lava flows emptying into several rivers in the upper peak of Mount Merapi, especially during the current rainy season. “Therefore, in the river early flood warning devices are being fitted into the cold lava that can detect if there is flooding.” The early warning tool is capable of sending SMS warning messages. “However, the short message will only be sent to stakeholders including Merapi disaster response officials and mayors.” The secondary danger posed by the possibility of cold lava floods is no less severe than the original eruptions. The volcano produced about 5.3 billion cubic feet of volcanic material. Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, began erupting on Oct. 26 spewing ash, gas, and lava.

ECUADOR – Eruptive Activity at Tungurahua Volcano Decreases. The eruptive activity of the Ecuadorian Tungurahua volcano, located in the Tungurahua province, reduced its intensity while maintaining a constant column of ash. The emission column, with a moderate to high contents of ash, reached about two miles above the crater and headed towards the east, although experts believe that it has reduced the danger to surrounding areas. Incandescent blocks associated to the activity of the volcano of 1.029 meters of altitude roll down the flanks of the volcano. As of Saturday afternoon, a decline of the intensity has been registered in the activity of this volcano which had earlier forced to declare a red alert and the evacuation of residents and tourists of nearby areas. The Tungurahua, located south of Quito, has been active since 1999.

PHILIPPINES – Mt. Bulusan relatively quiet. Phivolcs said “seismic quiescence” prevailed over Bulusan Volcano as no volcanic earthquake was detected by seismic network during the observation period, but they did not brush off the possibility of more steam and ash explosions in the coming days. Bulusan only recorded one volcanic earthquake last Monday, while its recent ash spew was last November 24. Phivolcs said steaming activity at the crater and known thermal vents was not observed due to thick rain clouds that covered the entire summit during the past 24 hours. But Phivolcs maintained the alert level around the volcano to Level 1, meaning the volcano’s activity remains “abnormal.”

ETHIOPIA – Scientists were visiting the Afar Rift in Ethiopia in November when a volcano in the region began erupting – the first time that scientists have witnessed such an occurrence there. This was the latest event in a long process that may ultimately lead to the birth of a new ocean. Erta Ale is a remote volcano in the north of Afar – one of five volcanoes within the Erta Ale magmatic segment, which forms a land continuation of a rift in the Red Sea. The volcano hosts a long-lived lava lake, one of only five known lava lakes in the world. This lake usually sits within a deep pit around 30 metres below the level of the main crater, but on 21 November, the lava lake erupted, spilling lava into the main crater. ‘Just before the eruption, an earthquake swarm was recorded in the Gulf of Aden. One of the questions we’re now investigating is whether there is a connection between the two events.’


No tropical cyclones came near the Hawaiian Islands this year FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1979, because of La Nina conditions, or cooler-than-normal temperatures of ocean surfaces near the equator. In a typical year the Central Pacific region, which includes Hawaii, has four to five cyclones, including tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. “Last year we had a very active season, and this year it’s been really super, superquiet.” While tropical cyclones peak in September and October, they can occur at any time and could still occur in December — though the likelihood decreases in the winter months. Although this year has been extremely quiet, next year could have an above-normal number of tropical cyclones, as the years following a quiet cyclone season usually have a normal or above-normal number of cyclones. In the past five years, the Central Pacific region has had 15 tropical cyclones, including eight hurricanes, four tropical storms and six tropical depressions.

La Nina conditions began prevailing in May. The Weather Services’ Climate Prediction Center in Washington, D.C., expects La Nina conditions to prevail through spring. With La Nina the forecast is that Hawaii will have wetter than normal conditions this winter, even though November has been drier than normal in a number of places. Last month’s rainfall was 25 percent of normal rainfall at Honolulu Airport, 35 percent at Lihue, 60 percent at Kahului and 67 percent at Hilo.

AUSTRALIA’s east coast could be hit by a pre-Christmas cyclone, with its effects stretching as far south as northern NSW. The east coast will be battered by strong winds and rain within weeks if surface water temperatures remained at 27C. “We’ll have to wait until we see the whites of the cyclone eye but with the WARMER-THAN-AVERAGE SURFACE WATER and moist tropical air I think there is a very good chance we’ll get a cyclone before Christmas.” The Bureau of Meteorology and SES this week issued warnings about predicted heavy rainfall and increased storm activity across the state. With RECORD NOVEMBER RAINFALL figures in the southwest, central and northern NSW towns would be next to cop heavy downpours caused by the La Nina weather phenomenon. “Bathurst and towns in the northeast will likely be flooded during the summer months.” Dam capacities across the state have risen to levels not seen since the 2008 weather event when Sydney’s catchment areas peaked at 65 per cent. “We expect all of the dam levels to continue to increase.” Across all 14 of the regional dams, the capacity has increased from 27 per cent to 70 per cent since December 2009. There is 14 million ML stored, compared with five million ML wo-years-ago. Farmers downstream of the Burrendong Dam had to move stock and equipment after the dam reached 115 per cent capacity. New South Wales has had its WETTEST START TO SUMMER IN 60 YEARS – and the WETTEST SPRING ON RECORD, 245.7 millilitres of rain. The average is 124 millilitres.

PHILIPPINES – A potential cyclone has entered Philippine territory and may bring flash floods and landslides to Mindana. The low-pressure area (LPA) was estimated at 140 kilometers (km) southeast of Zamboanga City as of 2 a.m. and may be codenamed “Luis” if it becomes a cyclone. “There is still a chance it can become a cyclone. As of now it is in the inter-tropical convergence zone.” But the LPA, which is embedded along the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) affecting Mindanao, had already made landfall as of early Monday. The LPA may bring flash floods and landslides on parts of Mindanao. Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and Visayas and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough. Strong to gale force winds may affect the seaboards of Luzon. Fishhing boats and other small seacraft were advised not to venture out to sea, and larger sea vessels warned to be alert against big waves.

INDIA – Cyclone threat looms large over crop lands. Farmers have already suffered loss due to heavy rains caused by cyclone Laila and Jal during the last few months. Now, another storm is looming large over the Bay of Bengal in coastal districts. Krishna district recorded 27 mm average rainfall from Sunday night to Monday morning as rains were recorded in many mandals. Farmers are drying harvested paddy in the farms. In case of heavy rains, the paddy heaps will be soaked causing heavy loss to them. Farmers are concerned that the wet paddy will lose its colour and quality. Stagnation of rainwater would cause germination and the crop will lose its colour. Another 40 per cent crop is yet to be harvested. If the rainwater stagnates in the farms, the crop will be ruined. Cotton farmers will also suffer heavy loss due to rains. Cotton is cultivated in 48,000 hectares of land in Krishna district. The crop will be discoloured if soaked in rain. Fishermen will also face hardships due to the cyclone. They can’t venture into sea to earn their livelihood. Several thousands of families are eking out livelihood by fishing in the sea in the coastal mandals of Krishna.

Another top 10 active Atlantic hurricane season ahead in 2011 – Only eight days removed from the end of the record breaking 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, comes the Colorado State University’s forecast team’s early outlook.


COLUMBIA – The toll from WEEKS of heavy rains and mudslides across Colombia has risen to 174 people dead and over 1.5 million homeless. Another 225 people have been injured and 19 are missing. A total of 1821 homes have been damaged or destroyed. “We’ve NEVER HAD THIS MANY PEOPLE AFFECTED BY THE RAINY SEASON.” The rains were hitting 95% of the country. Some regions, including southwestern Valle del Cauca department, saw more than 12 hours of non-stop rain. More than a dozen mudslides blocked roads from Valle’s capital Cali to the Pacific port town of Buenaventura, stranding hundreds of trucks and passenger vehicles. In Roldanillo, another town in Valle, 200 families were evacuated after the Cauca River overflowed and destroyed thousands of hectares of crops. A major canal ruptured in the northern department of Atlantico, flooding six villages and leaving at least 20,000 people homeless. In the central-western Andean department of Tolima, authorities opened the gates of the Prado dam and declared a red alert for some 10 villages affected by the flooding. The storms were being blamed on ATMOSPHERIC DISTURBANCES from La Nina, a phenomenon in which cooler-than-normal water circulates in the Pacific Ocean around the equator.

COLUMBIA – As many as 200 people may have been buried in a landslide yesterday that swept over 10 houses in Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city. “The initial count is that there may be 150-200 people considered missing. So far we have rescued three alive. We are focused on moving rubble to see if we find survivors.” Medellin is 250 miles (400 km) northwest of Bogota. Colombia has been lashed in recent weeks by heavy rains that have left at least 176 people dead and 225 injured, as well as 1.5 million people left homeless nationwide.

ALBANIA hit by WORST FLOODS IN LIVING MEMORY. More than 12,000 people have now been moved from their homes in north-western Albania following days of heavy rain. The situation around the town of Shkoder was “critical”, with 14,000 hectares (34,595 acres) under water. Other Balkan countries have also been badly hit, with three people killed after their home collapsed following a landside in the Bosnian city of Tuzla. Meteorologists say the torrential rains of recent days have now eased.

The River Drina, which had risen to its HIGHEST LEVEL IN OVER A CENTURY, has begun to recede, but the Bosnian authorities say houses are still underwater in the east of the country. The River Sava, however, is now rising. It flows east into Serbia, although the government in Belgrade says it does not foresee significant damage.
One of Europe’s poorest and least developed regions is struggling to cope with the onslaught of these floods. The rains may be coming to an end, but saturated land and thousands of displaced people will cause problems for some time to come.

AUSTRALIA – Deluge continues in southern, central Qeensland. More thunderstorms are expected to hit southern Queensland later this week. Queensland authorities are monitoring the creek that runs through the southern inland town of Roma, with heavy rain drenching the region. Bungil Creek hit a peak of just under seven metres on the weekend and inundated some streets and fields in Roma, but so far no homes are at risk. It is the second time this year the town has faced a flood threat and the weather bureau has issued warnings for the Balonne, Warrego, Condamine and Paroo river systems. “We’ve got a lot of roads cut aorund the district. We’ve have something like four to five inches [of rain] and considerably more in some places in the council area and so a lot of those local and regional roads, the country roads are cut.” The wet weather has led to several road closures, including the Cunningham Highway. The major freight route west of Brisbane could be closed for days because of the rockslide on the road, which destabilised a wall holding up a large boulder.

“The unknown factor is there is some storms predicted each afternoon this week. The inflow of local water and local rain – that’s the unknown quantity.” The flooding situation will be “extremely worrying” if a cyclone crosses the coast in the next few weeks. “This stage we’re looking at a good chance of seeing a cyclone before the end of the year and then if we come into the early part of next year, we’ll see plenty of cyclone activity around the Coral Sea. In terms of crossing the coast, I expect one, maybe two, to cross the coast.”

AUSTRALIA – WORST SUMMER FLOODS IN YEARS have claimed a woman’s life. Heavy rains and severe thunderstorms continue to wreak havoc across southern and eastern regions while emergency services warn the deluge is getting worse. Police in NSW are attempting to formally identify a woman found dead in waters about 500m from her abandoned vehicle in Avondale Lane, Goonumbla. The death came as thousands of people were evacuating their homes across South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and western NSW amid rising river levels. The cotton farming town of Wee Waa in northern NSW is on red alert, with the Namoi River expected to burst its banks early today, potentially isolating the town for days.
The Murrumbidgee River peaked at 9.67m on Monday afternoon – about 13cm shy of the levee’s rim. NSW farmers hopeful of a bumper crop this season are now contemplating flooded fields and ruined crops. Estimates have the total losses in NSW somewhere about the $1 billion mark. In Victoria, residents have been warned to prepare for a three-day deluge which threatens to wreak havoc similar to September’s devastating floods.

Moderate to major flooding is predicted with up to 100mm of rain expected to fall. Emergency services have been stretched by the crisis. In South Australia, several people left clinging to their cars were rescued after floodwaters swept vehicles from a road east of Adelaide as severe storms lashed many parts of the state.

Another burst of storms and heavy rain is predicted to hit the state over the next 72 hours, adding to the plight of flooded mines, rivers raging over closed highways, lost crops and danger for motorists. Police don’t know how many people were in a car swept away in floodwaters in central Queensland. Conditions were being monitored for a possible evacuation of Darlington Point, downstream of Wagga Wagga. About 130 residents of Smiths Road, on the ACT border, also remain cut off, following the closure of access roads due to damaged bridges and causeways.

GEELONG is braced for another downpour of rain today, with A MONTH’S WORTH OF RAIN EXPECTED IN JUST ONE DAY. Geelong could expect about 40mm of rain to fall today, starting about dawn and getting heavier this afternoon. “Most of the state will get the rain, but the northeast ranges will get around 100mm.” Llast Friday’s downpour saw 30mm dumped in some areas in the space of 30 minutes. Geelong water storages were yesterday 73.7 per cent full, more than twice as full as this time last year.

PANAMA – Traffic through the Panama Canal is suspended for THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS because of heavy rain. The canal authority said the rains had pushed water levels in lakes that form part of the canal to HISTORIC HIGHS, potentially endangering shipping. It is the first time the canal has had to close since the US invasion of Panama in 1989. Officials said they hoped normal traffic could resume “within hours”. The canal authority said it was opening flood gates to reduce the water level in one of the lakes. Around 14,000 ships pass through the Panama Canal each year, representing about 5% of world trade. Passage through sections of the waterway have been suspended in recent years because of accidents, but not operations along its entire length.

Much of Central America as well as Colombia and Venezuela in South America have been experiencing its HEAVIEST MAY-DECEMBER RAINY SEASON IN DECADES. Unlike the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal is not at sea level. Instead, ships are raised and lowered by massive locks at either end, and pass through a freshwater channel fed by rivers that run off the surrounding forest-covered hills.

Extreme weather hammers large parts of Canada – Southwestern Ontario caught the worst of a blast of stormy weather that has been battering large parts of Canada this week.

AUSTRALIA – The swollen Queanbeyan River has peaked in the New South Wales city neighbouring Canberra but residents forced to evacuate won’t be allowed home until late this evening at the earliest. If there’s more rain they could be stranded for even longer.The river cut Queanbeyan in half when it peaked at 8.4 metres around midday (AEDT). It had previously risen three metres in less than three hours. The city has been declared a natural disaster area, taking the total number of declared areas across NSW to 30.

A number of house and businesses were inundated and 10 people had to be rescued by boat. An upstream river gauge indicates the river is now falling dramatically. Residents were given little warning of the flood because the river rose extraordinarily fast. Water flowed from the nearby Googong Reservoir which was already full before it received 103mm in the 22 hours to 7am today. “It rose about three metres in about 2.5 hours.” The weather bureau is predicting the rain band that wreaked havoc in Queanbeyan will move north. Authorities are worried it will pose problems for areas such as Coonamble in north-western NSW. The deluge that hit Queanbeyan and the nearby hills will also boost the volume of water flowing into the already swollen Murrumbidgee system.
That will add, over the coming days, to the woes being experienced in Wagga Wagga and further downstream. The flood was the WORST TO HIT SINCE THE 1970s in Queanbeyan. It was a “one-in-20-year event”. Locals said the flooding was “unbelievable”. “For three weeks now we’ve been having releases from Googong Dam. We’ve had, I think, it’s roughly a hundred megalitres coming through each week and now we’ve got to that point where the dam can take no more.”


ISRAEL and foreign firefighters are struggling to contain the blaze that’s ripping through the north of the country. So far, 41 people are dead and more than 17,000 have been evacuated from their homes. The Prime Minister has upped efforts to recruit international help to fight THE BIGGEST INFERNO IN ISRAEL’S HISTORY. Fire chiefs say they’re still some way off from containing the blaze with high winds making conditions difficult.

What Do You Do When Your Country Disappears? – The pacific island nation of Kiribati is well aware of the looming threats that climate change poses to the small atoll. Increased flooding from storms and rising seas are already problematic for the 100,00 citizens of the nation. A sea-wall improvement project for the country recently cost $2 million. The nation’s GDP is just $152 million a year — meaning the investment in sea walls is significant for the country. “If we had to cover the whole country, we’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars.” The republic is made up of 32 atolls and one island, spread over 1.3 million square miles – roughly the size of the United States. The government is already considering evacuation plans as another way to deal with the rising seas, which would also come at great cost.

Even if countries set and follow through on their pledges to cut emissions, the world is still on a path to substantial warming. And that warming is going to have significant effects – sea level rise, loss of glaciers, diminished biodiversity, ocean acidification, and decline of forests. Many of those will have very real economic costs for countries. And that’s before you even get to more dramatic costs like relocating an entire population or rebuilding a village destroyed by a cyclone, or the cost if an island community is someday completely submerged by the sea.

Many of these countries have trouble getting insured for losses. Samoa suffered a tsunami in September 2009, which caused an estimated $300 million in damage to a country with an annual GDP of just $567 million. Of course, the tsunami was not caused by climate change, but the island has also faced more frequent cyclones as well. And the events have made insurance premiums exceptionally high for the country. “It is almost impossible even for government to insure its own properties, let alone the damage sustained by a cyclone or by a tsunami.”

Island states argue that assurances that the damage they sustain will be covered is the least developed countries can do. “It’s not about whether it’s convenient to you, it’s about survival. Here we are trying to survive.”


EUROPE’S early cold snap claimed more lives ysterday, while a wildcat strike by Spanish air traffic controllers added to the travel chaos caused by snow, ice, and in some countries flooding.

Freezing weather killed another nine people in Poland over a 24-hour period, bringing the death toll there to 46 since the beginning of November. Temperatures there dropped as low as minus nine degrees Celsius overnight.
In the neighbouring Czech Republic, it was minus 20 Celsius overnight, disrupting rail traffic as the ice seized up signals at several junctions. French police blamed icy driving conditions for three deaths in the east of the country after a car slid off the road and into a canal near Plobsheim late on Friday. Weather forecasters warned of black ice in northern France that would make driving particularly dangerous. Officials in the French Alps meanwhile warned of the risk of avalanches today in ski stations already open because of the early snow.

Civil aviation officials asked airlines flying out of Charles de Gaulle, Paris’ main airport, to cut back their flights by 20 per cent during daylight to ease the pressure caused by the snow and ice there. In Spain, the disruption to air traffic came mainly from a wildcat strike by air traffic controllers, which ran from Friday to Saturday evening, hitting an estimated 300,000 passengers over a long holiday weekend.

Britain’s Transport Secretary relaxed the maximum-hours restrictions for truck drivers to keep the country’s vital supplies moving. “This will help us with deliveries of fuel, it will help supermarket chains with their deliveries to their stores and it will help with deliveries of salt around the country.” The wintry weather has disrupted road, rail and air travel in Britain over the past few days. In many parts of England and Wales however, the snows were melting away. Ski resorts in Scotland warned of the risk of avalanches, but the thaw there was also helping rail traffic, badly disrupted by the recent snow, to slowly get back on track. In Switzerland, Geneva’s University Hospital cancelled non-urgent operations scheduled for Monday and Tuesday to cope with a massive flow of broken bones caused by people slipping and falling in icy conditions. Operating theatres were working overtime through the weekend. In Carinthia, southern Austria, about 800 homes were still without electricity on Saturday and traffic was hit badly as trees were sent crashing onto roads by the weight of heavy snowfalls.

Germany was enduring sub-zero temperatures, with more snow forecast on Sunday.

Further east, officials evacuated thousand of people in Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia from their homes as days of heavy rain caused flooding. The situation was particularly serious along the river Drina, part of which runs along the border between Bosnia and Serbia. Bosnia declared a state of emergency in the eastern cities of Bijeljina, Visegrad and Zvornik. Albanian soldiers have since Wednesday been working to rescue people in the northern regions of Lezha and Shkodra cut off by the flooding, in what the authorities there have declared a natural catastrophe. In Albania alone, 9000 have had to be evacuated over the past week and thousands of hectares of farmland have been flooded.

Just as the hurricane season draws to a close, the European windstorm season, which usually lasts around four months, starts up. Unlike hurricanes, “no one quite knows what to expect.” Scientists just aren’t able to make forecasts of the frequency or the intensity of the storms. All they know is that they will occur. “That’s because all the phenomena which are found to modulate the rate of arrival of winter storms in Europe have typical timescales of only one to two weeks, compared to the months and years’ worth of climatic factors that influence hurricane formation in the US. The linear autocorrelation in the signal decays quickly and is no longer significant after three weeks. I reckon that is the current limit of any ‘seasonal’ or ‘extended range’ forecast.”

The storms, or more properly “extratropical cyclones (ETC’s), are severe. The most damaging in the last five years have been Kyrill in 2007, Klaus in 2009 and Xynthia, earlier this year. “Between them they cost the insurance market around €6 billion {$7.83 billion].”

Research on uncommon European winter storm tracks points to a lower total number of storms in the future but indicates intense storms increasingly moving over the North and Baltic Seas towards Eastern Europe, following a similar path to windstorm Kyrill. Existing catastrophe models only partially capture the climatological variability of European windstorms. The “next generation of catastrophe models must address these challenges as model developers expand coverage into new European territories, responding to higher insurance market penetration in Central and Eastern Europe.” Impact Forecasting is working with the University of Cologne to create a pan-European windstorm model that allows detailed analysis of the impact of extreme windstorms on re/insurers’ European portfolios. Risk management Solutions is readying an updated version of its Europe Windstorm Model, using more claims and meteorological data than before.

There is speculation that global warming/climate change may be influencing the storm patterns. But, the “scientific jury is out over whether European windstorms’ intensity or frequency is increasing due to climate change, partly because there is an intrinsic difficulty in defining what an extratropical cyclone actually is. That’s because ETCs display a huge variability in shape and size, as opposed to tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons), which exhibit a clear-cut general structure.” There is agreement across scientific studies about a general decrease in the number of all ETCs in the northern hemisphere. On the other hand, several studies suggest a regional increase in extreme cyclones in the north east Atlantic, adjacent to Central Europe. But, the large variety of methods and criteria used to track extratropical cyclones makes it difficult to compare different studies and any clear picture of European winter storm is still clouded by uncertainty.

EUROPE – The cold weather that descended across the continent has continued to set records. In the UK, where it HAD NOT SNOWED SO EARLY IN THE YEAR FOR 17 YEARS, several areas were covered by 2-5 cm of snow, causing chaos for transport. In France, the mercury fell to -15.3 ° C in Orleans. Airports have been closed, Eurostar traffic disrupted, thousands of trucks stranded on impassable roads, and parts of Europe from Britain to Italy, paralyzed by the freezing conditions. Delays and cancellations affected Eurostar trains between London, Paris and Brussels. In the United Kingdom, the cold wave continued with a minimum temperature of -20 ° C recorded in the Highlands of Scotland. In Poland the cold wave that hit central Europe has resulted in thirty deaths last week. Four others died in the Czech Republic and four in Lithuania. In Russia, eleven people have died from cold in Moscow. In the Russian capital, temperatures have reached a low of -24 degrees Celsius in recent days.

Hundreds of drivers have been stuck for up to 10 hours on snow-hit UK roads and an elderly man found dead at a caravan park became the country’s latest weather-related death. It comes after a man died trying to clear snow outside his home in Darlington, County Durham – with the number of recent weather-related deaths now at nine. The Scottish Government held an emergency meeting as police said they were doing their best to reach motorists stranded on major routes north of the border. The M8 westbound between Glasgow and Edinburgh was particularly badly hit, while it was estimated up to 500 vehicles were stuck on the M80 and A80. The whole of the UK is set to stay around or below zero for much of this week, with south east England at risk of snow showers on Thursday. The south west, most of Wales and the Midlands are expected to generally escape the snow.

FLORIDA – Miami saw a record broken Monday that had remained UNCHALLENGED SINCE 1897 – RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES of 63 degrees, two degrees lower than 113 years ago. The low temps are the result of a powerful Arctic front moved across South Florida on Sunday, behind it some of the coldest air of the season. A wind chill advisory is in effect for everyone from Monday night into Tuesday morning. A Freeze Watch is expected Tuesday night through Wednesday morning for western Miami-Dade and Broward. Most locations were cool and breezy with highs in the mid to upper 60s; average high this time of year is about 78 degrees. It’s possible they may break a 169 year-old record in Ft. Lauderdale with a forecast low of 39 degrees; the old record of 42 degrees set back in 1841. By week’s end an area of High Pressure will have moved to the North and East so temperatures will rebound a bit, but it will still be chilly at night and in the morning.

FLORIDA – Even colder air on its way to South Florida next week. Cold-weather RECORDS, some dating to the Depression, WERE SWEPT AWAY overnight, and temperatures in critical growing areas held below the freezing point.

BRITAIN is freezing to death – After a week of snow and freezing temperatures a shocking picture has emerged of the bleak months ahead for 5.5 million households. Pensioners, who are among those most ¬vulnerable to the cold, are resorting to ¬extraordinary measures to keep warm. Many have been using their free travel ¬passes to spend the day riding on buses while others are seeking refuge from the cold in libraries and shopping centres. “Now that we have one of the coldest winters, older people are going to have to make the unenviable decision whether or not to put the heating on. The Government should guarantee that they won’t cut the winter fuel allowance.”
The death toll from the big freeze rose to seven yesterday. The winter death toll is set to rise steeply as official figures show that nine elderly people died every hour because of cold-related illnesses last year. The number of deaths linked to cold over the four months of last ¬winter reached nearly 28,000. Charities claim this country has the highest winter death rate in northern Europe, worse than colder nations such as Finland and Sweden.
About half of the people forced to spend over 10 per cent of their income on energy bills – the official definition of fuel poverty – are aged over 60. But working families also face a tough time meeting the cost of keeping the central heating turned on as fuel prices continue to rise. “Middle-class households are now in fuel poverty.”

National Energy Action estimates that 5.5 million households will have plunged into fuel poverty by early next year due to price rises. That represents 21 per cent of the UK’s 26 million households. Last winter 70 per cent of household were forced to cut down or ration their energy use because of cost.

Are they freezing because of global warming? – As a blanket of snow settles across the country, train services grind to a halt and roads become impassable, you could be forgiven for thinking that global warming seems more remote than ever. But yesterday, the World Meteorological Organisation announced that 2010 is almost certain to rank among the three warmest years since records began in 1850 – and it has long been accepted that one of the effects of climate change could be an increase in the frequency of harsher, Continental-style winters.

So which is it? Is it the vagaries of the elements that we should be cursing through our chattering teeth, or the carbon emissions from Chinese smokestacks? Well, the most alarming way in which temperatures in Britain could fall significantly is through a decline in the warm Atlantic current that maintains our mild climate. Although our weather depends on turbulent events in the atmosphere, these are shaped – in the long term – by the oceans, whose currents transport vast amounts of heat around the planet. Ancient records show that if these slowed or stopped, temperatures could drop by up to 10C within decades.


-Frontier Natural Products Co-op, is recalling two products manufactured with non-organic nutmeg that were sold under the Frontier brand and under the Whole Foods Market brand that contain nutmeg supplied by Mincing Overseas Spice Company. The nutmeg has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

-Whole Foods Market announces that one of its suppliers, Bravo Farms of Traver, California, has issued a voluntary recall due to evidence of Listeria and E. coli contamination at their plant. Bravo’s products at Whole Foods Market stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington are part of this recall. Bravo Farms is expanding its recall to include all Bravo Farms cheese. Bravo Farms had previously issued a recall on its Dutch Style Gouda, and now out of concern for any further contamination decided to further expand the recall to include all of their cheeses.

-Artisan Confections Company is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of its Dagoba Organic Chocolate new moon Rich Dark Chocolate 74% cacao squares because they may contain Salmonella.

-Del Bueno of Grandview, WA is recalling all size packages of Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese, Queso Panela Fresh Cheese, Requeson Mexican Style Ricotta Cheese, and Queso Enchilado Dry Cheese because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

-McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. , is recalling one product lot of TYLENOL(R) 8 Hour caplets 50 count bottles to the retail level. McNeil is taking this action following a small number of complaints of a musty or moldy odor.

-Rushing Waters Fisheries, Palmyra, is recalling about 225 pounds of smoked trout and smoked salmon spreads, because the products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.


Health forecasters see a normal flu season – Nearly two years after pandemic flu terrified, however briefly, a lot of Americans, and nearly one year after all flu virtually disappeared, public-health officials said Friday that the early signs were pointing toward the return of a normal flu season.

The discovery of hard plastic inside packages prompted a nationwide recall of 72,000 pounds of canned chicken salad, one of several recalls involving poultry and meat products issued through U.S. food safety authorities in recent days. The Suter Company is recalling 8.2-ounce packages of the “Bumble Bee Lunch on the Run Chicken Salad Complete Lunch Kit” and 3.5-ounce packages of “Bumble Bee Chicken Salad with Crackers.” The recalled products were put together and shipped out to distributors and stores between August 14 and 28 of this year. The recall was prompted by complaints from people who found pieces of loose plastic inside their Bumble Bee packages. The federal agency noted in its release that it hasn’t received any reports of people getting hurt or sick as a result. The recall is a Class II, which means there is a “remote probability of adverse health consequences.”

Meanwhile, two unrelated and separate but potentially more dangerous recalls announced late last week were categorized as Class I, equating to a “reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.” Federal food safety authorities said Friday that Diana’s Mexican Food Products, of Lawndale, California, is recalling 41,670 pounds of chicken tamales. The tamales contain whey, a known allergen. But the packages don’t note the whey on its labels. One day earlier, Brooklyn-based N.Y. Gourmet Salads recalled various meat and poultry products because, prior to their distribution, they hadn’t been inspected by federal health inspectors. While there have been no reports of sicknesses, a public health alert was issued October 30 for a host of Gourmet Salad’s products packaged between March 11 and October 29 of this year. The recall list includes 12 items – ranging from Swedish meatballs to stuffed cabbage to grilled chicken – all wrapped in 4.5-, 5- and 6-pound packages.

A recent study found alarming rates of the chemical compound Bisphenol A (BPA) in both cash register receipts and dollar bills. BPA (yes, that same scrooge of a chemical that we’ve banned in baby bottles and sippy cups here in Minnesota) is used to make thermal paper for store receipts. The study tested 22 receipts from retail stores in multiple states (including Minnesota) and found BPA in half of those receipts. What’s more, the BPA used in the thermal paper is not chemically bound, meaning it can easily rub off onto skin and other objects. Thinking of switching to cash? Not so fast. The study also tested dollar bills and found BPA in 21 of the 22 dollars tested. The bottom line is that BPA is unavoidable during your trip to the store.

BPA is a pretty scary chemical, and unfortunately, it’s all over the place (produced in volumes to the tune of about six billion pounds per year worldwide). Known as an endocrine disruptor, it is a developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant that mimics estrogen in the body. Animal studies have shown it to cause significant damage to neurological, immune, and reproductive systems during critical stages of development, such as infancy and in the womb. In fact, BPA has been reported to disrupt thyroid hormone-regulated genes in rats; these thyroid hormones play a significant role in brain development and other growth in the fetus. Additionally, in mice, BPA has been found to induce the genetic defect that causes Down syndrome. Needless to say, it’s pretty toxic stuff.

What’s the solution? Since it’s impractical to switch to a bartering system here in the U.S. and avoid receipts and cash altogether, there’s a better suggestion: Reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and Healthy Legacy are calling on Congress to reform how chemicals are regulated in the U.S. In the meantime, this tip sheet provides some helpful hints for avoiding BPA.

Surgeon general says a whiff of cigarette smoke can hurt you – Even secondhand smoke leads to inflammation and injury to tissues throughout the body and can cause many diseases, a report says. Any exposure to tobacco smoke can cause immediate damage to your body, according to a report set to be released today by the U.S. surgeon general. “There is no safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke. The chemicals in tobacco smoke reach your lungs quickly every time you inhale, causing damage immediately. Inhaling even the smallest amount of tobacco smoke can also damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer.”

One finding: Tobacco smoke leads to inflammation and injury of tissues throughout the body and, experts say, that leads to many diseases. “Having a state of chronic inflammation not only increases your risks of heart attacks and strokes, but it’s also implicated in cancer and pulmonary disease.” The report also finds that, though quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes, cutting back doesn’t have much of an effect.

“If you’re a light active smoker, that’s almost as bad as being a heavy active smoker. That’s because of the inflammatory processes occur at very, very low doses.”

The report comes to six conclusions:

•There is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause cardiovascular disease and could trigger acute cardiac events, such as heart attack.
•Inhaling the complex mixture of compounds in tobacco smoke can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease and lung disease because of damage to the body’s DNA. Massive amounts of free radicals in cigarette smoke cause inflammation and oxidative stress, damaging cells, tissues and organs.
•How likely it is that you’ll get a smoking-related disease — and how severe the disease will be — is directly related to how long you smoke and your level of exposure to tobacco smoke.
•Tobacco products are powerfully addictive, because of the many types of nicotine receptors in the brain and the complex ways that other chemicals react with nicotine.
•Even low levels of exposure to smoking or secondhand smoke can damage and inflame the lining of blood vessels, which contributes to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

•There isn’t enough evidence to prove that changing cigarette designs to lower the emissions of certain toxic ingredients will reduce the risk of major disease to smokers.

Study blames faulty immune response for severe H1N1 in adults – A team of researchers has proposed an UNUSUAL biological mechanism to explain severe pandemic H1N1 influenza cases in nonelderly adults, involving antibodies that react with but fail to stop the virus. The scientists say that the antibody response in some middle-aged adults, shaped by previous exposures to influenza, not only failed to block the new virus but also made things worse by activating the complement system, leading to a damaging accumulation of proteins in the lungs. Their observations “provide a previously unknown biological mechanism for the UNUSUAL age distribution of severe cases during influenza pandemics.”
The burden of severe and fatal 2009 H1N1 cases fell most heavily on nonelderly adults, while the elderly were relatively spared, and young children had milder disease. The elderly were believed to be protected because of their exposure before 1957 to H1N1 viruses related to the 2009 H1N1 strain. A possible part of the explanation for this age pattern, the authors write, is that in the nonelderly adults, “an antibody repertoire shaped by seasonal infections may recognize but fail to neutralize the new pandemic strain.” The investigators examined the lungs of H1N1 patients who died, and found evidence of hemorrhaging, swelling of the alveoli, and other kinds of damage.
The scientists found antibodies to the pandemic virus in both elderly and nonelderly adults, but antibody “avidity” for the virus was lower in the younger adults, and this group lacked sufficient levels of antibody to neutralize the virus, the report says. The younger adults’ antibodies had a greater ability to bind to an earlier (1999) seasonal H1N strain than to the 2009 virus. Further, severely ill patients had antibodies with lower avidity for the 2009 virus than did mildly ill patients. In other steps, the researchers examined their samples for evidence of “cytokine storm” – an immune-mediated outpouring of chemical messengers that triggers intense lung inflammation. Cytokine storm has been suggested as a cause of or contributor to death from influenza. The team found little evidence of cytokine storm, with “low cytokine concentrations” in secretions from pandemic H1N1 patients. “We speculate that this phenomenon contributes to severe symptoms in the middle-aged adult population during all pandemics.” The findings imply that severe flu cases could be treated by disrupting immune complexes or interfering with the complement system. “Perhaps a better approach is to produce universal influenza vaccines, which would neutralize any strain.”


Farmers could join endangered species list – Extreme weather patterns wreaking havoc on many parts of the world could put the global farmer on the endangered species list says an international agricultural expert. He described the dismal situation of the Russian potato crop and the damage that savage weather can cause on an agricultural commodity. Russia – with the third-highest potato production in the world – has suffered a near-collapse of the industry after losing 60 per cent of its massive harvest. The harvest loss in Russia means the country needs to import 10 million tonnes of potato or three times the total Canadian production. A nine-week drought and temperatures upwards of 35 degrees Celsius this past summer let the crop wither away. Ukraine – considered the breadbasket of Europe – suffered too much rain and extensive late blight in its potato crop. “Some people call it global warming, I call it extreme weather. But it is absolute nonsense for anyone to say it isn’t happening.” Droughts, hurricanes, floods and other natural elements are threatening food crops in many parts of the world and wiping out the livelihoods of many subsistence farmers. “It’s making farming more like a lottery.” The fastest-growing risk claims in the insurance industry are not fires anymore, but flooding and extreme weather events.

Signs in Plagues & Pestilence

Numbers 16:46 Then Moses told Aaron, “Take your firepan, place fire from the altar in it, and add incense. Go quickly to the community and make atonement for them, because wrath has come from the Lord; the plague has begun.

AFRICA (Ongoing)

A total of 13 people have been reported dead in Abim and Agago districts, following an outbreak of a strange disease in Abim. 20 cases have been reported in Abim district, out of whom 8 have already died. In neighbouring Agago district, 5 cases have been reported in the sub counties of Omiya P’Chua and Paimol, which border Abim district. Emmanuel Okech, an official from the Abim district health office, said out of the 20 cases, 8 have died, 2 have been quarantined, and another 10 have been discharged after their conditions improved. According to Okech, the affected persons have high fever, vomit blood, pass bloody stools, and also bleed from other openings like the nose and ears. “The victims usually die between 3 and 5 days and are suspected to be highly contagious,” Okech said. Last week [week ending 14 Nov 2010], a team from the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health went to Abim and are investigating the disease. According to Okech, samples were taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute, but there is still no clue as to what disease is affecting the people there.

“We were suspecting viral hemorrhagic infection, but results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute have ruled out Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa,” Okech said. He said samples from the affected persons have now been flown to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. On [Tue 16 Nov 2010], the district health officer of Agago district, Dr Emmanuel Otto, announced that 5 people had died in Paimol and Omiya P’Chua from infections similar to those reported in Abim. Dr. Otto said he was also expecting a team of doctors from the World Health Organization and the Health Ministry in Agago to go to the affected sub-counties and conduct tests to ascertain the nature of the disease. According to Emmanuel Okech, more than 10 percent of patients treated in Abim Hospital are from neighboring Agago district, raising suspicions that the 5 who died in Agago could have contracted the disease while they went for treatment in Abim Hospital. Meanwhile, authorities in Abim district have put up an isolation center for those suspected to have contracted the disease.

Situation Update

Date: 10/12/10

Bubonic plague is suspected as the cause of a disease outbreak that has killed 38 people in northern Uganda in the past month, the Ministry of Health said. “Plague is not something new in the country,” James Kakoza, junior health minister, said today by phone from the capital, Kampala. The ministry as ruled out Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley, typhoid and Congo Crimean fevers as the source of the illness, which was first reported on Nov. 10. The deaths, which took place up to Dec. 3, are among 91 cases recorded in the six districts in the north. More recent figures aren’t available, Kakoza said. A team of Ugandan health officials and experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working closely to contain the outbreak, Kakoza said. Drugs to treat bubonic plague are already available in the country because it has experienced the disease previously, he said. The ministry said the outbreak is in Acholi, a region wracked by a two-decade insurgency by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Bubonic plague affected the country’s northwestern region of West Nile in November 2008, according to the ministry.

AFRICA 2 (Ongoing)

Dozens of children in Fayoum Governorate have contracted an unknown viral disease with symptoms similar to that of the common cold. They have been detained in local hospitals. The General Hospital of Fayoum Governorate has notified the Department of Health in Fayoum Youm7 newspaper, quoting an official source at Fayoum’s Health Department, reported that dozens of children in Fayoum Governorate have contracted an illness with common cold-like symptoms. They are not responding to treatment including several days of nutritional care in hospital. The official source added that this new type of virus has not been identified, and reported that hospitals in different parts of the province have admitted 30-40 children daily who are suffering from this so far undiagnosed disease. More than 200 children are now under treatment. The Directorate of Health in Fayoum is being urged to take action and declare an emergency situation in anticipation of the increasing number of children affected by this disease.

AFRICA 3 (Ongoing)

Reports reaching our service desk from reliable sources in the town of Fiq and its environs confirm the outbreak of cholera in the area. Many people have died as a result of this outbreak of cholera. Up to the time of going to press with this report, there has been no emergency medical aid provided to the dwellers of the Fiq town and its environs. The cholera outbreak in the area started about a month ago however due to the ongoing blockade of the movement of both people and goods in all of Ogaden, it has been difficult to get accurate information from the area before now. Our reporter who traveled to the area on foot indicated that the lack of clean drinking water and the availability of basic medical necessities such as glucose have exacerbated the situation. . Our source indicated that many people who could have survived this cholera outbreak are dying because of the lack of clean water.

FIGI (Ongoing)

The Ministry of Health is warning parents and guardians of a new viral illness, affecting children. The ministry says children generally get high fever, rashes or blisters on the palm of their hands, soles of their feet and around the mouth with seizers in severe cases. Spokesperson Peni Namotu says there has been 20-30 cases per month since October this year, with a handful of cases requiring admissions. “Viral illness can be mistaken for chicken pox or scabies but parents need to seek medical attention if their children experience high fever with the peculiar rash especially if seizures or fits occur.” He adds experts believe the illness is spread from person to person by direct contact. Namotu is advising the general public to take preventative measures and visit the nearest health centre if any of the symptoms present themselves.

Situation Update

Date: 11/12/10

A mystery viral illness affecting young children has left local doctors baffled as they await test results of the virus from a laboratory in Australia. Ministry of Health media officer Peni Namotu confirmed there was now an outbreak of the illness which Fiji was experiencing for the first time. He said children who suffered the illness had high fever, rashes or blisters on their hands, soles of the feet and around the mouth and in severe cases, suffered seizure or fits. “There have been about 20-30 cases per month for October and November seen in the children’s hospital and health centres with a handful requiring admissions because of associated seizure (fits), high fever and other complications,” said Mr Namotu. Surveillance confirmed clinics in Suva and parts of Viti Levu reported cases of the illness. “The disease usually begins with a fever, poor appetite, malaise (feeling vaguely unwell), and often with a sore throat,” he said.


At least 160 residents of two villages in Cebu province have reportedly been hit by a supposed typhoid fever, even as health authorities suspect a contaminated water system as the cause. Radio dzBB’s Cebu affiliate reported Wednesday at least 30 of the 160 residents from Poblacion and Sta. Filomena village in Alegria town have been hospitalized. Local health authorities said the 160 residents showed symptoms of typhoid, including a week-long fever, when they went to the town health center for checkup. The report said health authorities are now taking blood samples from the affected residents to double-check if they were affected by typhoid. For its part, the Department of Health is studying the possibility of declaring an outbreak of typhoid in the two villages. Alegria is a fourth-class town with a population of 21,699 people.

Situation Update

Date: 11/12/10

Health officials yesterday warned the public against diseases that are common during the rainy season as heavy rains continue to pour in various parts of Metro Cebu and the province. Reynan Cimafranca of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU 7) said typhoid cases in the municipality of Alegria have been rising while dengue continues to remain a threat. Yesterday, about 80 residents of barangays Sta. Felomina and Poblacion in Alegria town went to their health centers yesterday to complain of fever. Two of the 80 residents were advised to seek medical help at the Malabuyoc District Hospital to check if they had typhoid fever. Cimafranca said dengue cases had also remained a threat. “Even if we have reduced cases (of dengue), we should not take our chances because dengue cases could again increase anytime,” he said. Cimafranca said typhoid cases in Alegria continue to rise despite efforts to contain the spread of the waterborne disease. More than 200 people were diagnosed with typhoid fever as of yesterday. Cimafranca said the RESU office oriented local officials the proper handling of the Alegria water system as a solution to the typhoid problem. He said that since water system officials apply chlorine solution into the water system manually, they doubled the dose of chlorine to make sure the water is safe for drinking.

“Town officials said they will buy a chlorinator to replace their manual method of application,” he said. According to the Department of Health, typhoid fever is caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria, which is taken into the body through indigestion of food and water contaminated with human waste. Patients with typhoid fever experience sustained high fever, headache, weakness of the body or malaise, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation and abdominal discomfort. To prevent contracting the disease, the DOH continues to remind residents to boil their drinking water and extend the boiling for at least two minutes. They also recommended water chlorination of the water system and thorough cooking of food and covering the food to prevent flies and other insects from contaminating the food. DOH also said that food eaten raw like fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed. Eating street food should also be avoided. They also reminded residents to wash their hands with soap and water after using the toilet and before eating and keep their surroundings clean.

UKRAINE (Ongoing)

Flu infection is approaching epidemic levels in the former Soviet republic Ukraine and most of the victims are children, a senior health official said Tuesday. More than 64,000 persons have been identified as having caught the flu since the season’s first registered case in November, and almost 80 per cent of the victims have been school-age children, said Serhy Ryzhenko, chief of the Health Ministry’s epidemics division. Flu strains present in the outbreak include the influenza A subtype H1N1 “swine flu” virus and the A subtype H3N2 virus, according to laboratory testing cited by the report. Infection rates increased more than 17 per cent since last week, he said, according to comments placed on the ministry web site. The Health Ministry formally declares an epidemic in progress when more than one per cent of all persons in the total population are infected with a disease. The level of flu infection is approaching, but has not yet passed that threshold, Ryzhenko said. The hardest-hit regions are in Ukraine’s eastern Zaporizhia and Poltava provinces. Ukraine’s government on Friday closed nursery schools and most kindergartens nationwide to control the outbreak, and has added staff to health clinics in areas of high infection. Swine flu caused 16 confirmed deaths in Ukraine during the disease’s 2009 pandemic. The 2009 outbreak showed up failings in Ukraine’s national health system, particularly vaccine shortages and poorly-trained staff.

MONGOLIA (Ongoing)

A new, still unknown to the medical fraternity flu virus has been found in Mongolia. The symptoms of this influenza are similar to the so-called ‘bird’ and ‘swine’ flu viruses. The virus is classified as H3N2 strain. In Ulan Bator, already 17 cases of this influenza have been registered. Young children are considered to be at greatest risk. Chief Public Relations Officer at National Research Center for Infectious Diseases in Mongolia Chuluunbat Urtnasan explained that doctors currently do not know how to protect themselves from the virus H3N2. According to him, the main attention should be paid to protecting the body from cold. Body weakened by cold body can be prone to be infected by this new type of virus, report agencies. Chuluunbat Urtnasan has asked people to contact doctors for medical help at the very first symptoms of infection. He recommends to often ventilate and do wet cleaning at at work and at home. In the absence of fever, the patients have been recommended to take heat procedures, and baths.

DENMARK (Ongoing)

Denmark is facing a nationwide pneumonia epidemic following a tenfold increase in the number of positive tests, local media reported Thursday, citing medical experts. The experts said mycoplasma pneumonia, caused by bacteria, has been spreading rapidly among the Danish. “We have noticed that the number of positive tests for mycoplasma pneumonia has greatly increased over time, and it has now reached epidemic proportions,” said Kaare Moelbak, director of the Danish National Serum Institute. This is the first time since 2005 that Denmark is hit by a bacterial pneumonia epidemic. “This particular disease can occur from time to time, usually with five to six years of time interval. Mycoplasma pneumonia usually lasts longer than an influenza epidemic. We estimate that the current epidemic will continue around three or four months,” said Moelbak. Mycoplasma pneumonia, commonly known as cold pneumonia in Denmark, has typical symptoms such as long-term cough, fever and chest pain. It most affects children aged five to 15 years old and people in the 25-45 age group. “Although we call it cold pneumonia, one can still risk a fever from the pneumonia. However, the fever is milder than in a normal pneumonia,” he added.

TANZANIA (Ongoing)

The Government of Tanzania is sending a team of medical experts to Kagera region in the north to investigate reports of an outbreak of a deadly disease suspected to be ebola in border villages in neighbouring Uganda. The deputy minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Lucy Nkya, said in Dar es Salaam Wednesday that the team will comprise medical experts from her ministry, the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH). “You are just breaking the news (on the outbreak of the disease in Uganda) to me. Thanks, and I will make sure that a medical team is dispatched to Kagera region as soon as possible,” she told Tanzania’s The Citizen daily in a telephone interview. Reports from Uganda quoted health officials as saying that a disease that has been killing people in Kitgum, Abim and Agago districts could be a new strain of ebola.

The situation report of November 26 indicated a cumulative figure of 32 cases, with fatality rate of 25 per cent since its outbreak in Balang village in Mutu parish in Paimol Sub-County, Agago district early this month. A National Professional Officer with the World Health Organisation in Gulu, Dr Emmanuel Tenywa, said a total of 19 people were currently admitted at an isolation ward in Kalongo Hospital with acute signs and symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting, and severe frontal headache, sometimes associated with pain in the eye without conjunctivitis and blood stains on their stool. He said already one of the health workers in the hospital had developed the disease symptoms after she accidentally came into contact with vomit of a patient. The Kitgum district Surveillance Officer, Ms Grace Ogwang, said four people had so far died of the disease from their homes, while four others were still admitted at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Situation Update

Date: 2/12/10

The government has moved to assess the situation following reports of outbreak of a deadly disease suspected to be Ebola in some districts in Uganda. Reports from Uganda quoted health officials as saying that has been killing people Kitgum, Abim and Agago districts could be a new strain of Ebola. However, the three districts do no border Kagera region. But the deputy Minister for Healthm, Dr Lucy Nkya, said yesterday that they were not going to take and chances ahe she she would ensure that a team of medical experts is dispatched to Kagera region to investigate the reports and assess the situation. Dr Nkya, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the team will comprise medical experts from her ministry, the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH). “You are just breaking the news (on the outbreak of the disease in Uganda) to me. Thanks and I will make sure that a medical team is dispatched to Kagera region as soon as possible,” she told The Citizen in a telephone interview. She said they will summon his senior lieutenants at the ministry and make immediate arrangements to send the medical team to Kagera region. The situation report of November 26 indicates a cumulative figure of 32 cases with fatality rate of 25 percent since its outbreak in Balang village in Mutu parish in Paimol Sub County, Agago district early this month.

A National Professional Officer with World Health Organization in Gulu, Dr Emmanuel Tenywa said a total of 19 people are currently admitted at an isolation ward in Kalongo Hospital with acute signs and symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and severe frontal headache sometimes associated with pain in the eye without conjunctivitis and blood stained on their stool. He said already one of the health workers in the hospital has developed the disease after she accidentally came into contact with a vomit of a patient suffering from the disease. “The illness thus progress with patients reporting abdominal pain localized in the epigastrium and as it progresses, patients develop restlessness and mental confusion, aggressive behavior and eventually results into coma and death” he said. The Kitgum district Surveillance Officer, Ms Grace Ogwang said in her district four people have so far died of the disease from their homes while four others were still admitted in St. Joseph’s hospital. “Some of them die from their homes although we have not registered any admission over the last two days yet,” Ms Ogwang said. Meanwhile World Food Program has already donated maize, beans and cooking oil to support those in the isolation ward at Kalongo Hospital. In October 2000, Ebola killed hundreds of people including a medical officer, Doctor Lukwiya Mathew of St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor.


Four people died and 58 were hospitalised following a fresh outbreak of cholera in the eastern Tanzanian region of Morogoro, an official said Wednesday. “Three of the deceased persons are members of the same family,” Morogoro regional health officer, Cares Lyimo said. He said the first cases in the area were reported two weeks ago and added that 58 people had since been admitted to hospital with cholera symptoms. Lyimo said water shortages in the region, forcing residents to buy unsafe water from vendors, were to blame for the outbreak. The disease is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae and is spread by consuming contaminated food or water. Around 60 people died of cholera in Tanzania’s northeastern Tanga region in September and October.


Sources at the Provincial Health Delegation reported to Europa Press that during the measles outbreak registered in Granada [the capital city of Granada province], the number of infected people has increased to 20, including 4 minors who were admitted to the Maternal and Child Hospital of Granada but whose condition is not serious. The 1st case was detected in the Gomez Moreno Preschool and Primary School, located in the Albaicin neighbourhood, among a group of children who had not been vaccinated by their parents, a situation which led to the outbreak spreading to the other people, 5 of whom were from the school and [of these only] 2 adults. The health authorities have advised parents of students at this school to have their children vaccinated immediately, and newsletters are being sent to them urging them to have to all their schoolchildren vaccinated, if not previously immunised. The Andalusian health minister, Maria Jesus Montero, stated last week [week of 1 Nov 2010] that “measles is usually a disease that progresses with mild symptoms and no major consequences,” and stressed that measles is one of the diseases “that can be eradicated because there is an effective vaccine available to immunise the population.” Of the 20 cases recorded so far, 4 have been admitted to the Maternal and Child Hospital, but none of them is seriously ill.


An outbreak of diarrhoea in Haiti has claimed at least 50 lives and hundreds are being treated in local hospitals. “We have registered 51 or 52 deaths along the Artibonite river which crosses the centre and north of the country,” doctor Arial Henry, director of the health minister’s office, said. According to local radio, most of the dead have been taken to hospitals in Saint-Marc, about 100km north of the capital. Haiti is still struggling to rebuild after a devastating 7.0 earthquake ravaged the capital, Port-au-Prince, in January, leaving more than 250,000 people dead and another 1.2 million homeless. Aid agencies have voiced fears for months that any outbreak of disease could spread rapidly among the population due to the unsanitary conditions in the makeshift camps housing the homeless, with little access to clean water. The impoverished Caribbean nation has also been hit in recent days by severe flooding adding to the misery of those struggling to survive in the scores of tent cities now dotting the country. “An investigation is underway to determine where this outbreak might have originated and analyses are being carried out in the national laboratory in Haiti,” Dr Henry added. “Some people died in their homes in the Artibonite region and in central Haiti and several hundreds have been hospitalised and are under being monitored,” another official added.


At least 19 children under the age of 5 have died of measles while dozens more are suffering from the same disease in the lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, local residents said Tuesday. With no medical facilities present in the village of Lego, locals reported more than 30 children under 5 had come down with the disease. “We used to get various vaccinations and free food from international relief organizations by going nowhere, but right now, everything has changed; no aid agency, no immunization today,” said a local resident who asked his name not be used, spelling out that Al Shabaab stood in their way to access free medicine and aid food. Al Shabaab, which controls large swaths in the southern and northern regions of the country, has banned aid agencies from operating in southern and central Somalia. Measles is highly contagious. Infection occurs by coming into contact with fluids released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Just under 200,000 children affected by measles die every year worldwide, according to Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF). Even though a safe and effective vaccine exists, outbreaks occur all round the world because routine immunization programmes are not in place or are not effective. Meanwhile, severe drought has hit in the region, and people and domestic animals are close to dying of thirst and hunger, according to Muse Adam Hassan, a local elder in the village, located southwest of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. “One barrel of water is worth 30,000 up to 40,000 Somali shilling ($1 to $1.50),” Hassan added. In August, Al Shabaab also ordered three international aid agencies–World Vision, Adventist Development and Relief Agency and Diakonia–to stop serving in Somalia, claiming they were “actively propagating Christianity” in the Horn of Africa country. The terrorist group warned other aid organizations not to take up their work, mentioning action would be taken against them. Relief agencies serving inside Somalia say aid to millions of Somalis is hampered by the danger that aid workers face and a lack of respect for international humanitarian law by the parties to the conflict.


An explosive outbreak of polio is taking place in the Congo Republic, with 201 cases of paralysis found in two weeks and 104 deaths, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. The government in Brazzaville, the nation’s capital, has declared an emergency and announced plans to vaccinate the entire population with oral drops three times with help from the W.H.O., Unicef and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Pointe Noire, the port city where most of the cases are concentrated, “We’ve got two hospitals with hundreds of paralyzed people and many dead,” Dr. Bruce Aylward, the W.H.O.’s director of global polio eradication, said in an interview from Geneva. “And a couple of things about this outbreak are different and deeply disturbing.” Polio normally strikes young boys and girls equally, killing no more than 20 percent of those it paralyzes; death ensues when paralysis moves up the spine to the nerves that control the breathing muscles. In Pointe Noire, 85 percent of the cases are in teenagers and adults, most victims are male, and the death rate is much higher.

However, Dr. Aylward said, as his team on its way there learns more, the outbreak could begin to look more typical, albeit still serious. “We’ve only heard about this in the last seven days,” he said. “This is very much under investigation.” Pointe Noire is unusual in that rebel activity has so cut off its roads that the city is “almost like an island,” he said, with few outside children visiting. Routine polio vaccination in central Africa began only in the 1980s and focuses on children under age 5, so few adults are protected. Also, the weakened live virus in the vaccine spreads in the same way the disease virus does, shed in feces. Because mothers and sisters tend to change babies’ diapers, they may have picked up that accidental form of protection. Also, the hospitals are probably seeing only serious cases, making the death rate artificially high. “We’re still dealing with the fog of war,” Dr. Aylward said. “We don’t have exact data.” In 1996, he noted, there was an adult outbreak in long-isolated Albania after a few years in which only children got the modern vaccine. It will take a few weeks to see whether the intense central African vaccination campaigns of the last few years can fence off this outbreak, Dr. Aylward said. He called the situation in the Congo Republic an unexpected setback in what had otherwise been a great year in fighting polio. Nigeria, long Africa’s polio hot spot, had a 98 percent drop in cases since 2009, and 14 of the 15 countries with outbreaks of the Nigerian strain snuffed them out. The Congo Republic outbreak is of an Indian strain that was first found in Angola in 2007 and is creeping north.


A woman who mistook her fever and skin rash as symptoms of a cold was found to have scrub typhus, an acute infectious disease, according to the Tzu-Chi Buddhist General Hospital’s Talin branch in the southern county of Chiayi. Lai Chung-chang, a doctor at the hospital, said that a woman, aged over 50, went to a mountainous area to pick tea leaves last month, and then came down with a fever and saw roseola spread around her arms and legs a few days later. The woman took flu medicine initially, but the fever failed to ease, forcing her to seek treatment at the Tzu-Chi hospital. As the doctor in charge, Lai sent the blood sample of the woman to the Center for Disease Control for examination, proving that she had contracted the scrub typhus or the tsutsugamushi disease. The woman, after taking oral antibiotics for a week, got well and has since been discharged from hospital, according to Lai. He said that if sufferers of the disease fail to receive proper medical treatment in time, they might suffer organ failure, eventually leading to death. Lai said tsutsugamushi disease cases have been reported across the island, with the outlying Kinmen county and the eastern county of Pingtung reporting the most cases.


A suspected outbreak of the winter bug norovirus is being investigated at a Cardiff city centre hotel. The Park Plaza hotel is thought to have been hit with the winter sickness bug after a guest is suspected to have brought the virus in to a function room last week. It has been confirmed that 127 cases of norovirus have been identified in guests who used the function room in the hotel at Greyfriars Road, Cardiff between 24 and 27 November 2010. The hotel was made aware of the of the problem on Monday after a number of guests contacted staff after they had fallen ill over the weekend. The suspected outbreak is now being investigated by Cardiff Council. A spokesperson said: “Cardiff Council’s Communicable Disease Team is currently investigating an outbreak of suspected norovirus associated with the Park Plaza Hotel. “The suspected norovirus was notified to us by the hotel and the investigation is being undertaken with the full co-operation of the hotel management,” The norovirus bug is a highly contagious virus and can be transmitted through contact with people who have got the virus of through contaminated food. It is estimated that norovirus typically affects between 600,000 and a million people in the UK each year and is common during the colder months of the year and is highly infectious. Symptoms include vomiting and/or diarrhoea, and usually last between 24 and 48 hours. Most makes a full recovery. However, some people, usually the very young or elderly, may become very dehydrated and require hospital treatment.

In January, the virus claimed up to 500,000 victims forcing hospital wards to close to try to stop the disease spreading. In a statement the hotel said the area where the suspected outbreak occurred had been sanitised and any further risk of the infection spreading had been stopped. The statement said: “The hotel only became aware of the spread on Monday morning when we were contacted by individuals who had fallen ill over the weekend. “We immediately contacted senior officers from the city’s environmental health department who assessed the situation and are continuing to work with us. “Upon advice from environmental health officers, we have sanitised and quarantined the infected area, using an approved contractor, and have eradicated any potential further risk.” The statement added that the Hotel had not been notified of any further cases since last Monday and apologised to the guests who had fallen ill. They said: “The hotel would like to stress there have been no other reports of the virus being contracted from any other area of the hotel and we deeply regret the obvious discomfort to which some of our guests have been subjected.” Executive Member for Environment, Coun Margaret Jones, said: “Unfortunately, it is very difficult to prevent Norovirus occurring in the community. However, taking good hygiene measures, like frequent hand washing, can reduce the spread of infection. “The Communicable Disease Team has worked with the hotel to ensure remedial measures have been taken. They continue to monitor the situation closely.”


The Miami-Dade Health Department said Monday night they have confirmed their first case of cholera. According to test results, an airline passenger who arrived on a flight to Miami International Airport on Thanksgiving evening had contracted cholera in Haiti, the department said. The unidentified man, believed to be a doctor, arrived on an American Airlines flight from neighboring Dominican Republic. He became ill during the flight and told officials he had spent time working in Haiti. The man is recovering from the illness. Cholera is caused by a bacterial infection of the intestine that causes severe dehydration. In some situations it is contagious — in rare instances it has been transmitted though the carrier’s contaminated hands and vomit. Untreated cases can be fatal. Passengers from Haiti and the Dominican Republic are being scrutinized in Florida due to an outbreak in Haiti which has killed hundreds. This marks the third confirmed case of cholera in Florida. In November, a Collier County woman who had returned from Haiti was found to be suffering from the disease. She has recovered. A second case has been confirmed by health officials.


The bird flu virus [avian A/(H5N1) influenza virus] has re-emerged. The Specific Diseases and Isolation Team at Hasan Sadikin Hospital, Bandung has confirmed a [human] case of influenza A/(H5N1) virus infection in a resident of Holis Street, Bandung. The source of the virus is unknown. A spokesman stated that the team of doctors at the Sadikin Hospital had received confirmation today [Wed 8 Dec 2010] from the Agency for Health Development Research of the Ministry of Health in Jakarta, which had examined a sample from the 21-year-old patient. The patient has been undergoing treatment in an intensive care unit since Mon 22 Nov 2010. On arrival, the patient was experiencing severe pain, and according to a specialist in internal medicine, the patient was exhibiting symptoms characteristic of bird flu patients. The symptoms of people with bird flu, following the incubation period of 1-7 days, are similar to those of patients suffering from upper respiratory tract infection; namely, high fever up to temperatures beyond 38 C, sore throat, headache, sudden weakness, and in the most serious cases, pneumonia. The initial symptoms resemble those of the common cold.

The patient’s condition has now gradually improved and assisted respiration has been terminated. The patient now has no fever and is lucid and with only a residual cough. When the patient’s breathing becomes normal, the patient will be discharged. The team of doctors has not been able to confirm the source of the infection. But according to the team leader, the patient had been fond of eating cooked chicken. Bandung City Health Department officials and the local Community Health Centre who have monitored the patient’s living quarters and surroundings have not discovered anything that might be the source of the virus. On Wed 8 Dec 2010, the Head of the Disease Monitoring service stated that none of the patient’s relatives, other house occupants and neighbours had contracted avian influenza virus infection. No poultry were kept in the patient’s house, and there had been no sudden deaths of poultry in the vicinity of the patient’s home.


Four new cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, were reported to the Madison County Health Department this week, officials said Tuesday. Pertussis is a respiratory illness that is highly contagious because it is so easily spread from person to person. The disease is transmitted by people breathing in the bacteria from infected people who cough or sneeze. Debrah Knoll, personal health services manager for the Madison County Health Department, said in a news release that symptoms start with a runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever and a mild, occasional cough. After one or two weeks, the coughing can become severe with numerous, rapid coughs that include the characteristic high-pitched “whooping ” sound. The patient may turn blue or even vomit during the coughing fit. The coughing attacks occur more frequently at night. Pertussis can be treated with a course of the appropriate antibiotics. Unfortunately, many people do not realize they have pertussis until after they have exposed others. Pertussis can cause life-threatening, even fatal, complications in young children, especially those younger than 1 year of age who are not fully vaccinated. Children are vaccinated against pertussis at 2, 4, 6 and 15 months old, plus another dose before entering school at 4 to 6 years old. Many infants get pertussis from infected older siblings, parents or caregivers. Although many people do not believe this illness still occurs, the national Centers for Disease Control reported that nearly 19,000 cases of pertussis were reported in the United States last year, Knoll said. Vaccination is the best option for countering this disease.


Plagues of blowflies are killing sheep across Australia, as wet and humid conditions make livestock more susceptible to flystrike. Experts are calling it a “fly wave”, and the insects are rapidly multiplying thanks to the rainy weather. There are also concerns about lice infestations, wool rotting while still on the sheep, and a possible drop in wool quality. “There are a few things combining together at the moment that lead to widespread issues,” says Jason Trompf. He’s the chair of Best Wool/Best Lamb, an industry-owned extension program which advises farmers. “I’m a producer in north east Victoria, and we’ve had unseasonable spring rain,” he says. “We’ve got widespread examples from people who are seeing examples of flystrike. It’s coming from the long, wet spring. There’s an aggressive spread of flies and an aggressive attacking of sheep. “We’re seeing big instances of body strike.”


Victoria’s worst locust plague in 70 years continues its push into Melbourne, with sightings of the insects reported around the city during this morning’s humid weather. The Department of Primary Industries has received reports of the pests in Prahran, Parkville, Noble Park and Rye this morning, while Age readers have also encountered them on Collins Street and Flinders Lane in the city and in South Melbourne.


SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) — Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) confirmed in beef cows in Andong in the southeastern part of South Korea on Tuesday appears to have spread to cattle farms in nearby towns, prompting the authorities to close all livestock markets nationwide, excluding those on Jeju Island. Five beef cows from an Andong farm in North Gyeongsang Province tested positive for FMD on Tuesday, one day after the outbreak of the animal disease was reported at two nearby pig farms, officials said.


South Korea confirmed that five cows tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease in the eastern region of the country, a news report quoted officials as saying. The cows were among the 22,000 animals already due to be culled following infections found at two nearby pig farms on Monday. The infected beef cattle were raised at a farm in Andong, about 270 kilometres south-east of Seoul, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries was quoted as saying. The cull was imposed on all animals within a 20-kilometre radius of the farms where the highly infectious disease was reported. South Korea suffered its first foot-and-mouth outbreak in eight years in January. The country was declared free of the disease by Seoul in March, and in late September by the World Organization for Animal Health, a reference body used by the World Trade Organization.


PLAGUE, a disease that affects rodents but can be spread to humans and other animals by infected fleas, has hit the northern Ugandan district of Kitgum, the health ministry has confirmed. The ministry said they had confirmed that the strange sickness was plague, not a hemorrhagic fever as earlier thought. “It is controllable, though fatal. We have sent another team to beef up the one we already had on the ground,” it added. The disease surveillance officer in Kitgum district, Sr. Grace Agwang, said preliminary results from the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta showed that it was plague. In humans, plague has three forms, bubonic plague (infection of the lymph glands), septicemia plague (infection of the blood) and pheumonic plague (infection of the lungs). Pneumonic plague is the most contagious form, because it is airborne. The disease, according to the World Health Organisation report, hit Acholi sub-region on December 3. One person has been admitted in Kitgum at St. Joseph Hospital, two others at Kalongo Hospital in Pader. The report adds that Kitgum district has so far had 18 cases, while one of the infected people died at St. Joseph Hospital on December 3. Nine other people have so far died, according to the report. Medical personnel in Kitgum have set up an isolation unit at Kitgum Hospital. Health workers are also being trained by Medecin San Frontieres from Holland to handle the disease. “At Kalongo Hospital, 24 people had been admitted by December 3. The WHO suggested that a community-based surveillance system needs to be reactivated in the affected districts. Medical officers said there was need for an adequate isolation unit, with a 24-hour ambulance service. They also want to be stocked with the essential medicines, and to set up a burial team.


The mysterious disease that has devastated parts of Acholi and Karamoja sub-regions for close to a month could be human plague. Kitgum district LC5 chairman, John Komakech Ogwok, quoting sources from the World Health Organisation, said on Friday evening that preliminary tests point at the plague. “Information from the World Health Organisation says that the strange disease that has been disturbing us seems to be plague. But the tests have ruled out Ebola or Marbug as has been widely suspected by people here,” he said. Speaking during a book launch at the district council hall, Ogwok said further tests were still being carried out to ascertain which of the three types of the plague disease could be infecting the people. Human plague is transmitted by fleas that move on rats and other rodents. The symptoms are said to be similar to the ones associated to a strange disease that broke out in Abim about a month ago and has now spread to Agago, Kitgum, Lamwo and Pader districts.


Bubonic plague is suspected as the cause of a disease outbreak that has killed 38 people in northern Uganda in the past month, the Ministry of Health said. “Plague is not something new in the country,” James Kakoza, junior health minister, said today by phone from the capital, Kampala. The ministry as ruled out Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley, typhoid and Congo Crimean fevers as the source of the illness, which was first reported on Nov. 10. The deaths, which took place up to Dec. 3, are among 91 cases recorded in the six districts in the north. More recent figures aren’t available, Kakoza said.


A 59-year-old local woman was found to have contracted H5N1 avian flu virus after visiting the mainland last month, Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health York Chow said Wednesday. Speaking at a press briefing Wednesday evening, Chow said the patient went to the mainland on Oct. 23 where she visited places including Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing. She developed flu symptoms such as cough and fever on Nov. 2, one day after returning to Hong Kong, and was later admitted to Tun Mun Hospital. Chow said since the patient, who is now in a serious condition, had been to wet markets in the mainland, he believed that the contraction was probably happened outside Hong Kong. But he did not rule out the possibility that it was a local case. The Serious Response Level under the government’s Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic is activated, said the city’s health chief, adding that the government will submit the case to the World Health Organization and various departments will call on a conference on Nov. 18. There was an outbreak of the disease in 1997 in Hong Kong in which six people died. About 1.5 million poultry were killed to prevent further spread of the disease.

Situation Update

Date: 11/18/10

Hong Kong has confirmed its first case of human bird flu in seven years. Health Secretary York Chow said late Wednesday that a 59-year-old woman had tested positive for H5N1 bird flu after returning to Hong Kong from the Chinese mainland, and is in serious condition in a local hospital. With the announcement, the government raised the bird flu alert to “serious,” meaning there is a risk of contracting the disease within the territory. Chow said Hong Kong officials were meeting Thursday and would determine whether additional measures are needed to safeguard local residents. The bird flu virus first struck Hong Kong in 1997. Six people died in that outbreak and all chickens in the territory were culled.

Date: 11/23/10

Hong Kong officials said Monday tests indicated no city-wide outbreak of bird flu as the first first patient infected with the virus in seven years was out of danger. Health Secretary York Chow said the 59-year-old woman, diagnosed with the H5N1 virus on November 1 after returning from a holiday in China, was now in a stable condition. While she remained in intensive care, tests showed she did not have a new strain of the virus and could be treated with Tamiflu and Relenza, Chow said. City-wide tests on farms and wholesale markets conducted since the woman’s diagnosis was confirmed last week had found no trace of the H5N1 virus elsewhere, he added. Hong Kong went on a high alert after the woman, who had visited Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou in China, was confirmed as the city’s first human case of bird flu since 2003. It is not yet known whether the woman contracted the virus in Hong Kong or in mainland China, health officials said. Six people died and 12 others were infected in Hong Kong in the first modern case of bird flu to jump the species barrier in 1997, leading to a cull of millions of chickens and ducks. Hong Kong has since prevented any further significant local outbreaks. The last case in the city involved a father who died and whose son fell ill after a visit to China in 2003.


Papua New Guinea’s cholera outbreak appears to have spread. Thirteen children have died on a remote island near the maritime border with Australia in the Torres Strait. Infection rates have slowed after the outbreak began on PNG’s north coast in August last year and spread throughout the mainland. Now the disease appears to have surfaced on remote Daru Island, 50 kilometres from Saibai Island on the Australian side of the Torres Strait. The National newspaper reports 13 children have died from cholera-like symptoms and 64 other people are being treated in the local hospital. Australia’s aid agency AusAID is monitoring the situation and working to confirm the details. A spokesman says they will discuss the issue with the World Health Organisation and the PNG government and may consider a joint mission to the island.

Situation Update

On 10.11.2010 at 04:20 GMT+2

Australia’s Queensland health officials said Wednesday they were monitoring a cholera outbreak happened near the Torres Strait islands. The Torres Strait is a body of water which lies between Australia and the Melanesian island of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Papua New Guinea’s cholera outbreak has resulted in 64 locals being treated in hospital. Thirteen children have died on a remote island near Australia’s Torres Strait. Infection rates have slowed after the outbreak began on PNG’s north coast in August last year and spread throughout the mainland. Now the disease appears to have surfaced on remote Daru Island, 50 kilometres from Saibai Island on the Australian side of the Torres Strait. Australia’s aid agency AusAID has been monitoring the situation and working to confirm the details. Australia Associated Press reported AusAID will discuss the issue with the World Health Organization and the PNG government, and may consider a joint mission to the island. Cholera is an infection of the small intestine caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Transmission is primarily through consuming contaminated drinking water or food. It is treatable with rehydration and antibiotics.

On 10.11.2010 at 14:37 GMT+2

Tests have confirmed cholera is responsible for 16 deaths on a remote island in Papua New Guinea which is close to Australia’s maritime border. The first case of cholera on Daru Island in Western Province was detected three weeks ago. Twelve adults and four children have died, and 320 others have been treated for the intestinal infection. Daru sits near the mouth of the Fly River and the CEO of the local hospital, Dr Amos Lano, says cholera could spread to communities upstream. Dr Lano says the most infections are occurring in the island’s squatter settlements.

On 11.11.2010 at 04:41 GMT+2

Travel between Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait has been restricted because of an outbreak of cholera on the island of Daru. Sixteen people have recently died from cholera on the island. The Department of Foreign Affairs says all cross-border travel under the free movement provisions of the Torres Strait Treaty has been restricted until further notice. It also warns that a growing number of areas are being affected by the cholera outbreak in PNG.

On 24.11.2010 at 08:23 GMT+2

Australian authorities in Papua New Guinea say up to 100 people may have died as the country’s latest cholera outbreak continues to spread. The Federal Government has pledged $500,000 to help fight the outbreak on Daru Island in the country’s south-west. Australia’s High Commissioner to PNG, Ian Kemish, travelled to the affected area last week. So far there have been 30 deaths and hundreds of infections on Daru, but Mr Kemish says the outbreak there has been stabilised. He says unconfirmed reports indicate the disease has now spread to the nearby mainland and the Fly River delta. “There may have been a further 100 deaths from cholera in the broader region outside Daru,” he said. Mr Kemish believes Australia will be helping PNG’s health authorities combat cholera for some time.

On 26.11.2010 at 03:51 GMT+2

A cholera outbreak in Papua New Guinea continues to spread, with fears 100 more villagers may have died. Last week, Canberra announced it would make an extra $500,000 available to battle cholera as PNG officials reported the disease spreading inland after an outbreak on PNG’s side of the Torres Strait was contained. Cholera on Daru, a tiny island off the coast of PNG’s Western Province close to Australia’s Cape York, has struck down more than 800 people. Villagers travelling by sea to Daru and other islands in the mouth of the Fly River had aided the rapid spread of the deadly bacteria that causes diarrhoea-like symptoms. Travel between Australia’s Torres Strait Islands and neighbouring PNG has been restricted, with hundreds turned away in an effort to contain the deadly cholera outbreak. The World Health Organisation (WHO) along with Australian aid agency AusAID have been regularly flying in medical supplies in a much-needed relief effort. An AusAID spokesman in Port Moresby told AAP the situation in Daru is now under control after several weeks of high incidence. “There have been 32 confirmed deaths in Daru caused by cholera and 870, mostly mild, cases of acute watery diarrhoea. “Although the data is not entirely reliable, it now seems that the South Fly District (of PNG) reports possibly 400 cases with around 100 deaths,” a spokesman said. The increase in reported cases over recent days is due to better information and increased information flows, a direct result of the assistance provided by Australia, he said. Australia has provided $1.7 million in assistance to combat the outbreak, which is said to have killed 100 people since it was first reported on PNG’s northeastern coast in September last year. Cholera usually makes people only mildly sick, but up to 10 per cent of patients develop a severe illness. It is transmitted by water contaminated by bacteria from an infected person or food contaminated by dirty water, soiled hands or flies.

Signs in False Shepherds & False Religion

“For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear to all, as theirs was also.” 2 Timothy 3:6-9

Neeson: Narnia’s Aslan the lion represents all great spiritual leaders

Cancun talks start with a call to the gods

Pagan prisoners given time off to worship the Sun God

Churches selling like hotcakes

Faith Under Fire

“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Matthew 5:11-12

“You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endured to the end will be delivered.”  Matthew 10:22

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