CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 173

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The Ministers Corner.jpgThe Minister’s Corner

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

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Provoking God’s Anger

By Johanna

This week I wanted to share a story straight from the Bible about provoking God’s anger. I will be breaking it down into two parts. Read this story and take it into your hearts and remember that Father has been provoked before and Father is still being provoked and She will only let it go so far.

Jeremiah 44

God’s Judgment against His People in Egypt
1 [This is] the word that came to Jeremiah for all the Jews living in the land of Egypt—at Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and in the land of Pathros: 2 “This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: You have seen all the disaster I brought against Jerusalem and all Judah’s cities; look, they are a ruin today without an inhabitant in them 3 because of their evil ways that provoked Me to anger, going and burning incense to serve other gods they, you, and your fathers did not know. 4 So I sent you all My servants the prophets time and time again, saying, Don’t do this detestable thing that I hate. 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their evil or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 So My fierce wrath poured forth and burned in Judah’s cities and Jerusalem’s streets so that they became the desolate ruin they are today.

7 “So now, this is what the LORD, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Why are you doing such great harm to yourselves? You are cutting off man and woman, child and infant from Judah, leaving yourselves without a remnant. 8 You are provoking Me to anger by the work of your hands. You are burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to live for a while. As a result, you will be cut off and become an object of cursing and insult among all the nations of earth. 9 Have you forgotten the evils of your fathers, the evils of Judah’s kings, the evils of their wives, your own evils, and the evils of your wives that were committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10 They have not become humble to this day, and they have not feared or walked by My law or My statutes that I set before you and your ancestors.

11 “Therefore, this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn against you to [bring] disaster, to cut off all Judah. 12 And I will take away the remnant of Judah, those who have resolved to go to the land of Egypt to live there for a while; they will meet their end. All of them in the land of Egypt will fall by the sword; they will meet their end by famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by the sword and by famine. Then they will become an object of execration, of scorn, of cursing, and of disgrace. 13 I will punish those living in the land of Egypt just as I punished Jerusalem by sword, famine, and plague. 14 Then the remnant of Judah—those going to live for a while there in the land of Egypt—will have no fugitive or survivor to return to the land of Judah where they are longing to return to live, for they will not return except [for a few] fugitives.”

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Quickly Comes the Hour

By Regina

Look to the seas and look to the skies

At what is happening before our very eyes

Our Father is nature and nature is Him

We witness today what in the past has been

Know there is nothing new under the sun

With nowhere to hide and nowhere to run

Christ’s Kingdom will soon be at hand

The nations will crumble, none will stand

Experts will all be scratching their heads

As plagues worsen and disease spreads

The earth will awaken and begin to rumble

mountains will collapse and crumble

Torrents will wash away soil from land

Those who oppose Him will no longer stand

With His mighty hand He will sweep away

Everything and everyone that has gone astray

Today we are called to witness His power

Short time becomes, quickly comes the hour

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Bringers of Plagues and Unnatural Death

By Deborah

Over the years, this Ministry has shared the part Yahweh’s holy angelic warriors have in the delivering of plagues. The newspapers are now daily covering the unprecedented increasing incidents of animals and people suffering and dying from unnatural causes. They are suffering and dying from plagues just as those in Egypt did in the days of Moses.

Zephaniah 1:3 I will sweep away man and animal; I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, and the ruins along with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth—the LORD’s declaration.

plague
noun, verb, plagued, pla·guing.
–noun
1. an epidemic disease that causes high mortality; pestilence.
2. an infectious, epidemic disease caused by a bacterium, Yersinia pestis,  characterized by fever, chills, and prostration, transmitted to humans from rats by means of the bites of fleas. Compare bubonic plague, pneumonic plague, septicemic plague.
3. any widespread affliction, calamity, or evil, esp. one regarded as a direct punishment by god: a plague of war and desolation.
4. any cause of trouble, annoyance, or vexation: Uninvited guests are a plague.

–verb (used with object)
5. to trouble, annoy, or torment in any manner: The question of his future plagues him with doubt.
6. to annoy, bother, or pester: Ants plagued the picnickers.
7. to smite with a plague, pestilence, death, etc.; scourge: those whom the gods had plagued.
8. to infect with a plague; cause an epidemic in or among: diseases that still plague the natives of Ethiopia.
to afflict with any evil: He was plagued by allergies all his life.

For those who are unaware of other incidents in history when Yahweh has sent holy angelic warriors to deliver punishments, I have included in this week’s article the recorded incident of David’s punishment carried out by Father’s holy angelic servant. Yahweh is consistent in all He does.

1 Chronicles 21:9-30
David’s Punishment
9 Then the LORD instructed Gad, David’s seer, 10 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am offering you three [choices]. Choose one of them for yourself, and I will do it to you.’ ”

11 So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Take your [choice]— 12 either three years of famine, three months of devastation by your foes with the sword of your enemy overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the LORD—a plague on the land, the angel of the LORD bringing destruction to the whole territory of Israel.’ Now decide what answer I should take back to the One who sent me.”

13 David answered Gad, “I have great anxiety. Please, let me fall into the LORD’s hands because His mercies are very great, but don’t let me fall into human hands.” 14 So the LORD sent a plague on Israel, and 70,000 Israelite men died. 15 Then God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but when the angel was about to destroy the city, the LORD looked, relented concerning the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying [the people], “Enough, withdraw your hand now!” The angel of the LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

16 When David looked up and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem, David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell down with their faces [to the ground]. 17 David said to God, “Wasn’t I the one who gave the order to count the people? I am the one who has sinned and acted very wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? My LORD God, please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s family, but don’t let the plague be against Your people.”

David’s Altar
18 So the angel of the LORD ordered Gad to tell David to go and set up an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 David went up at Gad’s command spoken in the name of the LORD.
20 Ornan was threshing wheat when he turned and saw the angel. His four sons, who were with him, hid themselves. 21 David came to Ornan, and when Ornan looked and saw David, he left the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face to the ground.

22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me this threshing-floor plot so that I may build an altar to the LORD on it. Give it to me for the full price, so the plague on the people may be halted.”
23 Ornan said to David, “Take it! My lord the king may do whatever he wants. See, I give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering—I give it all.”
24 King David answered Ornan, “No, I insist on paying the full price, for I will not take for the LORD what belongs to you or offer burnt offerings that cost [me] nothing.”
25 So David gave Ornan 15 pounds of gold for the plot. 26 He built an altar to the LORD there and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the LORD, and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.

27 Then the LORD spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. 28 At that time, when David saw that the LORD answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifices there. 29 At that time the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the desert, and the altar of burnt offering were at the high place in Gibeon, 30 but David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was terrified of the sword of the LORD’s angel.

In sharing this with you, it is not my intent for you to take your focus off of Father as the One who is bringing destruction to this planet. Yahweh is directing it all. The holy angels are merely slaves, just as we are. We do our Father’s bidding. Those who oppose the coming Kingdom Rule are slated for complete and total destruction.

Ezekiel 28:23 “I will send a plague against her and bloodshed in her streets; the slain will fall within her, while the sword is against her on every side. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”

2 Thessalonians 1:9 These will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction, away from the Lord’s presence and from His glorious strength,

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 www.chosen.weebly.com and will be updated monthly.

The Journey Continues

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

Regina

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…

Johanna

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…

Deborah

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…

Elisha

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…

Nourishment from the Throne

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

Revelation of a Secret Mystery

Regina: I have something very special to share with all of you…

Job 4:17 “Can a person be more righteous than God, or a man more pure than his Maker?”

Job 32:22 “For I do not know how to give [such] titles; otherwise, my Maker would remove me in an instant.”

Job 35:10 “But no one asks, “Where is God my Maker, who provides [us] with songs in the night,”

Who sings lullabies? Step by step you are guided in the truth of our Mother:

Dictionary:
“lullaby >noun (pl. lullabies) a soothing song sung to send a child to sleep.
-ORIGIN from lull + bye-bye, a sound used as a refrain in lullabies.”

Daniel 2:47 “The king said to Daniel, “Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery.”

Yes indeed, Mother is. Without Her consent I could not reveal a secret mystery to you.

Job 36:3 “I will get my knowledge from afar and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.”

What I have received, and what I share with you, it comes from Heaven. My righteousness comes from my Mother the true Homemaker that I live within.

Job 40:19 “He is the foremost of God’s works; [only] his Maker can draw the sword against him.”

Only Mother exercises authority over Christ Jesus. And yet, She is his Mother, best friend, and Helper in all that he has achieved or ever will achieve. But the Scripture reveals that he too must remain faithful to Her and not betray Her so as not to come under the law of the sword.

Psalm 95:6 “Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.”

Psalm 115:15 “May you be blessed by the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Who keeps things in order and running properly? What was Eve to Adam? Ponder…

Psalm 124:8 “Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

This reality is our home. Who is termed a Homemaker? Ponder…

Dictionary:
“homemaker >noun a person who manages a home.”

Which person normally manages a home? Manages the household and children? Does most of the tasks that keep it running properly? Sees that the home is kept clean? Launders and makes things sparkling clean? Who has the touch of orderliness? Who nurses those that have been wounded? Who heals those that have suffered wounds of affliction?

Psalm 134:3 “May the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.”

Psalm 146:6 “the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them. He remains faithful forever,”

Psalm 149:2 “Let Israel celebrate its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.”

Israel has a dual meaning + 1. There are the fleshly Israelites. And there are the Spiritual Israelites. Mother took a people for Her Name’s sake. Ponder that child and the +1 will soon be revealed.

Proverbs 14:31 “The one who oppresses the poor insults their Maker, but one who is kind to the needy honors Him.”

Proverbs 17:5 The one who mocks the poor insults his Maker, and one who rejoices over disaster will not go unpunished.”

Mother does not rejoice over bringing disasters. Instead, She is long suffering in having to met out punishment in order to bring Her creation back into harmony. Mother does not want anyone to lose their hope of eternal life, and has deep concern for those that are not only poor in lack of wealth, but also in lack of the true treasure She has stored up in Heaven for Her faithful ones.

Isaiah 17:7 “On that day people will look to their Maker and will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.”

The name Israel will stick in your mind from this day forth. All of us – everything in existence is inside of Israel.

Isaiah 27:11 “When its branches dry out, they will be broken off. Women will come and make fires with them, for they are not a people with understanding. Therefore their Maker will not have compassion on them, and their Creator will not be gracious to them.”

Isaiah 29:16 You have turned things around, as if the potter were the same as the clay. How can what is made say about its maker, “He didn’t make me”? How can what is formed say about the one who formed it, “He doesn’t understand [what he’s doing]”?”

Satan argued with Mother that because Michael created him, She was not his true Maker and that She did not understand the formation nor the true feelings of intelligent intellectual creations. One of his many empty arguments he engaged in debate about with Mother.

Isaiah 44:2 “This is the word of the LORD your Maker who shaped you from birth; He will help you: Do not fear; Jacob is My servant; I have chosen Jeshurun.”

Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to the one who argues with his Maker— one clay pot among many. Does clay say to the one forming it: What are you making? Or does your work [say]: He has no hands?”

Isaiah 45:11 “This is what the LORD, the Holy One of Israel and its Maker, says: “Ask Me what is to happen to My sons, and instruct Me about the work of My hands.”

Isaiah 45:15-17 “But you have forgotten the LORD, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. You are in constant dread all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, who has set himself to destroy. But where is the fury of the oppressor?”

Isaiah 54:5 “For your husband is your Maker — His name is Yahweh of Hosts— and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.”

You did not yet know this, but Mother’s female name is Israel. No one at present except for Christ calls Her by that name.

Hosea 8:14 “Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; Judah has also multiplied fortified cities. I will send fire on their cities, and it will consume their citadels.”Revelation 14:7 “He spoke with a loud voice: “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Ephesians 3:3 “The mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have briefly written above.”

Lifting the Veil

Learning How to See and Decipher Spiritual Photos

Hives of Creation – Part Three

Joe: Now we look at how the holy hive makes their casts in unity. In the following pic, I laid a piece of tin foil on my lap and asked Liddia to do a hand imprint of one or more fingers, and not to be aided by any other HG’s on the cast of hers. Then, I requested that the HG’s that were present, to form casts utilizing the foil with Liddia doing the solo cast and to integrate their casts in with hers. Remember children, casting is a planned production. Sometimes spirits only have a matter of seconds to contemplate the overall layout of what is to be revealed within a production by them. So, I gave everyone ten seconds and then I flashed the camera at close range right into the tin foil. This is what they all cast. Liddia using a large amount of energy to vibe down for the imprint she posed for, and the many casts that were integrated into the scene by the gang of holy ghosts that were present. They consisted of about 40 members present at the time. Let’s see what all of you can see.

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The shot reflected color from the background and was also utilized in the cast. This was taken into consideration within a 10 second notice of taking the shot, as was all things they took into consideration for forming a 360 degree cast effect.

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Johanna: I have done this and have seen things but I had to stop doing it because I would get bad headaches.

Joe: Have you tried lessening the pressure against the eyeball? If you can get past or remedy the headaches, you will see the Consortium of the holy ghosts in heaven among the treasures stored up within. It is a wondrous sight to behold. I always enjoy projecting back to be among them – not that I do not enjoy you wonderful ministers, for I
do very much.

Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Regina: I will practice and report back as to anything I might see. Thank you Joe.

I had a dream this morning that I was at Seraiah’s earthly home and there were two of him – probably my mind’s understanding of his physical vessel and his spiritual self – and they were discussing something war-related. And also all along the walls were huge blown up pictures with markings done in red. I remember looking at them and trying to decipher them. My positioning wasn’t on the same level as them, but more from above, which makes me think I’d projected there. And, it was wrapped into another dream which makes me think it was a memory.

Cordelia: It must be very nice up there where you came from…it’s very nice for us to have you here but home is where the heart is.

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

Interesting UFO Sightings in Europe

Interesting UFO Sightings in Asia, New Zealand, and Russia

Interesting UFO Sightings in North and South Americas

Huge UFOs orbiting and flying around the Sun on 7-Jan-2011

An Interactive Map: 15 years of UFO Sightings

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

Jobless claims jump, wholesale food costs surge

Over 1 million Americans seen losing homes in 2011

US Banks Reporting Phantom Income on $1.4 Trillion Delinquent Mortgages

Wage Drop Has Been Worst In Decades

Regulators shut small Georgia bank; 3rd this year

Signs in Humanity

Texan pleads guilty in Russia smuggling case in NY

3 sentenced for helping police shooting suspect

NJ lawyer pleads guilty in NYC insider trade case

Kansas University athletic official admits to ticket scam

Mich. police: Man killed wife, 2 kids before self

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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 http://www.arksofsafehaven.org 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

Source: Global Disaster

QUAKES –

1/8/11 –

5.1 SULAWESI, INDONESIA

5.1 VANUATU

5.3 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

5.4 NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA

5.6 MOLUCCA SEA

5.2 SOUTHERN IRAN

1/9/11 –

5.1 VANUATU

5.1 VANUATU

6.5 VANUATU

5.2 VANUATU

5.2 VANUATU

5.3 VANUATU

5.0 VANUATU

5.0 VANUATU

6.8 VANUATU

5.1 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION

1/10/11 –

5.0 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA

5.1 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

5.9 VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

6.2 OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE

5.0 CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO REGION

5.4 FIJI REGION

1/11/10 –

5.2 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

5.5 VANUATU

5.0 VANUATU

5.1 OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE

5.0 BANDA SEA

1/12/11 –

5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA

5.2 VANUATU

6.2 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

5.1 WEST OF MACQUARIE ISLAND

5.0 YELLOW SEA

5.2 OFF THE COAST OF EL SALVADOR

1/13/11 –

5.0 MOLUCCA SEA

5.0 LOYALTY ISLANDS

5.2 LOYALTY ISLANDS

5.1 LOYALTY ISLANDS

5.1 LOYALTY ISLANDS

5.2 LOYALTY ISLANDS

5.8 LOYALTY ISLANDS

7.0 LOYALTY ISLANDS

5.3 VANUATU

5.4 VANUATU

5.3 VANUATU

5.0 BANDA SEA

5.5 OFF E. COAST OF N. ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

5.0 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS

5.0 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION

1/14/11 –

5.0 AUCKLAND ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND REGION

5.1 LOYALTY ISLANDS

IRAN – A 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck southern Iran’s Fars province on Saturday injuring 11 people and damaging some villages.

VANUATU – A strong earthquake struck under the sea near the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu. There are no reports of damage or injuries.

A powerful undersea quake hit overnight off New Caledonia’s Loyalty Islands group, which was also simultaneously bearing the brunt of destructive winds brought by tropical cyclone Vania. The epicentre was located near the island of Maré in the Loyalty group, about 28 km north-east of the capital Nouméa. The depth of the temblor’s epicentre was located at a shallow five kilometres under sea level. No immediate damage was reported. The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre did not issue a tsunami alert following the event, which was also followed by several aftershocks of magnitudes above 5 on the Richter’s scale.

Meanwhile, also during the same night, another quake hit in New Zealand, off the coast of the North Island, some 420 km east of Auckland. No damage was immediately reported either, even though the temblor, at a depth of some 31 km under sea level, was reported to have been felt by the population.

The fault line located between Vanuatu and New Caledonia has been the scene of an INTENSE AND SUSTAINED SEISMIC ACTIVITY SINCE CHRISTMAS: the last tremor had occurred on January 10, 2011, with a recorded magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter scale. The previous day, another quake shook the same area with a magnitude of 6.6. The new episode of intense activity began with a 7.1 on 12/26 with several quakes posting a magnitude above 6. The 26 December 2010 quake triggered a brief regional tsunami alert for New aledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.

VOLCANOES –

INDONESIA – Nearly 9,000 people have escaped floods of rainwater which mixed cold lava and mud emitted by the eruption of Mount Merapi volcano, which occurred in October. The number of evacuees has kept rising since rain poured down the slope of the volcano on Jan. 10. “Today, more than 1,500 people escaped the floods, putting the total evacuees since Jan. 10 to 8,830 people – the figure may rise.” The evacuees had taken shelters to government office, buildings, schools, and mosques. The floods cause a river to overflow and damaged houses and other buildings. The flooding has killed one so far. Mount. Merapi started eruption in late October, killing 386 people and injuring 131 others. The eruption displaced hundreds and thousands of people, of whom over 11,000 of them remain living in shelters.

ITALY – Mount Etna, the famous Sicilian volcano, turned on the fireworks Wednesday as it shot lava hundreds of feet into the air. Volcanic tremors at Mount Etna were detected around 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday. The tremors peaked the next morning and lava began erupting at the Southeast Crater, about 4,500 feet high. The crater pit overflowed with lava and ash plumes spewed into the air, which forced a local airport to halt service. The ash plumes stopped after nearly 12 hours. But more eruptions could be on the way.

“This eruption is very similar to more than 200 episodes of lava fountaining at the summit craters of Mount Etna – including 66 from the Southeast Crater in the year 2000. The same vent that erupted last night already produced nearly identical — though longer-lasting — episodes in September and November 2007 and most recently on May 10, 2008.”

Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and one of the world’s most well-known. While 2010 was an exceptionally calm year for Etna, it is nearly constantly active and there is rarely a full year that passes without some eruptive activity. “We expected Etna to return to activity in this period. There had been lots of premonitory signals.” Two episodes of much weaker activity at the same vent that erupted last night — one on Dec. 23 2010, and the next on Jan. 2 and 3 of 2011 — suggested that a larger eruption was on the way. “Things did accelerate maybe a tiny little bit faster than we had imagined, but the evolution was very logical, and again, very similar to many events in the past.” Etna’s lava fountaining may go on for weeks or even months, similar to past episodes such as the series of 66 lava fountains during 2000, which lasted seven months.

At a height of 10,900 feet, Etna looms over the city of Catania. As active as the volcano is, it’s not a pressing danger to locals, and no damage or injuries were reported or expected from yesterday’s eruption. Etna’s most violent eruption was in 1669, when 15,000 people were killed.

RUSSIA – Ebeko Volcano – An ash cloud that erupted on Thursday from the Ebeko Volcano on the Kuril Islands in the Russian Far East could threaten the health of local residents, a spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry said. The volcano, which lies 8 km to the north west of the town of Severo-Kurilsk on Paramushir Island, ejected a 400-meter-high cloud of ash and steam. “There is a faint odor of hydrogen sulfide in the city.” The gas concentration was not life threatening. Locals have been recommended to wear gauze masks while outdoors. There have been two known eruptions of the Ebeko volcano; one in 1859 and the last in 1934. The resulting sulfur emissions caused mass poisoning among local residents and loss of cattle.

Volcano Kizimen, located in the Kamchatka Peninsula, spewed towering columns of steam and debris as high as 10 km, blanketing the nearby city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky with a thin layer of ash, about 165 miles (266 km) away on Thursday.

The volcanic ash fell in the villages Anavgai and Esso, which are approximately 136 km away from the volcano. The ash did not pose threat to the health of local residents. The Kamchatka Peninsula has a high density of volcanoes, flanked by large volcanic belts containing about 160 volcanoes, with 29 of them still active.

TROPICAL STORMS –

Vanuatu battered by Cyclone Vania – People in Vanuatu are being urged to stay inside their homes and avoid the ocean, as tropical Cyclone Vania whips up gale force winds in the Pacific. The cyclone has battered crops, cut lines of communication in some areas and caused minor damage to homes. It was sitting about 50km northwest of Tanna, in the south of the island group, this morning. Wind speeds peaked at 95km/h and people in the Tafea Province, in Vanuatu’s south, were advised by the authorities to stay indoors today, avoid the ocean and listen for updates. Cyclone Vania was expected to move close to the Loyalty Islands – a province in New Caledonia – this afternoon. All businesses and schools in the region had been ordered to stay closed.

Tropical Cyclone Vince off Australia’s north-west coast is highly unlikely to have any impact on the coast and the mineral-rich Pilbara region, the Bureau of Meteorology said. “We’re not expecting it to have any impact on the coast or the Pilbara at all. It’s 900 kilometres north of Exmouth heading south-east, but we’re expecting after a day it will head west to south-west back into the ocean. It shouldn’t affect the mainland.” Cyclone Vince is a category one cyclone, the weakest rating on a scale of one to five.
There were early indications another cyclone may form off the Kimberley coast next week.

INDONESIA – Warm waters near Indonesia’s southern coast have brought Tropical Cyclone Vince to within 840 kilometers off the coast of Cilacap, Central Java. The storm will bring strong winds, high tides and rains to Bali, Java and Sumatra later this week. “Although the cyclone is heading towards Australia, the cyclone’s impact to Indonesia has to be determined.” The Australian government’s Bureau of Meteorology reported that the cyclone was first sighted on Monday off the coast of western Australia. On Thursday, The Associated Press reported that the cyclone was expected to make landfall on the northwestern coast of Western Australia with maximum sustained winds of 121 kilometers per hour and gusts up to 148 kilometers per hour. In addition to winds, the cyclone was expected to bring torrential rainfall and dangerous surf conditions to the region.

New cyclone will not affect Queensland, Australia – Forecasters say tropical cyclone Zelia which has formed in the Coral Sea will have no impact on flood devastated Queensland. Tropical Cyclone Zelia was located about 445km northeast of Cairns at 1pm (AEST) on Friday and was expected to track southeast, away from Queensland’s coastline. “It is moving towards Vanuatu and well away from the Queensland coast.” Zelia is currently listed as a category 1 cyclone but is expected to develop into a category 3 system by Sunday, generating winds of more than 165km/h. The cyclone was not expected to have any impact on Queensland’s flood-devastated southern and central regions. “There is a very low risk of anything affecting Queensland.”

Cyclone Vania causes carnage in the Pacific – Trees have been flattened, roofs ripped off buildings and powerlines torn down as Tropical Cyclone Vania batters the Pacific. Winds peaked at more than 200 kilometres per hour as the cyclone approached New Caledonia today, after causing carnage in Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila, earlier in the week. “It’s now a severe tropical cyclone so it’s one to definitely watch.”

Islands off the coast of New Caledonia were on high alert today and residents were preparing to be buffeted in the nation’s capital, Noumea. New Zealand could feel the effects of the cyclone next week, with hurricane-force winds and flooding possibly occurring in low-lying regions at the top of the North Island.

HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –

Australian floods which have caused widespread devastation in the northeast will take some time to recede. In the worst-hit areas of Queensland state, some 200,000 people have been affected.In the city of Rockhampton, water levels have fallen only slightly since peaking on Wednesday. Levels are still rising in some places, including the town of St George (450km (280 miles) west of the state capital Brisbane). “The scale of the floodwaters, the sheer size of this is best appreciated from the air, and we are talking about huge areas, lots of water, a lot of it still very fast-moving – and so it’s going to be a long time back. Flood waters do not subside quickly. It takes some time…We are talking about hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.” Some communities could find themselves cut off by the floods in the coming days. “So getting supplies into these towns will continue to be a big priority.” The floods in Queensland have washed away roads and railways, destroyed crops and brought the coal industry to a near standstill. The price of rebuilding homes, businesses and infrastructure, coupled with economic losses, could be as high as $5bn (£3bn).

AUSTRALIA – Flash floods swept through a northeastern Australian community today, overturning cars and flinging a van against several trees as relentless rains brought more misery to a region battling its WORST FLOODING IN DECADES. Queensland state police said they were trying to determine whether anyone had been swept away in the raging torrent of muddy water that hit the city of Toowoomba, west of the state capital Brisbane. Video taken at the scene shows a man clinging to a tree as the gushing water sweeps down a street, pushing vehicles off the road and into each other. It was the latest drama for the water-weary state, which has been devastated by weeks of pounding rains and overflowing rivers. Ten people have died since late November and about 200,000 have been affected by the floods. Roads and rail lines have been cut, Queensland’s big-exporting coal mine industry has virtually shut down, and cattle ranching and farming across a large part of the state are at a standstill. Muddy waters also flowed through the main street in the city of Gympie, the latest of about 40 communities in Queensland state to be drenched by overflowing rivers. Gympie residents were frantically sandbagging buildings, but about a dozen businesses were inundated by Monday morning and dozens more were at risk as the Mary River burst its banks and kept rising.

The latest flooding was not as bad as in recent weeks, when entire towns were submerged beneath an inland sea the size of France and Germany combined. But it was a sign the ground has little capacity left to soak up any more moisture, so any new rain is likely to make matters worse. Queensland officials have said the price of rebuilding homes, businesses and infrastructure, coupled with economic losses, could be as high as $5 billion. Some areas of Queensland have had more than 13 inches (343 millimeters) of rain in the past 24 hours.

Residents of the town of Dalby, west of Brisbane, were evacuated Monday as rising waters threatened to inundate homes that had just begun drying out after another round of flooding two weeks ago. Heavy rains were also leaving low-lying communities along the Brisbane River, which flows through Brisbane, vulnerable to flash flooding. Officials have offered residents sandbags, and suggested they have emergency kits ready. “This is a very uncertain time for Queensland residents and even if you don’t experience flooding today, it pays to be prepared for the coming days, weeks and months.”

Australia’s worst flooding in some 50 years was caused by tropical rains that fell for days, starting just before Christmas. About 1,200 homes were inundated and almost 11,000 more have water damage. Nearly 4,000 people were evacuated, and many are still staying with friends or in relief shelters.

AUSTRALIA – Flood warnings have been issued for Western Australia’s north and west Kimberley regions and the Fitzroy River catchment following heavy rainfalls. Residents were warned to be alert and ready to relocate livestock and equipment. Heavy falls had occurred in the affected regions over the 24 hours to 9am (WST) today. Further falls of 150mm to 200mm were forecast in the north and west Kimberley and the Fitzroy catchment over the next 36 to 48 hours with significant stream rises and local flooding expected

The town of Dalby is preparing for its FIFTH FLOOD SINCE DECEMBER 20, but the town’s mayor is urging his residents not to become complacent about the dangers of floodwaters. The Myall Creek in Queensland was at three metres and rising at 8am (AEST) today, after rain began pouring down on the area at 10pm (AEST) yesterday. The floodwaters are threatening 100 homes and businesses and the creek is expected to peak at 3.5 metres by midday today. It is the second time in weeks that about 150 residents of the Darling Downs town have evacuated to the Dalby Agricultural College. The creek last peaked at 3.5 metres on December 27, so the town was well prepared. “I think people have just about had enough of it.” It is a huge test of resources, but fortunately there were still four swift water rescue boats in the town, as well as State Emergency Services volunteers from Brisbane and New Zealand.

So far, dams outside Brisbane are being credited with saving the city from widespread flooding. But Brisbane residents are being offered sandbags and warned to prepare for flash flooding as the capital gets a taste of Queensland’s flood emergency. A high alert has also been issued to recreational users of all swollen dams and waterways. Low-lying roads near southeast Queensland dams are expected to be shut while opened dam gates try and get rid of huge flows. Overnight rains flooded streets and river crossings. Although the southeast faces rain today and tomorrow, conditions will ease to showers on Wednesday, with a welcome forecast for mostly sunny conditions next weekend. The first glimmer of sunshine is not expected until Saturday.

The state-wide floods are now so large and have hit so many districts that it has reached the stage where there was hardly a person in Queensland who did not know someone who had been impacted personally. “It’s an amazing situation.” Many roads have become deadly to cross. More than 200,000 people and more than 10,700 properties have been affected in the Christmas-New Year floods. The repair bill stands at $5 billion for the deluge that has seen water sweep through an area the size of France and Germany combined. In Rockhampton, 158 people remained evacuated and 400 homes and 150 businesses were still affected by flooding in some way.

Statewide, nearly 200 main roads are severely damaged.

The risk of Brisbane flooding like it did in 1974 grows higher. Over the Australia Day weekend in 1974 the Brisbane River broke its banks and inundated the city, killing 14 people and flooding almost 6,000 homes. The flood followed months of rain which had filled rivers in the south-east, then when Cyclone Wanda dumped heavy rain over the region these rivers were pushed over the limit, leading to the worst floods of the century. It is a pattern that now seems to be repeating itself.

Swollen creeks and rivers are flooding towns, causing pockets of isolation across south-east Queensland.

The Brisbane River is on flood alert and already residents are being offered sandbags. The La Nina weather pattern, which is currently pushing monsoonal conditions over parts of Australia, is the same as the one experienced in the lead-up to the 1974 floods. “It’s the same type of pattern in the Pacific Ocean. That was one of the major La Ninas. We had a similar pattern in 1954 and ’55 and also back in 1893 and we’ve had a few slightly less intense patterns in the meantime – 1988, 2008 and a few intervening years that aren’t quite as strong as this.” This pattern means the risk Brisbane will experience another flood like that in 1974 is eight times higher. “I know looking at the work we do for the water authorities and other agencies, instead of the risk being about 5 per cent in any year, this year it’s about 30 to 40 per cent.”
The Wivenhoe Dam was built in the aftermath of 1974 as Brisbane’s defence against another major flood. But even this may not be enough to prevent a disaster downstream. SEQ Water has been releasing 170,000 megalitres of water from the dam a day in preparation for flooding. The releases have led to minor flooding in communities below the dam. Many creeks in Brisbane’s suburban areas are prone to flash flooding and the weather conditions will test the city’s town planning. The success of the Wivenhoe Dam will depend on the type of weather pattern experienced. “It might help in certain circumstances, but it depends exactly on the nature of the rainfall event or the rainfall events because the one we have at the moment may not be the last one – we could have more of these types of events over the next couple of months.”

There has been plenty of warning about La Nina and what she could bring. The weather pattern began last May and back then parts of northern Victoria and southern New South Wales fell victim to flooding from intense rain.

There is still a way to go before the risk of flooding from La Nina passes. These types of systems tend to start in May-June of any year and last until the following autumn, so the climate year tends to run autumn to autumn. You’d expect the main hope for this to start to break down to be in about three months’ time, so we still have a long way to go yet.”

They are yet to see the tropical cyclones usually spawned out of the Coral Sea during these kinds of weather patterns. “Queensland still has a long way to go, and in fact this also applies to parts of New South Wales and to northern Australia. There’s still a fair way to go before we see the breakdown of the underlying cause of the whole problem. Sometimes they can go through to a second year, so when we get closer to May-June we’ll have a better idea if this will continue on or whether it will do what we hope it will do and start to break down.”

AUSTRALIA – Parts of Brisbane evacuated by police. The latest flash floods in Queensland are some of the most violent so far. Police have urged the evacuation of parts of Australia’s third largest city – Brisbane – as the biggest floods in years approach the Queensland state capital. Residents have been encouraged to leave their homes in low-lying areas. The waters are rising fast and one local official said he saw the river level go up by 1.5m (4ft 10in) in just an hour.

At least nine people have been killed and more than 70 are missing. “This has been a night of extraordinary events. We’ve seen acts of extreme bravery and courage from our emergency workers. We know they’re out on the front line desperately trying to begin their search and rescue efforts, and we know we have people stranded and people lost.” The death toll was likely to rise.

Sandbags have been given out to residents of Brisbane, where the flooding is expected to peak Wednesday. 6,500 homes, businesses and other properties were likely to be flooded by Thursday. “Today is very significant, tomorrow is bad, and Thursday is going to be devastating for the residents and businesses affected.”

Torrential rain has already caused flash floods in other parts of Queensland. A massive deluge overwhelmed Toowoomba, a city west of Brisbane, without warning. The flash floods there were called Queensland’s “darkest hour” since the flood crisis began. “The event that started in Toowoomba can only be described as A COMPLETE FREAK OF NATURE, an extraordinary deluge that almost came out of nowhere. What we have here in Queensland tonight is a very grim and desperate situation.” Toowoomba’s mayor described the scale of the floods as “unbelievable” and said the city was in shock. “It would be ironic if it wasn’t so tragic. Toowoomba sits in the cradle of an extinct volcano about 2,000 feet (610m) above sea level, and we have just endured 10 years of drought, unable even to wash our cars with town water for the last several years.” “We’ve had multiple calls requesting urgent assistance from people caught in vehicles, caught on the street, caught in flood ways. It is an evolving and obviously quite desperate situation for them. There has been no warning of this event.”

The tropical storms began in November, triggering the worst flooding in the state in decades. Some 200,000 people have been affected across Queensland. The flooding has been so widespread that while some communities are still bracing themselves for the worst, in others the clean-up is well under way. The forecast is for more rain to come, and there are reports of flooding in neighbouring New South Wales. Heavy rain has lashed the region for the last 36 hours, with 16cm (6in) falling in just one hour. Most of the rainwater hit an already saturated catchment.

72 people are missing after the flash floods which have already claimed nine lives. Queensland’s Police Commissioner compared it to ‘an INLAND AND INSTANT TSUNAMI with a massive wall of water’. People waited on roof tops to be rescued, as the flooding intensified in the area of Grantham west of the city of Toowoomba.

Brisbane floods will double in height by Thursday with 6500 homes inundated. As the disaster continues, a body of floodwater larger than Sydney Harbour threatens Brisbane, with only the Wivenhoe Dam’s 2.3km-long earthen wall standing in its path. “Ipswich and Brisbane are now facing THEIR GREATEST THREAT AND TOUGHEST TEST IN OVER 35 YEARS.” The waters in Brisbane will rise to more than 3m tonight, most likely peaking on Thursday when the levels will exceed 5.45m. This is the height waters reached during the Brisbane’s flood crisis in 1974. “The situation continues to deteriorate. We are now in a very frightening experience. At times like this we all need to be calm and stay patient.”

A wall of flood waters is heading towards the city, with residents warned to prepare for a major flood, up to 32 suburbs expected to be hit and parts of the CBD being evacuated, including businesses. New forecasts meant that the “big shock absorber” – the Wivanoe dam – could no longer cope with continued inflows. “There is a lot of water on its way.” Authorities were already planning to evacuate up to 3000 Brisbane residents. Power supplies have reportedly been cut to some suburbs, as residents race to supermarkets to clear the shelves of bread, bottled water and batteries. It was “pandemonium” at local supermarkets as residents raced to stock up on essentials, with shoppers clearing out bread, bottled water, vegetables and other essentials such as large plastic storage containers.
Caboolture, north of Brisbane, is already isolated by floodwaters and police have told all residents in low-lying areas to immediately move to higher ground. Strathpine residents also to the north have been told to go, while inner-Brisbane suburbs New Farm, West End, Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills have also been ordered to evacuate. Rising flood waters have cut train services north and west of Brisbane. Strong currents in the Brisbane river have also caused the cancellation of all river cats and ferries. Residents to the north and west of the city have also been told to shift to higher ground. As the waters rise several barges and pontoons have broken from their moorings and are floating down the Brisbane River. Earlier, the Brisbane City Council has released a list of 32 at-risk suburbs and says 200 properties could be flooded. The water that fell in the Toowoomba area will move into the catchment of the Wivenhoe dam, and from there it must be released, at a controlled rate, into the Brisbane River. Releases from the dam are being ramped up to cope with the enormous volume of water it’s holding back. “Releases from Wivenhoe are not optional, there is no discretion here.”

More water was flowing into the dam than the Brisbane River had received in the 1974 floods. Wivenhoe is rising fast, but it has the potential to go past 200 per cent capacity before overflowing. The dam was doing its job but could not fully protect the city because of the dimension of the floods. The 1.45 million ML flood compartment is close to half full, with managers yesterday scrambling to increase releases from 116,000ML to 170,000ML a day as rain fell in its 7020sq km catchment. It also holds a further 1.17 million ML of drinking water supplies. “At this rate the compartment could fill within 1.5 days.” Peak flows varied depending on rainfall but releases under way will provide relief from the inflows. Under conservative operating rules set by State Parliament, managers must empty the flood compartment within seven days to prevent a second flood. The combination of heavy rain, dam releases and higher than usual tides meant the river could rise significantly. The biggest impacts could be felt tomorrow and particularly Friday week (January 21) due to a king tide. “This is currently the projected worst-case scenario for the next few days, and I hope it doesn’t happen, but people need to be forewarned so they can prepare themselves for flooding.”

AUSTRALIA – Heavy rains blamed on the La Nina weather phenomenon that have brought death and destruction to Australia’s northeast COULD STAY FOR MONTHS, weather forecasters warned Tuesday. After emerging from years of devastating drought and water restrictions in 2009, Queensland enjoyed its WETTEST SPRING ON RECORD last year, making catchments more likely to overflow when further heavy rains hit. The wet conditions, which began in earnest in December and have wiped out crops, flooded mining operations and claimed at least 20 lives, could continue until the end of March. “The national outlook for the January to March period favours wetter conditions in the eastern half of New South Wales, southeastern Queensland and western Western Australia,” the bureau said in its latest forecast. The bureau said the rainfall was the result of cool conditions in the central equatorial Pacific Ocean associated with the current La Nina – a disruptive weather event associated with rains. “The southeast, roughly one-quarter of Queensland… has about a 60 to 75 percent likelihood of getting above the median three-month rainfall for January to March.” The December to March period was traditionally the wettest of the year for Queensland, and much of the region had endured RECORD RAINFALLS in December. Experts said even if subsequent downpours were not extreme, they could cause major problems because catchments and rivers were already full to overflowing.

More extreme weather to hit Australia’s east coast – A long range weather forecaster also warns there’ll be more extreme weather events over the coming months. He monitors sunspots and solar flares to forecast the weather. He expects to see more damaging rainfall across the Eastern seaboard, and thinks five cyclones could develop off the coast of Queensland by the end of March. “About up to five cyclones. I’m predicting, I think there’s one in January, I think there’s a couple in February and two in March. You know, we haven’t seen anything yet, especially if these cyclones get moving and just the ferocity of the rainfall, it’s going to be quite intense and I wouldn’t be surprised if these cyclones aren’t quite savage as well.”

AUSTRALIA – Victoria is bracing itself for wild weather and flash flooding that could be the state’s WORST FLOODS FOR DECADES. Another 100mm of rain is expected around several rivers tonight and tomorrow, which will affect the towns of Charlton, Natimuk, Stoney Creek and Glenorchy. The rainfall will swell the Loddon, Avoca and Wimmera rivers, which have been hit by floods this year and heavy rains in recent days.

Authorities are also monitoring the Campaspe River in the north.

The conditions are linked to the La Nina weather pattern that has also contributed to the deadly floods that has left a trail of destruction in Queensland. “Our concern this afternoon is that for these communities, particularly on the Loddon, Avoca and Wimmera Rivers, that if we do see the higher end rainfall totals we will see those rivers going to a higher level than was seen back in September, which was major flooding. This will see communities put at risk again of properties being inundated by floodwater.” A new rain band will develop in the north-west and move across the state. “From now until tomorrow, we are expecting 50-100mm of rain in the west with isolated totals of 150mm possible in the Grampians and Pyrenees.” The rain band is expected to hit Melbourne after midnight with up to 30mm of rain to fall in the city.
Heavy rains across the state yesterday caused the evacuations of 12 homes in the Wimmera town of Natimuk, flash flooding and landslides in several areas, including the Great Ocean Rd which was closed by police, and the uprooting of parts of a major pipeline. Rain picked up in northern districts, with regional town Kyneton hit by flash flooding. The rainfall is expected to work its way across Victoria as tropical rains push down from the Northern Territory. “And it’s going to be even more humid.”

While the RECORD RAINFALLl experienced by many parts of Victoria yesterday was “nothing on the scale of what is happening in Queensland”, the flooding was no less dangerous. Yesterday Jeparit was one of the hardest hit areas, recording 161mm in the 24 hours to 9am, the HEAVIEST RAINFALL IN THE REGION IN 113 YEARS. Rainbow recorded 130mm, the heaviest seen since records began 74 years ago, and Horsham and Longerenong received 100mm each. A 40km stretch of the Great Ocean Rd, between Lorne and Skenes Creek, has been closed since yesterday morning after heavy rains caused rockfalls and landslides.

Queensland has rebuilding task of ‘post-war proportions’ – The task of rebuilding communities in Queensland submerged by floodwaters would reach that of “post-war proportions”, the state’s premier warned today, as the Brisbane river continued to surge through the city, and the death toll rose to 15, with at least 70 still missing. “Queensland is reeling this morning from the worst natural disaster in our history and possibly in the history of our nation. We’ve seen three-quarters of our state having experienced the devastation of raging floodwaters and we now face a reconstruction task of postwar proportions.”

Grave fears remained for the areas of the Lockyear valley and Toowoomba where many are still missing. Authorities continue to search for bodies in Grantham and Withcott, two small towns in the Lockyer Valley that were among the communities hit by a devastating flash flood earlier in the week. The state was mired in anxiety overnight, with forecasters predicting the Brisbane river would reach a peak of 5.5m at 5am local time, however, in the end the water level was at a depth of 4.46m, slightly lower than predicted, and below the 5.45m reached in the 1974 flood. However, despite the measurements, 11,900 homes and 2,500 businesses which had been completely inundated with water, and another 14,700 houses and 2,500 businesses at least partially covered. Almost 115,000 homes remained without electricity because of the dangers of electrocution and more than 4,000 people spent the night in evacuation centres.
As the muddy floodwaters surged through the city, residents spoke of the polluted smells rising up from the dank waters, as sewage began spilling into the river. Boats torn from their moorings were sent speedily down the raging torrent, which also took with it a 300 tonne pedestrian boardwalk that moved rapidly downstream before two tug boats were able to steer it away from bridges. An entire waterfront cafe was lost to the water. With roads cut off, power down, and rail lines closed, those who wanted to travel or help neighbours moved through the waters in kayaks, or small rowboats. Masses of vegetables, fruit and sugarcane crops have been lost, and prices across Australia are due to rise sharply as a consequence. West of Brisbane, in Toowoomba, where the flood swept away cars and boats, that number was likely to rise as search and rescue teams accessed more devastated areas. “We’ve got to brace ourselves for more bad news.”

TASMANIA – Heavy rains forced the closure of roads in eastern Tasmania, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting flash flooding across the state. The town of St Helens was worst hit, with police closing the Tasman Highway and warning motorists to completely avoid the area. Houses in the town, as well as in nearby Four Mile Creek and Scamander were suffering minor flooding. Roads were also likely to be affected in the state’s northwest. The Bureau of Meteorology said Scamander had recorded 278mm (11 inches) of rain in the 24 hours to 11am (AEDT) today. Heavy rain is expected to continue across the state today and tomorrow. Further localised flash flooding is very likely. “Strong and gusty northeasterly winds may cause localised damage about parts of the north and the southeast.”

BRAZIL – UPDATE – At least 270 dead in floods, landslides. Floods and landslides devastated several mountain towns near Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, killing at least 257 people as torrents of water and mud swept through the region, burying many families as they slept. The heavy rains also killed 13 people in Sao Paulo state on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll in Brazil’s south to at least 270.

Hillsides and river banks in the picturesque Serrana region north of Rio buckled under the equivalent of a month’s rainfall in 24 hours, destroying houses and killing many people early Wednesday. Television images showed many houses buried in mud as desperate residents and rescue workers searched for survivors. “There was no way of telling which house would fall. Rich and poor — everything was destroyed.” At least 130 people were killed in Teresopolis, about 62 miles (100 km) north of Rio. At least 20 people were killed in the city of Petropolis, and 107 in the town of Nova Friburgo. The number of victims was expected to rise as rescuers find more bodies and reach more remote areas. About 50 people were believed missing just in Teresopolis. “Rescue teams are still arriving in the areas that have been worst affected.” About 1,000 people had been left homeless. “It’s the biggest catastrophe in the history of the town.”

Thousands of people in the region were isolated by the floodwaters and cut off from power and telephone contact. The downpour caused at least one river to burst its banks, submerging cars and destroying houses in Teresopolis. “We just don’t know what to do in the face of something so horrible.” In Nova Friburgo, three firemen were missing after being buried by a mudslide while they tried to rescue victims. Buses and trucks were shown stranded on streets with floodwaters reaching up to their windows. Many poorer Brazilians are especially vulnerable to landslides because they live in unsafe, illegal housing, often built precariously on hillsides. Major landslides in April in the Rio killed about 180 people in slum communities.

BRAZIL – More than 500 people are now known to have died in floods in south-eastern Brazil, making them THE WORST NATURAL DISASTER IN THE COUNTRY’S HISTORY. Heavy rain has brought massive mudslides down on several towns, where thousands have been made homeless. Police say the number of dead is likely to rise further. The death toll has now surpassed that of mudslides in Caraguatatuba in Sao Paulo state in 1967 in which up to 430 people died.

If you reach the city centre of Teresopolis, you might not think the scale of destruction was too great, but on the outskirts and other neighbourhoods – such as Campo Grande and Posse – there is a sense of just how much was affected. In these places, there is mud everywhere – some of it more than 3m high. Cars are destroyed and turned upside down. The river that runs through the city is usually calm, but it is now completely flooded. Most of the houses destroyed were poor quality, made out of timber. Emergency services are everywhere. The Brazilian armed forces have brought in a field hospital and hundreds of people have taken refuge in the gymnasium in Teresopolis. But the number of injured is threatening to overwhelm the medical services. “There are three or four neighbourhoods that were totally destroyed in rural areas. There are hardly any houses standing there and all the roads and bridges are destroyed.” “The weather forecast is not reassuring, and new mudslides could occur.”

Tropical rains are common at this time of year in southeastern Brazil. But they were suddenly intensified by a cold front, bringing WEEKS WORTH OF WATER CRASHING DOWN IN A MATTER OF HOURS.

BRITAIN – Wales on flood alert as more extreme weather moves in. Wales is today bracing itself for yet more extreme weather with forecasts of five days of heavy rain raising fears rivers could burst their banks. After the misery caused by snow and ice, Environment Agency Wales was urging people to prepare for localised flooding after heavy downpours hit most of the nation yesterday. The worst affected areas were expected to receive more than 100mm by the end of the day and more rain – including up to another 60mm on Saturday – forecast into early next week. “There will be constant rain over the next couple of days in the west, with south-westerly winds affecting coastal areas. Tomorrow’s rainfall will clear to the south-east by the evening but this will be followed with showers on Friday and more persistent rain over the weekend. It’s going to be a very wet and windy few days.” Fields, roads and homes could be left under water as the ground is saturated from last month’s heavy snow thawing and recent rain.

AUSTRALIA – Four Victorian rivers are on major flood warnings as rain inundates the state’s north and west, forcing hundreds to evacuate. The SES has issued warnings for the Loddon, Campaspe, Avoca, and Wimmera rivers, while residents in Glenorchy, Halls Gap, Great Western, Beaufort and Charlton have fled to relief centres as towns are cut off by flood waters. Late yeseterday morning, authorities ordered the entire town of Carisbrook to evacuate to nearby Maryborough.

Charlton residents are also facing a big challenge, with flood waters expected to inundate homes over the next 24 hours. About 25,000 properties are without power as heavy rainfall saturates the state. Several major roads in the state’s west and north have been shut, with more closures likely.

The weather bureau warned some areas could cop 150mm of rain, while wind up to 120km/h is expected to lash elevated areas. Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat can expect wind up to 90km/h. Towns along the Loddon, Avoca and Wimmera rivers have also been put on notice that flash floods may be worse than those that struck in September.

Evacuation warnings have been issued for the Victorian towns of Bridgewater, Carisbrook, Newbridge and Dadswell Bridge as floodwaters threaten property in the state’s northwest.

Residents have already evacuated parts of Beaufort, Halls Gap, Great Western, Charlton and Glenorchy.

The State Emergency Service issued the additional warnings for Bridgewater, Carisbrook, Newbridge and Dadswell Bridge on Friday afternoon as the region records ITS HEAVIEST RAINS IN YEARS. Major flood warnings remain in place for the Avoca, Campaspe, Loddon and Wimmera rivers. Minor and moderate flood warnings are in place for several other rivers across the state, including the Maribyrnong, which runs through Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

TASMANIA – Evacuations have been ordered in northern Tasmania amid fears that dams could burst and inundate homes. Police are evacuating some homes in Sprent, near Devonport, amid fears a dam could breach into the Clayton River Basin area. “Thankfully, the flooding in Tasmania remains moderate at this stage, and there are no reports of any injuries.” Low-lying properties along the Penguin River, in the region between Devonport and Launceston, faced possible inundation on Friday morning. “(A) dam is overflowing. If it breaches the water will flow into the Penguin River and the surge may affect properties along that river.” The Bureau of Meteorology said parts of the north had received their HIGHEST EVER DAILY RAINFALL FOR JANUARY – as much as 282 millimetres in the 24 hours up to 9am. A number of areas in north-west Tasmania had been pelted by more than 100mm of heavy rainfall. Lake Mackenzie, in the state’s Central Plateau, had received the most rainfall with a whopping 158mm collected overnight. “It’s all a result of the trough along the eastern seaboard of Australia that is causing problems everywhere. There has been flash flooding and certainly the rainfall rates that we’re seeing is VERY UNUSUAL, especially for January.”

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-

Australia has just had its coolest year since 2001, with a mean temperature in 2010 of 22C. But the first decade of the 21st century was also the warmest since standard RECORDS began in 1910. And based on preliminary data to November 30, sea surface temperatures around Australia were the WARMEST ON RECORD last year, as were those for the past decade.Globally, the year to the end of October was the WARMEST SINCE 1850 when instrumental climate records started; 0.55C above the 1961-90 average of 14C. Perhaps the cold northern winter will bring the final figure, which will not be published until March, down a little but the WMO was confident enough last month to say that 2010 would rate in the top three warmest years. And the decade also was the warmest ON RECORD – despite the annual peak in 1998. That puts a bit of a dent in the argument that the world has been cooling since 1998.

While the records cover only a relatively short period, the trends happen to follow closely the predictions over the past 40 years of temperature rises resulting from increased greenhouse gas emissions. Most scientists agree that doubling the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is likely to lead to warming of 2C-3C, an amount that risks significant economic and environmental damage. So far the increase since the mid-18th century of all greenhouse gases has been 38 per cent, including a 27.5 per cent rise from 1990 to 2009.

As well as rising temperatures, Arctic sea ice shrank last year to its third lowest area in the satellite records and was offset only slightly by Antarctic sea ice at just above the long-term average. Global snow cover is falling and sea levels rising. Despite that, much of the debate about global warming still is conducted in terms of future and uncertain consequences. Perhaps we should start looking harder at the present. Recent extreme weather events include not only the Victorian bushfires and RECORD floods in Queensland. 2010 saw the second-highest number of natural catastrophes since 1980, with 90 per cent of them weather-related.

Australia always has been a land of drought and flooding rains, and weather records are broken as regularly as cricket records. But not in the way they have been recently. The temperature of 46.4C in Melbourne on Black Saturday was more than 3C above the previous highest for February. July 29 last year saw the temperature reach 38.2C in Moscow, while for the whole month the mean temperature was more than 2C above the previous RECORD. The heatwave and associated fires and air pollution in central Russia killed at least 56,000 people, making it the WORST natural disaster in Russia’s history. Pakistan experienced its WORST ever floods, costing 1769 lives. Munich Re says the hurricane season in the North Atlantic was one of the most severe in the last century even though most countries, including the US, had a lucky escape, with the storms mostly over the sea. So, can we blame climate change? Probably to some degree, even cautious scientists tend to say.

The current La Nina that usually generates higher rainfall in eastern and northern Australia is the STRONGEST OR SECOND STRONGEST THEY HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. While there is no evidence to link La Nina to climate change, one possible connection is that water temperatures in the oceans around Australia have never been so warm and the La Nina has been unusually strong. The 12 years of drought was twice as long as the previous longest drought in the region, the heatwave at the end of January 2009 was the WORST Melbourne had ever experienced and the temperatures on Black Saturday saw a large step up from the previous RECORD. There was a succession of extraordinary heatwaves, with big jumps in RECORD temperatures, starting in Europe in 2003 and continuing all around the world, culminating in Russia last year. More than 17 countries broke their maximum temperature RECORDS in 2010. “Putting them together, you really have to strain credibility to say it has nothing to do with climate change. With climate change you expect many more of these really hot events and that is what we are getting. At the same time there are still RECORDS being set for cold temperatures. But for the last couple of decades we have certainly been getting more hot records being set than cold records.”

Most developed countries, including Australia, already have set up heatwave alert systems. Other changes will be harder. Reducing water allocations in the Murray-Darling Basin is still years away at best, and the recent rain will tempt politicians to postpone it further. Building rail lines that don’t buckle and electricity systems that don’t fail, as they did at the time of the Victorian bushfires, let alone the bigger tasks of managing increasingly vulnerable coastlines and transforming agriculture, will be big challenges but ones that only will get bigger the longer they delay.

TASMANIA – Last year was one of extremes for weather. Overall, 2010 was another warm year with temperatures higher than normal across the state in most months. Notable features of the topsy-turvey weather were heavy winter rainfall in the North while the South remained parched, huge waves and snow in September and RECORD WARM warm days for Hobart. Last summer started off hot with temperatures remaining unusually warm into April.

Some record hot days were experienced in January, including January 9 when Devonport reached 33.2C, its HOTTEST TEMPERATURE ON RECORD by several degrees. On January 11, a reading of 40.7C was recorded at Ouse, one of just four days when temperatures that high have ever been recorded in Tasmania.

There was a cool period at the end of April and in mid-May, but milder than usual conditions returned in June and July. And it SEEMED THE SEASONS WERE RUNNING LATE. Not only did balmy weather last into March and April, but the year’s coldest days occurred in September with Mt Wellington reaching only -2.2C on September 28 and -2.1C on September 29. This summer started with some chilly and rainy days in December. The first seven months of 2010 were RECORD WARM AND DRY spells for Hobart but for the rest of the year cooler and wetter conditions prevailed.

On May 27, Hobart had achieved the UNPRECEDENTED feat of 100 mild days in a row by that time of year.

Also, Tasmania experienced one of its DRIEST AND WETTEST WINTERS, depending on which end of the state you look at. By the end of July, a line could be drawn across the state through Oatlands, separating the drenched North from the parched South. Record dry conditions developed in the South-East from January to July, with just 409mm falling for the year at Hobart Airport. In contrast, Mt Read on the West Coast was the wettest site with 3955mm for the year and Gray on the East Coast got 202.6mm in just one day.

NEAR-RECORD WAVES were recorded on September 16 generated by a deep low-pressure system, veraging 8m on the West Coast and peaking at 18.4m. The earthquake off Chile on February 27 triggered a tsunami warning and tidal fluctuations on Tasmania’s East Coast.

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD

U.S. – Freezing rain and sleet have caused power outages, icy roads and school closures in the south-eastern US, following a snow storm that struck in the region over the weekend. As much as 9in (23cm) of snow has blanketed states from Louisiana to North Carolina. At least eight people have died in weather-related car crashes in the area over the past few days.

The winter mix is expected to turn to ice by today. Governors in the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee declared emergencies, while many schools in the south called off classes on Monday because of the storm. About 2,000 flights have been cancelled throughout the south as the result of the storm. Atlanta, which does not typically receive heavy amounts of snow but received 4in (10cm) , has only eight snow ploughs.

But the heaviest snow fell in Tennessee, coating parts of the state with about 13 inches. Motorists were killed on icy roads in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. The storm was centred on South Carolina, with heavy snow stretching into North Carolina on Monday afternoon, while a mix of sleet, snow and freezing rain extended from Alabama to northern Georgia. The wintry weather was expected to head north toward the state of Ohio by today.

The nor’easter barreling up the Atlantic is expected to drop as much as 17 inches of snow on areas of Southern New England beginning sometime this morning. New York may get up to 14 inches.

INDIA – New Delhi is one place in India you don’t want to find yourself in at the moment. With the biting cold, the foggy weather and the dipping temperature, this is one heck of an existence for Delhi-ites. The weather is showing no respite either with the fatalities mounting every day. Sunday, Jan 9 saw Delhi reeling under THE COLDEST DAY EVER IN THE LAST 20 YEARS. In fact the whole of North India is suffering from the extreme weather situation. Uttar Pradesh saw 13 deaths on Sunday alone taking the number of casualties to 81. The icy winds are not helping matters either. Delhi recorded a temperature of 5 degrees putting life to a standstill. Schools and colleges remained closed. Its not just humans that had to bear the brunt of the chill, animals too seemed to be hit adversely. In Punjab, cultivation was hit with farmers suffering huge losses. The temperature there was 5 – 7 degrees below normal. The cold wave is acting as a major deterrent to normal life. The met department has forecasted further worsening of climatic conditions.

Blanket of ice: U.S. shivers as 49 of 50 states are hit by snow storms – The U.S. is shivering in the grips of a freezing winter with 49 of its 50 states now having snow on the ground. Two winter storms have dumped several inches of snow in some states and left flights grounded from Texas to the Carolinas. The only state to avoid the icy conditions was Florida, but even the Sunshine State suffered flight cancellations due to heavy fog.

SPACE NEWS-

Antimatter –A NASA spacecraft designed to measure high-energy events in the deep cosmos has found them instead right here on Earth. Ordinary thunderstorms, it turns out, produce potent bursts of antimatter hundreds of times a day.

A solar wind stream is heading for Earth, due to arrive on Jan. 14-15. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of geomagnetic activity in response to the impact of the stream. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for weekend auroras.

SUNDIVING COMET STORM: 2010 ended with an UNPRECEDENTED flurry of small comets diving into the Sun. Researchers say this could herald a much larger comet still to come. The sun has just experienced a storm – not of explosive flares and hot plasma, but of icy comets. “The storm began on Dec 13th and ended on the 22nd. During that time, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) detected 25 comets diving into the sun. It was crazy!”

Sundiving comets are nothing new. SOHO typically sees one every few days, plunging inward and disintegrating as solar heat sublimes its volatile ices. “But 25 comets in just ten days, that’s UNPRECEDENTED. The comets were 10-meter class objects, about the size of a room or a house. As comets go, these are considered small.”

The comet-storm of Dec. 2010 might herald a much bigger sungrazer to come, something people could see with the naked eye, perhaps even during the day. “It’s just a matter of time. We know there are some big ones out there.” Comet Ikeya-Seki is a good example. In 1965 it appeared out of nowhere, dove toward the sun and swooped over the stellar surface only 450,000 km away. Because Ikeya-Seki’s nucleus was large, about 5 km wide, it survived the encounter and emerged as one of the brightest comets of the past thousand years. Japanese observers saw it in broad daylight right beside the morning sun. People watched in amazement as Ikeya-Seki fell into at least three pieces before receding back into the solar system. Similar but lesser sungrazing comets were observed in 1843, 1882, 1963 and 1970.

These sungrazers are all related to one another. Astronomers call them the “Kreutz family”. They probably came from the breakup of a single giant comet in the 12th century, probably the Great Comet of 1106. Ikeya-Seki-class comets and the smaller SOHO sungrazers are just different-sized fragments of that one progenitor. Researchers modeled the fragmentation of the Kreutz progenitor, and in a 2007 issue of the Astrophysical Journal suggested that MORE BIG CHUNKS ARE ON THE WAY. SOHO detected 69 sungrazers in 1997 compared to 200 sungrazers in 2010. “The increase is significant and cannot be accounted for by improvements in SOHO or the increasing skill of comet hunters.”

Was Comet Ikeya-Seki preceded by a storm like that of Dec. 2010? No one knows. “SOHO wasn’t around in 1965 to record how many little comets dove into the sun before Ikeya-Seki. It might be 200 comets per year – -or it could be 1000. Without more information, we can’t know for sure how soon we might be privileged to see one of the real monsters.”

STRANGE ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

Four previously abundant species of BUMBLEBEE are close to disappearing in the United States, researchers reported on Monday in a study confirming that the agriculturally important bees are being affected worldwide. They documented a 96 percent decline in the numbers of the four species, and said their range had shrunk by as much as 87 percent. As with honeybees, a pathogen is partly involved, but the researchers also found evidence the bees are vulnerable to inbreeding caused by habitat loss. The findings are “alarming…These are one of the most important pollinators of native plants.”In recent years, experts have documented a disappearance of bees in what is widely called colony collapse disorder, blamed on many factors including parasites, fungi, stress, pesticides and viruses, but most of those studies focused on honeybees.

HEALTH THREATS –

Global fears are mounting over the safety of German meat due to contaminated animal feed, with South Korea banning pork imports and Slovakia suspending poultry sales, even as the EU declared there’s no need for a ban. Germany’s agriculture ministry on Saturdaysaid test results show acceptable levels of dioxin, a potentially cancer-causing chemical compound, in poultry and meat. Brussels does not consider there are grounds for declaring a ban on exports of German meat or other products from Germany “because the farms have been closed and farm products which have been delivered are blocked, awaiting analysis.” Slovakia became the first EU country to impose restrictions on German meat, after it suspended sales of poultry meat and eggs while it conducted tests to assess dioxin levels. Russia’s agriculture watchdog said it has stepped up controls on food of animal origin from Germany and also from other EU countries although it did not specify which ones fell under the tougher regime. The watchdog also warned that Russia could ban meat imports if it does not receive official information on the situation. “The European Union still lacks a system to react urgently to cases that could be dangerous for animals and humans.”

RECALLS & ALERTS:

-Boncheff Greenhouses, Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, recalls Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., Budwey Markets, Wades Market, Cuba Giant Food Market, And Hegedorn’s Cilantro, Curly Parsley, and Italian Parsley, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

-Sprouters Northwest, Inc. of Kent, WA, is recalling all of its clover and clover mix products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

-La Placita Botanas Mexicanas, Inc. of South El Monte, California is recalling Wheat Snacks with Chile, Potato Chips with Chile, and Corn Churritos with Chile because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

-SURTEX FOODS CO. of Los Angeles is recalling Oaxaca string Cheese La Original because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus.

-Sprouters Northwest, Inc. of Kent, WA, is recalling all of its clover and clover mix products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

FOOD SECURITY:

Fourteen killed in Tunisian clashes over food prices and unemployment in the deadliest incidents yet in an UNPRECEDENTED wave of protests in Tunisia.

The clashes marked the biggest unrest to date since protests over rising food prices and rampant youth unemployment erupted in the region in mid-December. Many members of the security forces were injured in Requeb, the ministry said, including two who were in critical condition. Several witnesses said the death toll could rise because of “the great number of seriously injured” in the clashes. Union members who did not want to be identified said today that up to 35 people had been killed. The Government said “this social movement is legitimate … and citizens’ demands for employment have their place”. But it said authorities rejected “acts of destruction and vandalism against public property by people who had used Molotov cocktails, stones and sticks”.

The Government also accused foreign media of “exaggerating and distorting the facts” about the protests, sparking “irrational reactions”. Civil groups say the protests are driven by high unemployment, particularly among well-qualified graduates, and high prices of basic goods including food, mirroring similar unrest in neighbouring Algeria, where at least four people have been killed in riots.

INDONESIA – The government has prepared two million hectares of land to bolster the nation’s food security progam in the face of extreme weather and skyrocketing food prices. The Agriculture Minister on Saturday that the land would located be outside Java Island, in Marauke, Papua. “Out of two million hectares, one million hectares will be for paddy fields, while the rest will be for sugarcane and soy beans.” The program will also use land from the Forestry Ministry as well as abandoned land designated by the National Land Agency. The government will also provide 1,000 drying machines to farmers under the program.

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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.

India 1/9/11

Source: RSOE

Thousands of dead fish have been found floating in the Yamuna river in Mathura in the past couple of days, causing alarm among the devout and the environmentalists in the Hindu holy city. Priests at the ghats said the deaths were due to the highly toxic water and decreasing oxygen levels. ‘The cold wave has further compounded the problem as the sun’s rays are no longer proving effective,’ director of NGO Friends of Vrindavan Jagan Nath Poddar said. The Gokul barrage in Mathura has ‘become a huge storage of sewage, industrial effluents coming from upstream towns, requiring urgent clean up measures and release of fresh water to dilute the toxins,’ Poddar added. Locals said authorities were not running the sewer pumping stations effectively. ‘So many open drains discharge the city’s waste into the river but nothing has been done to stop this,’ a priest at Rameshwar ghat said. ‘So many religious gurus and activists have been demanding proper maintenance of the ghats and tapping of the nullahs in Vrindavan and Mathura, but the district authorities have yet to draw up a plan of action. The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board officials too have not bothered to ensure that the silver refineries which use all kinds of toxic chemicals are forced to treat the waste effluents,’ an activist in Mathura said on condition of anonymity.

Syphilis cases hit all-time high

Source: sfexaminer.com

Public health officials say the number of new syphilis cases — especially among gay men — has increased at such an alarming rate in the past year they are calling it an epidemic. Early-stage cases of syphilis increased by 25 percent in 2010 compared with the year before, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health. From January 2010 through November 2010, the number of early cases of syphilis reported was 582 — an all-time high in The City. At the height of the last syphilis epidemic in 2004, San Francisco had 552 reported cases, officials said. “We’ve got one month left to calculate 2010 and we’ve already surpassed our most reported. It’s troubling,” said Kyle Bernstein, an epidemiologist for The City’s health department.

Cameron admits to swine flu vaccine shortages and says we may see ‘significant outbreaks for years to come’

Source: dailymail.co.uk

David Cameron was yesterday forced to deny that spending cuts had made Britain vulnerable to swine flu as he warned that the country faced ‘significant outbreaks’ of flu for years to come. But the Prime Minister said lessons must be learned from the vaccine shortages that have seen GP surgeries turning away vulnerable people seeking the flu shot in recent days. His comments came as Labour accused the Coalition of putting pregnant women at risk by failing to promote the flu jab. The official death toll from the flu outbreak since October has now risen to 50. Most were victims of swine flu, the dominant strain of influenza in circulation. The latest Department of Health figures show that more people are going to their GPs in England and Wales with winter flu symptoms than at any time since the epidemic of 1999-2000 in which 20,000 died.

H1N1: 16,061 Confirmed Cases, 96 Deaths Last Year

Source: bernama.com

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 (Bernama) — A total of 16,061 confirmed Influenza A(H1N1) cases, including seven deaths, were reported last year, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said. “The epidemic can now be controlled, especially because we have the vaccine and we have given the vaccination to all the front liners, including those in the high-risk group. “However, the public, especially those in the high-risk group, should be cautious and to get the vaccination at the government or private hospitals and clinics, for those who have not done so” he added. Liow told this to reporters after opening the De Homebiz Gallery at the Great Eastern Mall shopping centre here Sunday. This year, he said, 37 H1N1 positive cases had been reported nationwide during the first week. They included 11 cases in the Intensive Care Unit and nine of them were with risk factors, he added.

Flu strikes 16,000 NHS staff

Source: mirror.co.uk

More than 16,000 doctors, nurses and NHS workers were off with flu-related illnesses yesterday in a staff crisis that is costing the NHS £12million a week. And 71,900 sick days were lost in the past week alone. The figures from First Data emerged as it was revealed that just one in five nurses opted for the flu jab this winter. The low uptake has led to further criticism of the Government’s handling of the swine-flu epidemic which has killed 50 people. Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk… Go Camping for 95p! Vouchers collectable in the Daily and Sunday Mirror until 11th August . Click here for more information

Whooping cough cases dramatically move up in South Carolina

Source: khabrein.info

In South Carolina, deadly whooping cough cases have dramatically surged up after last summer’s outbreak in several parts of the state. The respiratory infection has widely affected people in Lowndes and Brooks Counties, health officials exposed. In Victoria’s Barwon area, an 800 percent rise in whooping cough cases in last two years has stunned health analysts. From 89 cases two years back, certainly before last summer’s outbreak of the disease, in 2010 December, the healthy disorder has scaled up to more than 700 cases.

Coast’s baby bats abandoned in wet

Source: goldcoast.com.au

THEY are tiny, helpless and abandoned, and Trish Wimberley has 160 of them in her care. Trish, an environmental philanthropist who, with her husband Terry, founded Advancetown’s Australian Bat Clinic, has devoted her life to saving baby bats. Torrential rain across Queensland has caused thousands of mother fruit bats to abandon their babies. Many have perished but thanks to Trish, her little ones are in with a fighting chance.

Ukraine 1/9/11

Source: RSOE

An outbreak of human trichinellosis has been registered in the village of Novoselitse in Chernovitskaya oblast [Chernivtsi region] according to the state service of veterinary medicine. An outbreak investigation team has been established by the regional authority of veterinary services. The team is in place now to clarify the source of infection and measures for control. The outbreak investigation team has been reinforced by staff from the State Research Institute of Veterinary-Sanitary Diagnostics and Expertise and the Police Forces for Veterinary Quarantine Measures.

Australia 1/10/11

Source: RSOE

Beachgoers in Sydney are being warned about swarms of blue-bottle jellyfish along the coast. Hundreds of swimmers needed medical treatment on the weekend after being stung. Five northern beaches had to be closed because of the threat. A strong north-easterly wind and current, and warmer waters are bringing the bluebottles to shore.

Russia 1/10/11

Source: RSOE

An emergency situation has been announced in one of the farms of the Gorodovikskoe rayon of Kalmykia because of anthrax. Tests on the samples from one of the slaughtered cows confirmed the presence of anthrax. 12 contact persons are in the hospital now. A similar outbreak occurred in the village of Uspenskaya of Beloglinskaya rayon during the fall [2010], when 3 cows fell ill because of anthrax, and 19 other cows were culled. As of 29 Sep 2010, 8 people had been admitted to the hospital with the skin form of anthrax. However, none of the human cases were laboratory confirmed.

Epidemic Killing Rabbits

Source: dailyexpress.co.uk

RABBIT colonies are being decimated by a highly contagious virus which could wipe out more than eight million of the animals, experts have warned. Outbreaks of rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease (RVHD) have been reported across the country, from the Borders to Aberdeen. Both wild and pet rabbits are at risk. Most die within 12 hours of catching the disease. Conservationists want more done to monitor the spread of the disease, amid fears it could be as deadly as the myxomatosis scourge of the 1950s and 1960s.

1,500 Flu Victims in just one week

Source: coventrytelegraph.net

MORE than 1,500 people sought medical help for flu in the past week as the virus spread rapidly across Coventry and Warwickshire. There are also 78 flu victims in critical care units across the West Midlands – a quarter of whom are in Coventry and Warwickshire. In the last week, nearly 450 patients have been treated for flu-like illnesses at Coventry’s walk-in centre. And more than 1,000 people called the out-of -hours GP service in Warwickshire complaining of flu.

Korea culls 1.3m livestock to combat FMD epidemic

Source: koreaherald.com

Korea has ordered the culling of 1.34 million livestock since late November to stem its severest foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in history, the government said Monday. The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said quarantine officials ordered the culling of 107,500 heads of cattle, just under 1.23 million pigs and over 3,700 goats and deer on 3,300 farms in the past 40 days. The exact cost of losses cannot be calculated properly, but compensation to farmers, the cost of vaccinations and other expenses may run past the 1.3 trillion won mark, although numbers can go up if the outbreaks do not come under control soon, the ministry said.

Warning of mice plague conditions

Source: tweednews.com.au

Industry and Investment New South Wales is advising Tweed farmers to remain vigilant and monitor for mice after heavy rain and floods. Continuous rainfall generates high-protein feed for mice and causes them to breed rapidly. Industry and Investment NSW invasive species program manager John Tracey said mice could reach plague levels if they were not monitored correctly.

Diabetes is now an ‘epidemic’

Source: gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE has been identified as a diabetes hotspot. It is estimated that more than five per cent of the population over the age of 25 have diabetes. In the Gladstone region, this equates to more than 2200 people. Gladstone Diabetes Association president Brian Wilkie said in past year, there were two new cases of diabetes on average diagnosed daily in Queensland.

Fish death fears rise

Source: inmycommunity.com.au

ALGAE levels in the Swan and Canning rivers are under close watch from the Swan River Trust with concerns that recent hot weather and last week’s storm could trigger algal blooms. Trust officers tested various sites yesterday as part of a monitoring program that aims to pinpoint areas where algae could affect fish health. Areas of the river in Guildford and between Middle Swan Bridge and Caversham have given the Trust cause for concern in the past, with fish deaths reported last year. The Trust has an oxygenation plant at the Guildford Road Bridge to help increase oxygen levels in the river during summer, and another at Caversham Avenue is due to start operating within weeks. Trust principal scientist Jeff Cosgrove said algal growth had been increasing in recent weeks due to hot weather.

Bird flu spreads to northern S. Korea

Source: businessghana.com

South Korea confirmed its first bird flu outbreak in the Gyeonggi region near Seoul on Monday, raising concerns that the highly contagious disease is spreading across the country despite quarantine efforts. The farm ministry said a duck farm in Anseong, 77 kilometers south of Seoul, tested positive for the virulent strain of the H5N1 avian influenza after birds started dying off over the weekend. The case is the first to be reported in the province surrounding the capital city in nearly three years. Avian influenza is an airborne disease that can be transmitted to humans, although there has never been a case of a South Korean getting sick.

Thousands of Fish Dead in India’s Yamuna River

Source: english.ntdtv.com

Thousands of fish were found dead on the shores of the Yamuna River at a holy site on the riverbanks in Mathura City, India. Priests and locals have blamed the fish deaths on the dumping of industrial waste and chemicals that flow into the river. [Rakish Babul Tiara, Priest]: “The chemical effluent from factories printing saris and processing silver is discharged towards the Yamane River, and animals are dying.”

Thousands of Dead Fish Along Lakefront

Source: nbcchicago.com

Thousands of dead gizzard shad have been spotted in Chicago harbors, the Sun-Times reports. The shad, members of the herring family, appear to have frozen in the ice of the habors. They’re floating in open patches of water and are being gulped down by Canada geese and mallard ducks. If it sounds familiar, it should. This comes about a week after the strange mass deaths of birds and fish in Arkansas. The major die-off in Chicago was first spotted by a local fisherman who noticed the geese and mallards eating dying shad in DuSable and Diversey harbors, according to the Sun-Times.

Haiti – Epidemic : The cholera threatens 2.2 million children

Source: haitilibre.com

Nearly 2.2 million of children risk of contracting cholera in Haiti because of lack of clean water and sanitation in schools, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The agency said that the prevention activities, including training of teachers and distribution of equipment for washing hands are not sufficient to stop the spread of the disease in schools. The OCHA report in its latest report that over 3,700 people died of cholera in Haiti and cases of cholera continue to be reported in child care centers and orphanages in spite of investments in education programs and training.

Fiji 1/11/11

Source: RSOE

Fiji’s Fisheries Department has warned people to ensure they store fish properly to avoid food poisoning. The warning follows a surge in the number of food poisoning cases in the past two months, including the death last week of a 21-year-old woman from suspected poisoning in Lau. Fisheries Officer, Nanise Kuridrani, says urging fishermen and consumers need to keep fish on ice from the moment they’re caught. She’s told Radio Australia some fish are particularly risky to eat if they’re not constantly refrigerated, such as snapper, the long-nosed emperor and barracuda. “Most of the fishermen go out into other islands, and most of them are not using ice and also people…do not understand which fish to buy.”, she said.

New Zealand 1/11/11

Source: RSOE

The Ministry of Health is warning passengers on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Auckland last week to watch for symptoms of measles after one passenger was found to have the illness. Emirates flight EK406 departed Dubai on Monday last week, January 3, flying via Melbourne to Auckland on January 4. A passenger who disembarked in Melbourne has been confirmed as a case of measles. Many other passengers on the flight continued on to Auckland. People sitting in a row close to the affected passenger are potentially at risk as measles is easily spread through the air, the Ministry said today. The Ministry has sent information about the Emirates flight to public health units around the country. However there are still around 20 people who sat in the rows nearest the infected passenger whose current locations in New Zealand were not known. Dr John Holmes of the Ministry of Health said the symptoms those passengers need to watch out for are fever, runny nose and sore eyes followed about two days later by a red blotchy rash. Some people develop further complications such as diarrhoea or a middle ear infection. Any passengers on the flight who feel unwell should call Healthline on 0800-611-116. But Holmes said they should not go directly to a doctor’s office or to an emergency department, because they might infect other people. Holmes said measles is now rare in New Zealand, thanks to vaccination. New Zealand had three outbreaks in 2009/2010, each started by people who were infected overseas. “People tend to underestimate measles – the reality is it can be a nasty disease. One in 10 people who catch measles will need to be hospitalised, which tells you this isn’t by any means a mild illness,” said Holmes. “Measles can’t be easily treated once you get it, so the best way to prevent the disease is through immunisation.” The Ministry recommends that anyone aged under 40 who has not had measles in the past, should ensure they have been vaccinated. If they did not receive two doses of MMR vaccine when they were younger, they should contact their doctor to get free immunisation against measles.

Philippines 1/11/11

Source: RSOE

According to a report in the Cebu Daily News, 5 people in Catmon town have tested positive for the bacterium, Vibrio cholerae. The Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit in Central Visayas (RESU-7) chief, Renan Cimafranca says the patients range in age from seven to 60. He goes on to say the water system may have caused the infection since it was contaminated after several days of rainfall. Cimafranca advises Catmon residents to boil water before use. Catmon is a 5th class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippine. It is located 57 kilometers from the Cebu City. Cholera is an acute bacterial intestinal disease characterized by sudden onset, profuse watery stools (given the appearance as rice water stools because of flecks of mucus in water) due to a very potent enterotoxin. The enterotoxin leads to an extreme loss of fluid and electrolytes in the production of diarrhea. It has been noted that an untreated patient can lose his bodyweight in fluids in hours resulting in shock and death. It is caused by the bacterium, Vibrio cholerae. Serogroups O1 and O139 are the types associated with the epidemiological characteristics of cholera (outbreaks). The bacteria are acquired through ingestion of contaminated water or food through a number of mechanisms. Water is usually contaminated by the feces of infected individuals. Drinking water can be contaminated at the source, during transport or during storage at home. Food can get contaminated by soiled hands, during preparation or while eating. Beverages and ice prepared with contaminated water and fruits and vegetables washed with this water are other examples. Some outbreaks are linked to raw or undercooked seafood. The incubation for cholera can be from a few hours to 5 days. As long as the stools are positive, the person is infective. Some patients may become carriers of the organism which can last for months. Cholera is diagnosed by growing the bacteria in culture. Treatment consists of replacement of fluids lost, intravenous replacement in severe cases. Doxycycline or tetracycline antibiotic therapy can shorten the course of severe disease.

New Zealand 1/11/11

Source: RSOE

Swimmers dog dog owners are warned to be cautious around two North Canterbury river spots, which are among several areas in Canterbury affected by a toxic algal bloom. The algae Phormidium can poison dogs if they eat it, and cause skin rashes, eye irritation, allergic reactions, and stomach upsets in people. It has flourished in this summer’s hot weather. An ECan survey of Canterbury rivers last week confirmed Phormidium in the Ashley River at State Highway 1, and in the Waipara River at Stringers bridge. Small amounts have also been found at Teviotdale and near the Boys Brigade camp at Waipara, but not enough to be a concern at present. Popular Ashley gorge is not affected. Several other Canterbury rivers including the Selwyn and Waiau are also affected. Phormidium needs warm weather and a stable flow to flourish. “And we’ve certainly had that all through December,” said ECan surface water resources and ecosystems manager Dr Tim Davie. “We hoped the Christmas-New Year floods would clean it out, but not enough came down the smaller rivers. “All we can do is wait for a flood to clear it out.” ECan has not heard of any cases of people or dogs affected so far. However, Dr Davie said it could be a major issue for dogs, which are attracted by the musty odour of the algae mats and can lick and eat it, and a hazard to small children. Phormidium is found in rivers throughout New Zealand but only forms thick brown-black blooms on stones under the right flow conditions. When the algae mats break away, particularly after a downpour, they accumulate at the river’s edge. Scientists know little about Phormidium, but it is not always toxic, and ECan’s warnings are precautionary. It has teams out every week in the holidays checking rivers.

South Africa 1/11/11

Source: RSOE

A total of 151 people were treated for food poisoning in Cape Town over the weekend, the city’s Disaster Risk Management Centre said. Residents of Lwandle became ill after eating expired food that had been dumped, spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said. After an initial investigation, authorities found the items came from the Simply Value Factory Food shop. A complaint was expected to be lodged with the city’s health department as the expired items should have been disposed at a proper dump site. Health inspectors had taken samples of the food for testing. Shop manager Santa Kotze was not immediately available for comment.

After the deluge, the plagues

Source: theaustralian.com.au

WILD pigs, rabbits, foxes and mice are set to reach plague proportions in the wake of the floods, adding to the damage inflicted on farms. Steven Lapidge, program leader at the Invasive Animals Co-operative Research Centre, said wild pig populations had exploded in western NSW after last year’s Bourke floods and would do the same in Queensland. “Right throughout Queensland and NSW, we’re going to see a massive eruption in feral pig numbers over the next couple of years,” Professor Lapidge said. He said mice were also emerging as a problem, particularly for southern states. “In places like South Australia and Victoria, which have had reasonable rains and good vegetation growth, then potentially we’ll see plagues there,” he said.

More than 100 dead birds found off Calif. highway

Source: news.yahoo.com

GEYSERVILLE, Calif. – California wildlife officials are trying to figure out what caused the death of more than 100 birds found clustered together just off Highway 101. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that California Highway Patrol officers found the dead birds near the roadway on Saturday and called in the state Department of Fish and Game to investigate. The officers who found the birds described them as small with brown and black feathers. They were intact and had not been shot.

Dozens of Birds Found Dead in Romania

Source: news.gather.com

Dozens of starlings were found dead in the town of Constanta, a small village located 160 miles east of Bucharest, Romania. After local veterinary ran tests on the birds’ livers, they discovered that the birds had drank themselves to death. The birds had eaten leftover grapes left from local wine makers who were making the wine and failed to cleanup the mess in a timely manner. Residents of the small town alerted authorities after they discovered the dead birds on the outskirt of town. The locals were worried that it could be a case of avian flu, but the local DSVSA ruled out that possibility quickly.

Mass Bird Deaths in Turkey

Source: sott.net

In Turkey, there was a case of an unexplained mass deaths of birds. Dead starlings found residents of the county Karacabey in Bursa province. On the road were dozens of carcasses of birds. Promptly reported the incident to local authorities launched an investigation of the incident. Experts are currently conducting the necessary tests. However, while they failed to establish the cause of death of starlings. According to ITAR-TASS news agency, according to one version, the flock of birds could crash a few heavy-duty trucks, marching one after another.

Canada 1/12/11

Source: RSOE

Two cases of a potentially deadly form of meningitis have been confirmed in Edmonton. Alberta Health Services said the cases of bacterial meningitis, also known as invasive meningoccoccal disease, were both confirmed in the city over the past two weeks. A Grade 9 student at an Edmonton Catholic school is one of the two Edmontonians who have contracted the disease. “He’s quite sick,” said Lori Nagy, spokesperson with Edmonton Catholic Schools. “He will be in hospital for some time.” But Nagy said the student is recovering and because he contracted the disease over the Christmas break, the risk of infecting other students is very low. Letters have also been sent home to notify parents about the case. Bacterial meningitis is spread through direct contact with the bacteria from the nose or throat of someone who is infected. It can be passed along by sharing food, drinks, lipstick, water bottles and kissing. Symptoms like headache, fever, and nausea can quickly progress to a severe headache, a stiff neck and skin rash. “Most people do recover but certainly it is a serious infection, in some cases it can be fatal,” said Dr. Gerry Predy with Alberta Health Services. “It can progress quickly, that’s why again we wanted to give physicians the heads up so if they are suspicious if they see someone that might have it.” Predy is reminding Albertans to wash their hands often, don’t share food or drinks, and stay at home if feeling sick. He added that while it isn’t uncommon for the province to have two confirmed cases around this time of year, it is enough to prompt an advisory.

India 1/12/11

Source: RSOE

Doctors of Bandra’s Bhabha Hospital told TOI that stool samples of 12 children sent for the Hanging Drop (HD) test have confirmed the presence of cholera bacteria. Cholera is an infectious intestinal disease caused by the intake of water or food contaminated by the bacterium vibrio cholerae and can take epidemic proportions if not controlled in time. The bacterium has an incubation period of up to five days during which the patient shows symptoms of diarrhoea leading to severe dehydration and can die if not treated on time. Incidentally, there has been a spurt in diarrhoea cases in the city in the past two weeks with nearly 200 patients seeking treatment. However, civic health officials consider the Hanging Drop test as ‘presumptive’ and insist that the samples have to be subjected to a culture test for confirmation. When asked about the “positive” cases, executive health officer of BMC Dr Guirish Ambe said that he was unaware of the test reports. “There were some cases last week and they were referred to Kasturba Hospital. One or two had tested positive in the HD test,” he said. “Those patients had gone home after being cured. They were mainly cases of diarrhoea,” he added.

However, doctors of Bhabha Hospital said that they had treated more than 100 diarrhoea patients in the last 10 days. “All had come with complaints of severe loose motions, fever, dehydration and weakness,” said a doctor adding that both adults as well as kids were equally affected by the disease. The doctors also claimed that senior medical officers were immediately informed after it looked like an “epidemic”. “Many were brought in a very serious condition. We referred them to the Kasturba Hospital after stabilizing their condition by administering fluids,” said the doctor. He also added that the hospital is treating around 5-7 cases of diarrhoea every day. All stool samples of children are being sent to Holy Family Hospital for the HD test. The situation was similar at Parel’s KEM Hospital. Here too the doctors claimed to have treated close to 100 cases in the last two weeks. “There is definitely an outbreak of the disease and the commonest complaints seem to be stomachache, loose motions and fever,” said a doctor from the medicine department, who said that they are still treating 20 patients every day. Incidentally, even south Mumbai is reeling under a diarrhoea attack. “One-third of my patients have been suffering from severe diarrhoea,” said Dr Krishnakant Dhebri, a family physician from Girgaum. City doctors are also worried about the dangerous manifestations of diarrhoea. At least seven patients of diarrhoea who came to the emergency ward of KEM Hospital on Saturday had a renal failure. “Their kidneys had stopped working due to severe dehydration,” said a doctorwho treated the patients.

Chile 1/12/11

Source: RSOE

The Regional Secretariat of Health confirmed that the death of a patient this past Tuesday – 4 Jan 2011 – in the Puerto Montt Base Hospital was due to a hantavirus infection. The man was a 43 year old farmer who was cutting firewood with his 55 year old brother in the rural area of Caracol, Los Muermos. According to the El Llanquihue newspaper, confirmation of this case was received trough the Epidemiological Bulletin on Hantavirus infection of the Ministry of Health, which reports the situation as of 7 Jan 2011.

Finland reports first A/H1N1 death of new flu season

Source: news.xinhuanet.com

HELSINKI, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — A middle-aged Finnish man died of A/H1N1 influenza Tuesday, marking the country’s first fatal case of the disease in the new flu season, local media reported Wednesday. The patient, in his 40s, had not been vaccinated against the A/H1N1 flu virus before being taken to a hospital in the southern city of Kotka for treatment, according to the report. Two other men suffering from the epidemic are receiving intensive care in the same hospital, the report said.

Return to school sparks fear of swine flu epidemic

Source: carlow-nationalist.ie

SCORES OF people in the county have contracted swine flu in the past two weeks, as the numbers contracting the virus increase nationwide. It is now feared that the numbers who are suffering from swine fl u could double in the coming weeks, following the return of schools. In a statement to The Nationalist, the HSE indicated that influenza data is not published in relation to particular locations or counties but encompassed in an overall south-east figure. “Influenza activity in the south-east (including the Carlow area) continues to increase, in line with the nationally observed trend. As had been expected, this year the predominant flu virus is the H1N1 virus (also known as swine flu),” the statement read.

Cholera claims eight in Niger

Source: allafrica.com

No fewer than eight persons have been killed following a fresh outbreak of Cholera in Edati and Lavun Local Government Area of Niger State. THISDAY gathered that the epidemic was first noticed in Tama-Nku village in Edati Local Government area which led to the death of 7 persons from the village while another one died in the neighbouring village. It was further gathered that the cholera spread to Danchitagi, Saachi and Egagi villages in Lavun Local Government Council where Aishetu Ndagi of Danchitagi was confirmed to have died as a result of cholera.

Tributes paid to latest victim of swine flu

Source: journallive.co.uk

THE swine flu epidemic has claimed a North East bus driver as its latest victim as concern grows that thousands of businesses could be hit by the flu outbreak. Heartfelt tributes have been made to 40-year-old Peter Bladen who died in County Durham where he lived with his wife Sharon. It is unknown how quickly the killer virus took hold of Mr Bladen’s system before his sudden death on January 4.

12 kids test positive in initial cholera test

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

MUMBAI: If the initial test results are anything to go by, cholera seems to be rearing its ugly head in the city. Doctors of Bandra’s Bhabha Hospital told TOI that stool samples of 12 children sent for the Hanging Drop (HD) test have confirmed the presence of cholera bacteria. Cholera is an infectious intestinal disease caused by the intake of water or food contaminated by the bacterium vibrio cholerae and can take epidemic proportions if not controlled in time. The bacterium has an incubation period of up to five days during which the patient shows symptoms of diarrhoea leading to severe dehydration and can die if not treated on time. Incidentally, there has been a spurt in diarrhoea cases in the city in the past two weeks with nearly 200 patients seeking treatment.

Flu epidemic threshold exceeded only in Dnipropetrovsk region

Source: kyivpost.com

The epidemic threshold for acute respiratory infections has currently only been exceeded in Dnipropetrovsk region, the press service of the Health Ministry has reported. “At present [the epidemic threshold] has still only been exceeded in one region – Dnipropetrovsk region. It has only just been exceeded, at 20%,” Serhiy Ryzhenko, the head of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service at the Ukrainian Health Ministry, said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday. According to the Health Ministry, since the start of the epidemic season of 2010-2011, a total of 5% of the population have fallen ill with acute respiratory infections, 101,000 people have been hospitalized, and eight people died from complications, Ryzhenko said.

Our woes are just beginning

Source: theage.com.au

Across the state, flood-related health challenges include access to safe drinking water, medicine and hygienic food. Rockhampton is managing an outbreak of food poisoning due to food and water contamination, compounded by the sub-tropical climate and power interruption. For 24 hours Toowoomba residents boiled water while repairs were made. Of the diarrhoeal diseases, the most dreaded are staphylococcal endotoxins, leading to severe food poisoning, toxic shock or lung disease if inspired. Relief workers may require respirators, given that endotoxins reached 20 times normal levels in homes after Hurricane Katrina. Cholera can also cause fatal dehydration. None of this is helped by the fact that rural people are notoriously stoic and reluctant to trouble others with their problems.

Thousands of herring-type fish dead along Chicago lakefront

Source: reuters.com

(Reuters) – Thousands of dead gizzard shad, a small fish of the herring family, are frozen in ice or floating in open patches of water along the Chicago lakefront in what could be a weather related die-off. A local lake fish expert said on Tuesday that while it’s unusual to see so many of the fish along the lakefront, it’s hard to say if the size of the die-off is unusual, or just more visible because of a thaw December 31 that brought them to the surface.

Chilling end for 500 fish found dead in frozen Stockport pond

Source: menmedia.co.uk

Hundreds of fish have been found dead in a pond. Experts say the freezing weather caused the deaths. Nature lover Stuart Hall, 60, spotted the fish in the pond on Chudleigh Close, Stockport, during a walk near his home. The 500 fish – many thought to be large bream and pike – were set in the ice on the pond. Mr Hall, of Mostyn Road, Hazel Grove, said he was worried the water may be poisoned. He said: “I was shocked, it was awful to see all that life just gone. It’s like the ‘birds dropping from the trees’ scenario, but on a much larger scale. “When you love nature and the countryside it’s heartbreaking. There is no sign of life here whatsoever – not one duck.”

First dead birds, then dead fish… now crickets

Source: msnbc.msn.com

PORT ALLEN, La. — A virus has killed millions of crickets raised to feed pet reptiles and those kept in zoos. The cricket paralysis virus has disrupted supplies to pet shops across North America as a handful of operators have seen millions of their insects killed. Some operations have gone bankrupt and others have closed indefinitely until they can rid their facilities of the virus. Cricket farms started in the 1940s as a source of fish bait, but the bulk of sales now are to pet supply companies, reptile owners and zoos, although people also eat some. Most U.S. farms are in the South, but suppliers from Pennsylvania to California also raise crickets. The virus had swept through European cricket farms in 2002. It was first noticed in 2009 in the U.S. and Canada. The virus marks the latest in a recent series of mass animal deaths.

Blackwater Plagues Australia’s Murray River

Source: thegovmonitor.com

Dead and dying fish are not what people expect to see when the River Murray is in flood, but that is exactly what can happen when a flood leads to a blackwater event. Rob Freeman, Chief Executive of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority said; ‘The Murray–Darling Basin Authority is co-ordinating a monitoring program of blackwater to improve our understanding of the causes of blackwater and its effects’. ‘The water flows in the Murray–Darling Basin are complex and while flood waters can bring life back to a parched region, they sometimes bring undesirable consequences.’ ‘Unfortunately these floods have caused a number of fish deaths, including in areas upstream and downstream of Robinvale’, said Mr. Freeman. These fish deaths appear to be associated with blackwater events occurring in the waters of the River Murray, in the Edward and Wakool river system and most recently in the Goulburn-Broken, Lower Darling Anabranch and Loddon rivers.

Dead sea creatures washed up on Brighton Beach

Source: theargus.co.uk

Plummeting sea temperatures during this winter’s Arctic weather caused the death of thousands of sea creatures. Fish, velvet swimming crabs, also known as devil crabs, and starfish suffered hypothermia and froze to death, according to the Environment Agency. At the weekend the marine life was washed up on Brighton beach and seen by dozens of weekend walkers. It is believed the bodies of other sea creatures will have been washed up on beaches across Sussex.

Dozens Of Dead Birds Found Near Sullivan, Mo

Source: Fox2Now.com

Sulllivan, Mo. (KTVI-FOX2now.com) — Dozens of dead birds are discovered near Sullivan, Missouri about an hour southwest of St. Louis. People in and around Sullivan are calling the whole thing a little weird. The scene is just east of Sullivan along the I-44 south service road at Winsel Creek. The Missouri Department of Conservation is looking into the situation. It was discovered on Monday. Experts there and with the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park say the dead birds are Starlings. Starlings are among the dead birds that have been found in several other states recently.

Contagious disease found in bird on Gulf Coast

Source: miamiherald.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A fatal disease that is contagious for birds, but virtually harmless to humans, was found at a bird sanctuary on the Gulf Coast. Florida wildlife officials said Tuesday that they are monitoring the spread of Exotic Newcastle Disease, after it was found in a cormorant at Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary last week. Officials say the cormorant is the only bird so far to be diagnosed with the disease. It causes minor skin irritation in humans but can be spread from infected birds to domestic poultry and pet birds. Symptoms for infected birds include coughing, muscular tremors, drooping wings, paralysis, eye-swelling and neck and eye or beak discharge.

Hundreds of Dead Blackbirds Found Along I-65 In Athens

Source: whnt.com

ATHENS, AL — Wednesday morning, we got a handful of emails and phone calls from viewers who said there appeared to be a massive bird kill on the side of Interstate 65 in Limestone County. That’s exactly what we found when we got there. Just south of Athens, near mile marker 347, there were around 300 dead blackbirds just off the side of the northbound lanes.

India 1/13/11

Source: RSOE

A week after around 30 birds, mostly of the common variety including pelicans and egrets, died in mysterious circumstances in its enclosures, authorities of the Aringnar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur have decided to stop procuring small fishes and rely on big fishes to feed birds. According to zoo officials, the decision was taken because most of the birds that died recently were fed with small fishes. The preliminary autopsy report by the Madras Veterinary College indicated that the feed supplied to these birds was mixed with some toxic substance. As these small fishes, which are caught in local ponds and lakes, are difficult to be caught in the net, it is likely that fishermen had used some chemical substance to make them immobile. Private contractors, who procure the fish on behalf of the zoo, seem to be unaware of the practice. Birds are usually fed on fresh water fishes from nearby ponds and lakes.”Some kind of poisoning, perhaps with the use of a neuro toxic, might have been reason for the death of these birds. However, any final conclusion can be made only after we receive the final report from the Madras Veterinary College, which is expected in two weeks. This is the first time such an incident has happened in our premises,” zoo director KSVPP Reddy, who is also the chief conservator of forests, told The Times Of India on Wednesday. Every day, on an average, around 130 kg of fish (both small and big) is procured as feed for 700 birds in its enclosures at the zoo. Following the deaths, the zoo has taken a series of precautionary steps. Zoo officials including veterinarians were given clear instructions to thoroughly check feed provided to the species in the zoo. They have been asked to first give a few fish to the common variety of birds, and wait for about an half-an-hour to check whether they fell sick, and only then provide the feed to all the birds in the enclosures. “For the time being, we stopped procuring small fishes and also asked the contractor to procure fishes from different sources. Since we don’t know whether the fishes procured are poisioned or not, we came up with that idea,” Reddy said. Officials at the Madras Veterinary College told TOI that the samples sent by the zoo were under investigation. Meanwhile, zoo authorities have also sought the help of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History. “The zoo staff informed us about the incident and we expect the carcasses and other samples to arrive in our laboratories soon,” an official at the centre said.

Australia 1/13/11

Source: RSOE

The Murrumbidgee Regional Algal Co-ordinating Committee today issued a red level warning for blue-green algae in Burrinjuck Dam. High numbers of potentially toxic algae have been recorded. Blue-green algae can cause gastroenteritis as well as skin and eye irritations. The committee advises visitors to the popular recreation spot not to enter the waters of Burrinjuck Dam and not to drink untreated water. It said boiling the water does not make algal toxins inactive.

Texas 1/13/11

Source: RSOE

That’s what officials believe was responsible for the deaths of up to 20,000 grizzard shad last week at Lake Meredith. Charlie Munger, a district supervisor for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said golden algae, a water-dwelling organism that can release a toxin fatal to fish, is likely the reason behind the mass fish kill. Munger said low water levels at Lake Meredith likely increased salinity and PH levels in the lake, where water levels are dwindling. That chemical imbalance, along with cold temperatures, likely was enough to affect the algae’s ability to survive and trigger its defense mechanism – releasing toxin to kill other organisms to provide nutrients. The toxin damages the gills of fish but is not believed to be hazardous to humans or other animals, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal quoted officials as saying. While the fish kill prompted Lubbock officials to add powdered-activated charcoal to that city’s water supply to help prevent a possible fishy odor, something they’ll continue for the next 2-3 weeks, Plainview officials did not have to consider treating water here since no Lake Meredith water was being received at the time. Brian Gallaway, the city’s well field and lab technician, said this morning that Plainview cut off its Meredith supply Dec. 28, a day or two before the fish die-off. “We usually shut down at the end of the year anyway to do general maintenance,” Gallaway said, adding that when they do that the city receives water exclusively from local wells. Gallaway isn’t sure when Plainview will begin receiving lake water again. “We’re kind of waiting on them,” he said, adding, “Sometime this month they’re not going to be sending us lake water any more, just well water in Roberts County” as officials work to restore the lake level. In recent years Lake Meredith, a major source of water for Plainview, Lubbock, Amarillo and other Panhandle-South Plains communities, has seen some of its lowest water levels on record. According to the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, on Thursday the lake was at a record-low level of 38.31 feet – more than 60 feet below its record depth of 101.85 feet set in April 1973.

Netherlands on the verge of flu epidemic

Source: dutchnews.nl

The Netherlands is on the verge of a flu epidemic following sharp rise in suspected cases since the New Year, according to health service research institute Nivel. Nivel says there are now 87 people per 100,000 suffering flu-like symptoms, up from 36 a week ago. If the figure tops 51 per 100,000 for more than two weeks, it is officially an epidemic. In two-thirds of cases, the flu is thought to be H1NI, or swine flu. By last week, 52 people had been hospitalised with swine flu and three had died.

Norovirus Outbreak in Saskatchewan

Source: topnews.us

A sudden rise in the cases of Norovirus caused panic in St. Paul’s hospital when as many as 37 people were found positive for it. Out of these, 18 were reported to be patients while others were staff members. An RNA virus, which affects people from all age groups, is highly contagious and causes nearly 90% of all epidemic non-bacterial outbreaks all over the world. Its main symptom is acute gastroenteritis. The disease caused is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste and abdominal pain. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headache, and low-grade fever may occur as well. As a precautionary measure, authorities at St. Paul’s hospital have restricted the movement of people inside the premises.

371 Dead Birds Fall from Sky on LA’s Sunset Blvd.

Source: associatedcontent.com

371 dead birds fell from the sky over Los Angeles, California, and hit the pavement at Sunset and Cahuenga. In the great shadow of the CNN building laid scattered hundreds of pigeons, most of them dead. This is another incident of dead birds falling from the sky, as has been seen in California, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Sweden, Italy, and other places around the world. If today’s dead bird incident had been a singular event, we could have blamed Los Angeles smog. 371 birds could no longer take the poor air quality and decided to choke and fall. The bird drop happened just after noon, and word of mouth passed quickly. I heard about the horrific event from my neighbor, who happens to whistle when he talks and has a goiter on his neck. By the time I arrived at Sunset and Cahuenga, confusion was in full swing and the homelesses were busy picking up the dead birds and stuffing them into their dirty jacket pockets.

Democratic Republic of the Congo 1/14/11

Source: RSOE

The disease known as monkeypox, also known as monkey variola, has raged in the north and south of Equateur province. At least 3 health zones are affected. For example, in the Bikoro health zone, 114 people have contracted the disease and 5 have died. According to the WHO Equateur provincial branch, the Bikoro health zone has broken the record with 114 cases. Most of the cases have been reported in the Mooto health area, about 82 kilometers from Mbandaka. Two weeks ago, medical authorities suspected the presence of a similar disease in the Gbadolite health zone. According to the WHO/Equateur regional medical officer, Louis Pia, laboratory tests on specimens from patients that were sent to the INRB (National Institute for Biomedical Research) in Kinshasa, confirmed that the cause was monkeypox virus. The disease has been reported also in Boende health zone. The same confirmation has been made on specimens taken from patients in Boende. It is still unclear how many have been infected overall in Equateur. To deal with this epidemic, medical advice is for observation of hygiene rules. The medical officer also asked farmers in the affected health zones not pick up dead animals in the forest, including monkeys, squirrels, and pangolins that transmit this disease to humans.

Pakistan 1/14/11

Source: RSOE

In Kot Hebat Busti Doom Wala a measles outbreak has affected hundreds of people. A total of 11 children are currently suffering from the disease. One of the children died from measles on Tue 11 Jan 2011 and 2 are in critical condition. Locals in the area have complained about the unavailability of medical aid. “There are no health teams that visit this area and the closest THQ [hospital/aid centre] is miles away,” said a local resident. A team of doctors confirmed that there was a measles outbreak in the village. “Many of the villagers think this is cholera or chickenpox but it is clearly a case of measles,” Dr Fazal said. The team said that all the patients would be provided with basic health facilities. A parent said: “These are just words. My son had to die for the doctors to even show up here and they will [not return] until someone else dies.” The villagers said that not a single medical team had visited the area since the floods and there were no medicines at the local THQ. The villager said that his entire family [of 11 children] had been affected by the measles outbreak. “We were forced to visit quacks as no vaccine was available at the BHU [hospital/aid centre] and my 6-year-old son died yesterday,” he said. His mother said that her other children were suffering from “cholera” and the authorities had done nothing to help them. “It isn’t cholera but they want to say it is because they think that will make the medical authorities take the case more seriously,” Dr Fazal said.

Flu epidemic hitting Luxembourg hard

Source: station.lu

14.01.2011 – Around 3% of the country are believed to currently have flu, with more in the east affected. At a school in Consdorf, 22 students have been diagnosed with flu while 50 remain absent from studies. Indeed, there are enough people affected by the deadly cold to call it an “epidemic” – though it is not nearly as bad as the pandemic in 2009. Particularly affected are chronically ill, children, pregnant women and people over 65 years.

Flu Cases Rise in Oklahoma

Source: ktul.com

Two people have died in Oklahoma from the flu. In the past 2 weeks the number of people being sent to the hospital has doubled. Tulsa’s flu rate is also starting to spike. 77 people were hospitalized in Oklahoma in the past 2 weeks. Seeing a spike in the flu in mid-January not exactly alarming news. “What’s even more concerning is that 50% of those hospitalizations are in children,” says Melanie Christian with the Tulsa County Health Department.

Jellyfish blooms plague the world’s oceans

Source: wired.co.uk

Across the Earth, fish populations are at risk from a new threat — enormous blooms of jellyfish taking over the oceans. Jellyfish blooms are thought to occur seasonally, when water is warmer and when there’s more availability of their natural prey — small fish, zooplankton and sometimes other jellies. While bloom formation is not fully understood, it’s thought to be a combination of ocean currents, nutrients, temperature, predation and oxygen concentrations. Although there’s little population data recorded for jellyfish, anecdotal evidence suggests that jellyfish blooms during the last century were relatively rare. In more recent years, however, the number has increased significantly, with some theorising that overfishing and sea temperature rises due to climate change may be the cause. In 2002, jellyfish researcher Marsh Youngbluth told the Washington Post that “jellyfish feed on the same kinds of prey as adult and young fish, so if fish are removed from the equation, jellyfish are likely to move in”. In the past, it’s thought that fish and jellies shared a complex relationship, predating on each other but also helping each other out — some fish are known to live within jellyfish tentacles, eating parasites. However, when a region is overfished, that balance is thrown out of whack — jellyfish numbers increase, and eat more fish eggs, reducing fish numbers further. Ecologist Sun Song, director of the Institute of Oceanology in Qingdao, China, told Yale’s Environment360: “When an ecosystem is dominated by jellyfish, fish will mostly disappear. Once that happens there is almost no method to deal with it.” Anthony Richardson, an ecologist at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Cleveland, Australia, likens the jellyfish to a cockroach of the sea, which grows fast, eats anything, can withstand poor water quality, and reproduces like crazy.

Dead birds discovered near Huntsville

Source: myfoxal.com

LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WBRC) – Dozens of dead black birds litter the snowy roadside of I-65 in Limestone County near Tanner. Groups of dead birds have been making headlines since thousands of lifeless red-winged blackbirds were discovered in an Arkansas town Dec. 31. The dead birds found in Alabama show clear signs of trauma, according to Bill Gates, a biologist with the area’s national wildlife refure. He theorizes that the flock could have flown into a passing truck and perished. “If something happened to scare them up, and they tried to fly across the road in a flock and a semi or something like that could’ve hit them,” Gates said. The bodies of the birds will be sent to Wisconsin for examination. Results should be available after one to two months.

Dead birds found in Bonnie Doon area

Source: globalsaskatoon.com

There are reports of dozens of dead birds in the Boonie Doon area. “I can’t believe there’s so many dead birds out here,” resident Peter Hoscin tells Global Edmonton. “I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve never seen anything like this.” About two dozen small birds were found in the area of 92 Street and 93 Avenue. According to a spokesperson for Fish and Wildlife it appears that the birds died from blunt force trauma. The birds were likely roosting and eating berries. Something likely startled them, putting them into the path of a large truck. Some of the birds still had berries in their mouths.

Virus may have killed Fraser River salmon, study says

Source: vancouversun.com

Volcanic eruptions, giant squid and sea lice have all been invoked to explain the wild swings in British Columbia’s famed Fraser River sockeye-salmon runs. Now scientists are raising the possibility that a mysterious virus is responsible for killing huge numbers of Pacific salmon before they reach their spawning grounds. “The mortality-related signature reflects a viral infection,” a team of federal and university researchers reported Thursday in a study that tagged and tracked wild adult sockeye salmon, then biopsied their gill tissues. The compromised salmon, which appeared to have a viral infection at sea — a phenomenon study co-author Scott Hinch at the University of B.C. describes as “dead fish swimming” — were 13.5 times more likely to die before spawning than healthy fish. The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, does not identify a microbial culprit, but suggests the virus may be associated with leukemia and lymphoma. “There is no doubt there is some form of pathogen involved,” Hinch said.

Goytre fish died ‘due to cold’

Source: southwalesargus.co.uk

HUNDREDS of dead fish found in a marina near Abergavenny last week died because of the cold weather. The Environment Agency has confirmed that the fish died as a result of the frozen Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal at Goytre Wharf on New Years Eve. An investigation found that a possible reason for the death of the fish, mostly bream, carp and roach was the 30cm drop in the water level at the marina caused by work upstream, but ice and a lack of oxygen are more likely to have killed the fish. Smaller fish were found alive in the marina but tests found no pollutants in the canal that could have caused the fatalities.

Trinidad and Tobago 1/14/11

Source: RSOE

A Standard Five student of the Cocoyea Government Primary School remains hospitalised while another 15 primary school students were treated and discharged for suspected food poisoning, after consuming a meal at the school. Nikiesha Stanley, 14, of Rienzi Street, Mon Repos, San Fernando was among the students who allegedly consumed a tuna fish sandwich at the school for breakfast, and immediately began complaining of feelings of nausea and vomiting. Stanley’s father, Carlton, said his daughter was accustomed to eating meals provided at the school and had not eaten anything at home yesterday prior to going to school located at Forest Avenue, Cocoyea. “She is accustomed eating at school so she didn’t have anything at home this morning and she said they had tuna fish on bread this morning,” he said. While on his way to work, he added, Carlton said he received a telephone call from the teacher who informed him to go directly to the San Fernando General Hospital because his daughter had been taken to the institution after complaining about stomach pains and nausea. “When I went to the hospital they were giving gravol to the other children, but Nikiesha had to be put on drips and then they said they would have to ward her,” he said. “I find this is slackness and I want to know who is going to compensate my daughter for the time she lost in school because of this,” he said, adding there should be stricter guidelines for the preparation of school meals by caterers.

Wales 1/14/11

Source: RSOE

More dead animals have continued to show up today – as 100 dead FISH add to the toll. Welsh families awoke this morning to find 100 dead carp, bream and roach fish floating in the waters of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in Cwmbran. Colin Breeze, 62, spotted them and has now written to Torfaen Council to try and solve the puzzle. He said: “Perhaps it is the end of the world. “I think they could have been frozen in the ice, but at the same time it was a bit of a shock especially with all these animal deaths we keep hearing about. A spokeswoman for Environment Agency Wales said they had visited the site and said the council would remove the fish. She said a lack of oxygen was the most likely reason for the fish deaths, as readings they took were very low. A spokeswoman for Torfaen council confirmed they would remove the fish today. The grisly discover comes after thousands of dead fish were found floating in Florida after a cold snap and 200 lifeless birds were discovered in Texas. More fishy deaths have seen 100 tons of sardines, croaker and catfish wash up on the Brazilian coast, New Zealand have hundreds of deceased fish and Britain find 40,000 devil crabs. Yesterday 300 grackles fell from the sky in Alabama and were found along the l-65 highway. Samples are being analysed to work out their cause of death, but one theory is that they collided with a large truck.

Azerbaijan 1/14/11

Source: RSOE

Mass fish death was recorded in the Iranian sector of the Caspian Sea,” Iranian Gulistan Province’s Nature Conservation Department Deputy Head Mohsen Jafarnejad said. Mass death of fish in the Caspian Sea is recorded on the west coast of the Gulistan Province. A large number of dead mullet have washed ashore, Shomalnews.com reported. “An analysis of samples taken from dead fish was carried out, and now we are waiting for their results,” Jafarnejad said. The Gulistan Province is located in northeastern Iran. The center of the province is the Gurgan city. In recent years, such cases are observed in various places around the world. Scientists suggest that the causes of the recent events may be a global disaster or testing of biological weapons.

Scotland 1/15/11

Source: RSOE

Young people in Oban are being advised to ensure they are vaccinated against mumps after an outbreak in the Scottish west coast town. NHS Highland said about 50 cases had been identified, mainly among teenagers and those in their early 20s. It is believed returning students and increased social events over the festive period may have contributed to the spread of the virus. Mumps is spread through saliva and is transmitted by coughs and sneezes Symptoms include swelling on the angle of the jaw on one or both sides of the face. Often there are several days of earlier symptoms, which could include fever, headache, tiredness, muscle aches and loss of appetite. Doctors have said that teenagers in Oban who have not had all their MMR jabs should make sure they are up to date with vaccination.

India 1/15/11

Source: RSOE

About 50 Home Guard jawans fell ill after they consumed tea and biscuits and complained of food poisoning at their training centre on Alandi Road in Yerawada on Friday noon. They were rushed to the Sassoon General Hospital where 18 were admitted, and others were discharged after treatment at the outpatient department. “The admitted jawans are stable and out of danger,” the doctors said. The jawans are taking part in a training that started on January 11 and will conclude on January 26 at the centre. While having tea and biscuits during the break time, many complained of irritating sensation in the throat and later started vomiting. Some trainees said the tea had a smell of henna. Centre Commandant of Home Guard, AM Shaikh, said, “We will send the tea powder for laboratory tests.”

Hawaii 1/15/11

Source: RSOE

Beachgoers on Kauai are being warned that Portuguese man-of-war have been found at Poipu Beach and other south shore beaches. The jellyfish-like creatures have long tentacles filled with toxins to kill prey. They can sting swimmers and wrap tentacles around their limbs. Kauai County officials said in a statement that beachgoers should be careful and check with lifeguards before swimming. The county advices beach visitors to obey warning signs and err on the side of caution when deciding whether to enter the water.

200 Dead Cows Found in Portage County Field

Source: wsaw.com

An investigation is underway after 200 dead cows were found in a field at 8055 4th Avenue in the Town of Stockton. According to the Portage County Sheriff’s Department, the owner of the cattle has been working with a local vet and it’s believed the animals died from the IBR/BVD virus. The virus can cause respitory and reproductive problems. Samples from the dead cows have been sent to Madison for testing. Portage County authorities say there is no threat to humans or other animals.

Flu Is Widespread in 11 States

Source: webmd.com

Jan. 14, 2011 – Don’t put off your flu shot any longer: The winter flu season has arrived. While only four states have high levels of flu activity, the seasonal illness is widespread across 11 states. And there’s evidence of outbreaks in several U.S. cities. Sadly, four children died of flu in the first week of January, the latest week for which CDC data is available. So far, the 2010-2011 flu season has claimed the lives of eight children. There were 282 U.S. pediatric deaths during last year’s flu pandemic, 133 in the 2008-2009 season, and 88 in the 2007-2008 season. Hospitals in 122 U.S. cities report that deaths from “pneumonia and influenza” — a statistic that reflects flu activity — are at the epidemic level. They’ve been on the upswing since just before Christmas.

County flu cases hit high as term starts

Source: cambridge-news.co.uk

Flu cases in Cambridgeshire hit a winter high as children returned to school. While flu rates levelled off in the UK, there was an 18 per cent rise in reports of influenza-like symptoms in Cambridgeshire in the first week of 2011 compared with the previous week. New figures released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) showed there were 98.1 cases per 100,000 people in the county – above ‘average’ for the winter. Nationally, there were 80.2 cases per 100,000 people. Epidemic levels are counted as 200 cases per 100,000 or above. Since October, 117 people have died of flu in the UK – 62 of these died of winter flu, 95 of swine flu. No regional figures for the deaths have been released.

RSV Becoming Epidemic in Arizona

Source: myfoxphoenix.com

From the Health Wire – an epidemic is growing in Arizona. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are concerned about the numbers of cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, better known as RSV. Pediatricians say one out of 10 office visits is due to the virus.

34,105 Dengue Patients And 246 Dengue Deaths Reported From Sri Lanka Last Year

Source: groundreport.com

During last year 34,105 dengue patients were reported from Sri Lanka and there were 246 deaths according to the Epidemiology Unit.Out of the total number of dengue patients reported the highest number of 858 patients were reported from Jaffna District followed by 608 patients from Gampaha in the western province and 584 patients reported from Colombo . The Highest Death toll which is 58 deaths were reported from Colombo District followed by 34 deaths reported from Gampaha District according to the Epidemiology Unit. Meanwhile The Colombo Chief MOH Dr.Pradeep Karyawasam has said today that 48 dengue cases were reported during the 14 days of this month so far from the city of Colombo.He appealed the public to be on alert on dengue epidemic as it is in rise due to the rainy weather pattern prevails in the country these days.Public are advised to follow precautionary measures including cleaning the dengue mosquito breeding places and destroying the mosquito breeding elements like empty cans,plastic cups,coconut/king coconut combs etc to avoid spreading of dengue.

AVG Virus Struck the Abalone Farm

Source: topnews.us

With the recent confirmed news of an abalone farm, on the East coast, tested positive for Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis (AVG), Department of Primary Industries is endorsing every possible action to pull the string on the spread of the virus across the region. General Manager Water and Marine Resources Wes , Mr. Ford has reportedly initiated a biosecurity plan ,and is closing down the processing facility as a preliminary step to initiate the surveillance programme. Though there is no health risk to the people handling or eating abalone, viral infection caused by AVG do affect the immunity of abalone, which leads to the consequential death of abalone.

AIDS is a plague allowed to happen

Source: edition.cnn.com

From its very beginning, most people have not wanted to know the truths about AIDS. This is an indisputable fact that continues until this very minute. I have been on the front lines since Day 1, so I know what I’m talking about. Here are 10 realities about AIDS, and I’ve learned them the hard way: 1. AIDS is a plague — numerically, statistically and by any definition known to modern public health — though no one in authority has the guts to call it one.

Floodwaters killing thousands of fish

Source: abc.net.au

All beaches on the Redcliffe Peninsula have been shut due to dead fish and debris washing ashore. Local councillor James Houghten says council is working hard to clear the beaches of rubbish. “We’ve had several thousand fish wash on the beaches and some of those have been even freshwater fish, so that looks like they’ve come from Somerset or Wivenhoe Dam even further up the river,” he said. “We’ve already had the result of some testing back and the result is that that’s been caused by so much freshwater in dealing with saltwater varieties and also turbidity in the water.”

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

Pakistani clerics say anyone who mourns murdered politician is a “blasphemer” and will suffer the same fate

‘Generation Ex-Christian’ Uncovers Why People Leave the Faith

Church of hate thanks God for Ariz. deaths, will picket funerals

Hagee says dividing Israel is not God’s will but other evangelicals disagree

Senegal turns to Islam to stop begging by child ‘disciples’

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

India Hindu Militants Attack Church, Kidnap Pastor

13 killed in Nigerian village attack

Somalia Militants Destroy Largest Christian Library, Bible College

Pakistani Pastors Fear Retaliation after Police Withdraw Charge

Christians flee Islamic wrath in Denmark

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