CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 177


Submitted by Johanna

I use a very good bible search site to help me in my studying of the word and to help me with my articles. The name of this site is I am putting a challenge out there for all of the readers of Father’s newsletter to go to the above website and do a keyword search on words like wrath, anger, war, punishments, rage, etc. and read over the results that come out for each keyword you use. I would also like for you to look up the meanings of each word and think on them while you are reading the scriptures.

Events that are in the bible are events that have happened, are happening and will happen. Father’s wrath and anger are here.

Jeremiah 33:4-6 4 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the houses of this city and the palaces of Judah’s kings, the ones torn down [for defense] against the siege ramps and the sword: 5 The people coming to fight the Chaldeans will fill the houses with the corpses of [their own] men I strike down in My wrath and rage. I have hidden My face from this city because of all their evil. 6 Yet I will certainly bring health and healing to it and will indeed heal them. I will let them experience the abundance of peace and truth.

End Times Truths on BlogTalkRadio

With Regina

End Times Truths are now broadcasted on a bi-weekly schedule via BlogTalkRadio. Shows take place Sunday afternoons at 3pm Central.  This week’s episode is:

The Mark of the Beast

Archived shows are also available on demand and include:

The Beast Revealed

God’s Anger & Wrath

UFOs & Crop Circles

The Signs of End Times

The Kingdom Message

Was Jesus Psychic?

The Rapture & End Times Prophecy Explained

The Spirit Realm

The Cherubic Order of Angels

Are You Ready for Truth?

By clicking on any of the above links, you will be routed directly to that show.

The Countdown

By Deborah

We are in the last days.

The final countdown.

Time is running out.

The hourglass is down to it’s last grains of sand.

Are you thinking you’ll just wait a little longer?

Hold out so you can slide in as the door closes behind you?

Yahweh’s patience is running out.

She doesn’t have to wait for you or any one else to decide.

When the last grain of sand runs out of the hourglass, there will be no second chances.

Her judgment is final.

1 Samuel 2:10 Those who oppose the LORD will be shattered; He will thunder in the heavens against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. He will give power to His king; He will lift up the horn of His anointed.

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

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

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

The Journey Continues

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


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

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


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


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

Serving Yahweh’s Throne

Joe: What do the united civilizations of creation out in the vast expanse of Space do to serve Yahweh’s Throne?

Johanna: Preparing other planets and watching for threats?

Joe: Presently, that duty falls under the work load of the Celestial Order of angels for planet preparation, and the Orders that serve as guardians.

Precious stones, gold, silver and other types of metals are mined to pay tribute to our Mother Yahweh.

Genesis 2:11 “The name of the first is Pishon, which encircles the entire land of the Havilah, where there is gold.”

The sites for excavation are not mentioned without reason.

Genesis 2:12 “Gold from that land is pure; bdellium and onyx are also there.”

You see, not just any grade of gold or gems are acceptable. Because if the tribute of payment to Yahweh, that’s why the Scripture says their gold cannot save them, it will lay in the streets. Do research on gold and you will begin to see how Yahweh values it. It must be pure.

Exodus 25:3 “This is the offering you are to receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze;”

Why does Yahweh desire gold and other metals and gems from the physical realm children?

Regina: ‎”It must be pure” The same as Her creation(s)…

Joe: Yes child – pure as the driven snow. They’re Hers, but She wants only a fair tribute. And now you will come to understand about scales and accurate balance of weight. Research, because you are learning about the commerce of the Kingdom. Now do you understand that Heaven is comprised of more than spirit bodies? That the pulse down is for a grand purpose? What is mankind in quest of in Space? The same as Yahweh. Satan is looking for the same things Mother has mine.

Regina: Mankind is in quest of resources, I think. I’m not sure what you mean by pulse down… is that the combining of Spiritual & Physical realms?

Joe: Satan seeks the purest wealth of the expanse top claim as his own treasure. Some of what he lost. And yes. To vibrate down just as Christ did after his reanimation. He did that for what reason aside being seen? It was to reveal that he would also manifest in the same way in the sphere of Heaven. Remember Jake at Alpha’s computer command post?

Regina: Is the pulse down/lifting of the veil this bringing everything back to how it originally was?

Joe: Think child: What has been will be again……..Being spirit means you are all things; You have all things at your finger tips. How do you think the demons knew how to materialize? Being MORTAL means you are limited to slow moving energy.

Regina: I understand.

Joe: You have been stripped like the demons presently are on pulsing down. You can’t pulse up, only project. Are you forming a picture of future ability. Do you now understand why the Word said “men” and “angels” when it spoke of them going into see Lot? The lifting of the veil is because the veil was placed there for a reason in this war. To lift it is to harmonize what once was. Yahweh is the only TRUE Spirit. All else is comprised of all things in existence. Have you ever viewed your trace elements in your human vessel? Those same things are in your Celestial energy. That’s what makes it possible to pulse down,. But the demons have been restricted by what? DEFICIENCY. That is why Satan searched for a BREW. To get back in harmony of what he was.

Regina: The picture that’s forming in my mind is of being truly free and not constrained by lack of abilities. And I think I better understand how due to our sins, like the demons, we’ve been stripped of these abilities and confined to earth… (please correct me if I’m wrong)

Joe: You are 100% correct. And is why demons seek humankind to help them materialize. They were given back the ability early, then sought to kill off all troublemakers on this planet, so Yahweh restricted them again. Now do you better understand why the ancient Israelis were instructed to mold from gold, make garments of specific types, have balanced scales? All applies to the commerce of the expanse.

Regina: Yes, better understand and I’m sure more will come…

Joe: The natural process of planet’s formed in Space requires mining operations of the future. Yahweh needs colonizations to work under Her throne for that purpose. Worker bees children. The making of most planets habitable has been hindered by this war. The demons resisted their work of making planets habitable. They were not good workers. They sought refuge on the earth.

Regina: It’s all starting to come together now.

Joe: You will be explained all of this during the Millennium. I’m giving you a head start on what’s ahead. All Mother requires is that a quota be met by all that mine. The holy angels oversee all operations. Adam and Eve would have procreated the work force of earth, but Satan caused a mishap. You will live in paradise settings. No death if obedient, and plenty of work to keep each person content. Do you understand what it is to be a slave of Christ and Yahweh? You can’t simply expect to exist without a reason. Do you all understand the worker bee concept, and that of ant colonies? Study them, because that is how things are run minus death of the obedient. Now, what is your concept of creation in general? Yahweh does not force labor. Those that resist are killed off and thrown out the exit. That is how all future resistance will be handled. Paradise, good health, no death, in exchange for service to the Queen, Israel.

Regina: That’s a tough question, only because its hard to imagine what was and what will be when we’re still in what is. But for me personally, I just trust our Mother to give us purpose in serving Her and also trust that in what ever capacity that might be, I’ll be happier doing it than I can even imagine.

Joe: It is similar to paying the tribute to a queen, like that of England. The Royal line. Understand? That’s why Satan caused the same identical circumstance that brought forth his rebel child. A break from Royalty. Understand children? History repeats itself. Nothing new under the Sun/ It was necessary to have people believe it was Satan’s side that possessed people in Christ’s time, so that he could be painted as unfriendly. But now Yahweh will come forth with the complete truth. Satan as Dawn complained of the taxes of heaven. That was the start of his rebellion in arguments. He wanted free agency throughout the expanse. Yahweh seeks creations that will obey Her. If they do not, no production is forthcoming. Do you understand? She wants productive faithful servants to Her throne of authority. Not traitors or liars or dishonest t creations. They must be faithful. I just wanted to broach this subject. Michael does not want any surprises. Yahweh does not like slackers.

Proverbs 6:6″[ Laziness ] Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise.”

If you are lazy, you will not be in the Kingdom.

Proverbs 30:24-26

“24 Four things on earth are small,

yet they are extremely wise:

25 the ants are not a strong people,

yet they store up their food in the summer;

26 hyraxes are not a mighty people,

yet they make their homes in the cliffs;”

Yahweh considers many things. He gauges strength and wisdom. Are you wise? Can you survive in a beehive setting? The ants are compared to a nation of people, because they follow Yahweh’s commands and are obedient to Her natural order. All that are salvaged will have purpose in life. Doing Yahweh’s Will will be yours and my purpose. Take the war effort out of the equation and what are you left with? Because everything centers around the war effort – but removed, you have business as usual.

Regina, this is why Yahweh was infuriated with false gods wearing Her gold and silver. Understand now? Those metals of purest design are craved by Her for Her use. What does She do with them? She adorns Herself and the God’s of eternity that are Her friends. Her reputation was one of being adorned like a Queen and supplier of what is precious. Even though they are Gods they create things via their creative efforts. And after all, the gold and other precious items come from within the HEART of Yahweh.

To obtain those precious things, She must have workers. She lives outside of Her self, but projects within. So, to understand, can you reach inside your body and extract anything, or does it require someone else to do the surgery? To obtain what treasure lies within Heaven – Literally Yahweh. So, someone must enter and break the core to obtain the treasures. Store your treasures in heaven. There they cannot be stolen. Satan was not only a liar, but a thief as well.

Like Judas Iscariot, he sought to steal what was not his, and not just humankind. Where Judas actually stole from the till, Satan entertained the thought even though he was already rich in his wares of gold and gems he possessed. He wanted the tax of heaven also. A mere 10 percent, but he wanted it all. Is 10 percent to much of a levy for Yahweh to expect from Her worker bees each cycle? I think not. Satan multiplied the 10 percent by all workers in creation. The numbers were what stumbled him.

The Ashkenazim treasury was stupendous, but Yahweh wanted only Her share for the Temple. Practicality everything in the Word centers on this war and its resolution, but the truth of all matters are encoded there. To be a miner you must be young, strong and healthy. Eat right and be honest not looking for ill gotten gain like Satan was. You also must not be slackers like the demons were.

And children, is Satan not using mankind to try and steal the resources of the expanse? Of course that is his master plan. He wants it all. What do people fight over on earth? Resources, wealth and land. The very things Satan covets. He also wants to be like Yahweh and tax his servants. He fought to get out from under a tax, and started a nation based on that concept, but brought back the tax because he knows you cannot run a kingdom without it. Why did Satan need mankind in his ranks? To deliver the goods. He is no different than Yahweh in that respect, except that Yahweh is entitled to allegiance from Her creation.

Mankind is Satan’s only by default. They are the future robbers of the expanse if not halted and exterminated. Like cancer they would spread throughout. This is why Yahweh says the heavens belong to Her. When Satan and his demons fought to remain in heaven, it was not just because it was their home – we are talking about all the expanse – it was to remain there and rob Yahweh of Her portions, to go beyond Her legal markers and is why Christ said that heaven was under attack. Satan walked through the fiery stones – PLANETS (MAGMA CORES) children and all that flies through the expanse that is fiery. Now all of you know the depth of why this war is being fought and why Satan really chose to sin – PURE GREED and JEALOUSY over not having it all. COVETING Yahweh’s portion. Wanting to resemble Her in wealth and god-ship. Leading the charge for his so called freedom from tyranny of heaven. Guiding mankind to help him resume his old activity of stealing from Mother’s yard.

Regina: This new understanding correlates and gives deeper meaning in what it says in the Word at Proverbs 16:16 about how wisdom and understanding are better and preferable to silver and gold. And so many other things too… there’s so much to be learned from all of this that it’s mind-boggling. Thank you for sharing.

Joe: Yes child and also:

Psalm 19

“The Witness of Creation and Scripture

For the choir director. A Davidic psalm.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.

2 Day after day they pour out speech;

night after night they communicate knowledge.

3 There is no speech; there are no words;

their voice is not heard.

4 Their message has gone out to all the earth,

and their words to the ends of the inhabited world.

In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun.

5 It is like a groom coming from the bridal chamber;

it rejoices like an athlete running a course.

6 It rises from one end of the heavens

and circles to their other end;

nothing is hidden from its heat.

7 The instruction of the LORD is perfect,

reviving the soul;

the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy,

making the inexperienced wise.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right,

making the heart glad;

the commandment of the LORD is radiant,

making the eyes light up.

9 The fear of the LORD is pure,

enduring forever;

the ordinances of the LORD are reliable

and altogether righteous.

10 They are more desirable than gold—

than an abundance of pure gold;

and sweeter than honey—

than honey dripping from the comb.

11 In addition, Your servant is warned by them;

there is great reward in keeping them.

12 Who perceives his unintentional sins?

Cleanse me from my hidden faults.

13 Moreover, keep Your servant from willful sins;

do not let them rule over me.

Then I will be innocent,

and cleansed from blatant rebellion.

14 May the words of my mouth

and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable to You,

LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”

It ties in with proverbs 8. And also the gospels.

Background fight in Egypt by opposing spirit forces

Joe – The LOZ are gioing to do Satan a favor. They want to take out the dictator of Egypt also, but have different plans for who comes in as the new ruler. Satan has ordered his demons to annihilate those of the LOZ that have assaulted Egypt with dissension.

Regina – Wow, there’s a lot in there…

Joe – The LOZ has informed the demons that the dictator of Egypt will die as a result of their actions, and not that of Satan’s. Prophecy will be fulfilled from Yahweh’s side and not the demons. Two similar goals, but each seeking a totally different outcome for the people of Egypt.

It will become more interesting as Satan is rallying more of his forces to Egypt. Michael has ordered Seraiah and Jaddai to reinforce those LOZ already there with 12 more legions under each of their commands.

Regina – I just had a thought concerning how important this is prophecy-wise but I’m not sure how to word it exactly… it has to do with the symbolism of Egypt being Satan’s, and this planet also being his for a time… and how the destruction of one foreshadows the destruction of the other and in the end of Satan being overthrown completely. (Not sure if overthrown is the right word either). Does that make sense and seem accurate?

Joe – Look how pretty Mother’s hair is, and right in the middle of a battle. Satan should at least bathe, scale or groom himself lol.

Joe (Responding to Regina) – Yes. The fall of the Egyptian ruler signifies Satan’s coming fall. The new tyrant ruler will reflect Satan’s next throne as the Anti-Christ. A harsh taskmaster.

Remember the gang effect. Look beyond the large casts for the spirits at true size. It will reveal more. Many spirits cast over the people and objects such as greenery plants, etc. They gang to form the larger casts.

Check out the tortoise.

CNN frame the series of shots began with.

Regina – Not sure if it’s worth mentioning or not… but I was just looking at the top left picture in the thumbnail and I had a vision pop to mind. It was of the Ark and people outside of it wanting in. I’ll mark and post, just in case its noteworthy.

Joe: Lifting the veil. Do a close check up in the limbs.


Joe: You did well, Regina. When I look at the thumbnail, I see an “S” in the middle. Female to the left, and holy angel to the right whose head intersects midway with the lower part of the S looking toward the female. The pics a scene with many scenes within it. Little people walking, roof top, back of old model car, and more. Where the S is, there is also a large truck in that part of the scene, but I did not mark it because of the other casts I marked…. It has to do with Seraiah, but to differentiate between his “S” and the S for SCENE, they used his human name,. The S means a SCENE or SCENES.

When I look at the thumbnail, I see an “S” in the middle. Female to the left, and holy angel to the right whose head intersects midway with the lower part of the S looking toward the female.

The reason Seraiah’s home place is marked is so all spirits coming near will know who he is in the spiritual war and whom backs him. That includes Satan and his demons. It serves as a warning to the opposing side to stay away or suffer the consequences. To the holy side, it is a place to visit. When you each travel somewhere you need a road map or signs to help you find your way. It works the same way in the spirit realm. And that is why all things are marked, including people as well as spirits. Spirits are no smarter than humans. In fact, look at the demons – they were pretty naive to listen to Satan’s bill of goods. So, understand that the spirit realm operates much like the physical world with a few minor differences.

NASA: Possible Extraterrestrial signal recieved!

Multiple UFO photos taken in Mesa Arizona

UFO Fleet was seen and recorded by many in Central Mexico

Silver Sphere UFO followed plane in cloaked state

Photos of daytime morphing UFO in New York City

Consumers borrow more money for 3rd straight month

Homeowners Hit Brick Wall, With Many Owing More Than Homes Are Worth

Egypt protests: US steps up pressure on Cairo

China Denies It Faces Half A Trillion In Fannie & Freddie Losses

IMF Calls for Dollar Alternative

Cops: California Man Confesses to Butchering Mother, Storing Body Parts in Freezer

Victim of ‘Wolf Pack’ Bullies Wants Out of School

Police: Woman Accused of SUV Theft Said She Was Tired of Walking/

Police: Philadelphia Serial Strangler Suspect Choked 3 Women During Sex

Police: New York Little League Coach Sexually Assaulted Teenage Boys on Team


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

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

How You Can Help?

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




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Alaska’s Next Big Earthquake? – According to geologists, the next big one could be as large or larger than the Good Friday quake in 1964. Worse yet, the earthquake could hit at any time. Where does the Port of Anchorage fall? Right in the danger zone. The Port of Anchorage is a piece of critical infrastructure that connects southcentral Alaska to food, supplies and fuel. But when the next big earthquake hits, officials say the port is headed for disaster.

In 1964, the Port of Anchorage was brand new and survived the massive quake with minor structural damage. However more than 40 years later, an earthquake in the Port of Anchorage would be quite a different story. “Over time, the silt builds up under the dock and upland of the dock. If the soils beneath that were to liquefy, all of that weight from that material would come through the facility. Even if the piles were perfect, they are not driven deep enough through that failure plane. It’s likely to take the facility with it.” But ground failure susceptibility isn’t the only problem. It’s estimated that of the 2,000 piles supporting the port, at least half are corroded and only about 20 percent of those have been repaired with metal sleeves. “We generally repair about 20 pilings a year and it would take us another 10 years to probably fix all of the ones that are suspect.” In a large earthquake the sediment that has built up behind them would liquefy, pushing on the piles, causing them to collapse. There would be little left of the port to repair, which was news to officials at the Municipal Department of Emergency Preparedness. “I have been here two years, and I have never heard that before… ever.” If the port fails, the secondary method of getting things in and out, air transportation, would be severely impacted. It supplies two-thirds of the fuel for the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and 100 percent of the fuel for Elmendorf Air Force Base.

The port isn’t the only area of town that may have big problems when the next big earthquake hits. The city of Anchorage is built on unique soil: a sensitive layer of bootlegger clay. It’s not all composed of bootlegger clay, but certain layers are slick and can lose strength in motion. This means in an earthquake the ground can give way which is exactly what happened in 1964. “I remember in the ’64 quake watching the ground roll, and I was watching the birch trees, the tops hitting the ground even at six years old I remember thinking, that’s weird.”

Ground failure caused much of the Turnagain neighborhood to fall into Cook Inlet and caused gaping cracks in the streets downtown. Experts say the same thing could happen again in a similar quake.

The city was so concerned about the affects of another quake shortly after 1964 that city leaders wanted people to relocate out of the dangerous Turnagain and Bootlegger’s Cove neighborhoods. Officials collected the property deeds but then something went wrong. “Somehow over the course of events, the deeds never got transferred and people ended up retaining ownership and as you know memories got faded and people said ‘you know, I would like to build there again.” But those neighborhoods aren’t the only areas that could see problems in another quake. Since 1964, municipal code has changed 16 times to require more precautions be taken in the danger zones like downtown. It has worked well to make sure new buildings could withstand the next big one but not the older buildings.

Geologists say the next big earthquake could hit southcentral Alaska at any time and how Anchorage fares remains to be seen. One of the problems with ground failure is it’s hard to create building codes to guard against it. Code officials are working on some possible solutions for 2012. On the meantime, municipal code officials have set up a special web page to make sure property owners know what kind of ground danger they are in. (map)


JAPAN – Kyushu volcano to continue eruptions over next two weeks. Mount Shinmoedake straddling Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures will continue its explosive eruptions over the next couple of weeks, according to a report by the government’s Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruption. “Over the next one to two weeks, the volcano is expected to repeat its explosive eruptions, emitting as much lava as it is at the moment.” The committee, however, did not make any long-term predictions about what the volcano will do. The panel of volcanologists and other experts will intensify observations and analyses of subterranean magma activities using seismometers and angle meters.

Shinmoedake’s magma chambers are estimated to have shrunk by a volume of 5.5 million cubic meters between the first eruption and Jan. 28, with a slowing of that contraction since Jan. 31 indicating a decrease in subterranean magma. . As to the ongoing eruptions, there has likely been a continued supply of magma corresponding to the scale of the explosions. They ruled out the possibility of massive eruptions on the scale of those on Jan. 26 and 27 over the next two weeks. Some experts fear that a massive eruption could blow off the lava cap and cause pyroclastic flows. But “that would take place only after the volcano has resumed its upthrust to some extent, and that is not likely to occur in the next month considering the current state of the mountain.”

The extraordinary executive meeting was held for the first time since December 2004, when it discussed volcanic activity on Miyakejima Island south of Tokyo.

INDONESIA – The bill from last year’s eruption of Mount Merapi and the subsequent torrents of volcanic mud in Sleman district could be more than Rp 5.5 trillion ($610 million). Damage to homes and infrastructure, as well as social and economic losses along the southern slope of the volcano, has already topped Rp 5.4 trillion.

This did not include the damage caused by the volcanic mud, or lahar, washed down along the Gendol and Kuning rivers, which already exceeded Rp 30.5 billion and would certainly increase as heavy rains persisted in the area. It will take several years for the district to recover from the losses. “It will take a very long time just for the rehabilitation and reconstruction process, especially given that we’re still in a state of emergency because of the continuing lahar. In 2010, before the eruption of Mount Merapi, the number of Sleman residents living below the poverty line was 22.25 percent. That figure is sure to increase in the wake of the eruption.”

Another major threat facing the largely agrarian region is the damage from the lahar to the intricate network of irrigation canals that feed the district’s rice paddies. The eruption and subsequent lahar torrents destroyed at least 244 irrigation dams in Yogyakarta province and 44 in Central Java. “We’re dealing with a real emergency here because most of the irrigation canals on the slopes of Merapi have been badly damaged, while the rivers feeding them from further upstream are choked with volcanic debris. We now have no choice but to build new irrigation canals and try to fix those that can still be repaired.” Building new irrigation systems could take between three and five years. Almost all sectors in Magelang have been hit by the eruptions and lahar flows.

Russian volcano activity causes global concern – A string of volcanoes on Russia’s eastern seaboard of Kamchatka have been UNUSUALLY active for the last six months. The dust they threw up diverted winds in the Arctic, pushing cold air over Europe and North America and CAUSING THE UNUSUALLY COLD WINTER THIS YEAR, say scientists. The volcanoes (160 in total, of which 29 are active) are still on the go and could create more problems this year, depressing harvests around the world just as global food prices soar and culminating in a second freezing winter next Christmas.

The eruptions have come at the worst possible time. The Pacific Ocean has already been cooled by the so-called La Nina – which contributed to the deluge in Australia and Tropical Cyclones – while at the same time the Atlantic Ocean is warmer than usual. The combination of this means the weather forecast for the first quarter of this year is extreme, which will hit both the agricultural and mining sectors, sending already spiking prices up even faster. “These climatic conditions reduce the outlooks of harvest for agricultural commodities (last year was also bad) and prevent the mining of commodities like coal. The extreme weather will probably culminate in the [first quarter] – this is the reason why the prices of commodities will be influenced by this weather… then an acceleration of consumer inflation… There are also problems for transport due to strong storms.”

The combination shifts wind patterns around the world, but the spanner in the works has been the Kamchatka volcanoes, which are throwing massive amounts of dust into the air, causing the Arctic to become even colder and Arctic winds to push farther south, resulting in a very drastic change in patterns. “Kamchatka tends to be somewhat active – but RECENTLY IT HAS BEEN RIDICULOUS! Since late November, Kizimen, Sheveluch, Karymsky, and Kliuchevskoi have been erupting almost constantly.”

Volcanic ash screens out the sun, cooling the air below. This lowers air pressures, which in turn changes wind patterns, especially in the Arctic. The upshot is, “the cold air normally trapped around the North Pole surges south.” This has caused some bizarre weather. The UK was colder than Russia on Christmas Day, while New York was buried under heavy snow. The cold weather has already impacted agriculture. Australia’s wheat crop was down by 10% in December – the WORST FALL IN 100 YEARS – and Russia’s agriculture ministry is forecasting a grain harvest of 80m-85m tonnes; better than last year, but still well down on the bumper 2008 crop of 110m tonnes. Coupled with last season’s severe drought in Argentina, floods in Brazil and Venezuela, odd weather in the agricultural parts of China, and food prices have already soared. What happens throughout the rest of this year will depend entirely on the volcanic activity, which by its nature is impossible to predict.

Growing Fears in Japan As 2 Volcanoes Erupt Again – Two volcanoes on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu erupted on Tuesday. A volcano at Sakurajima, the Minamidake crater, erupted early Tuesday followed by an eruption at Shinmoedake in the afternoon. Shinmoedake erupted for the first time in 52 years last month and has erupted more than ten times since. Amid growing fears that a massive eruption could still be on its way, the latest eruptions covered nearby villages with rocks and ash. The two volcanoes spewed plumes of smoke and ash up to 2-thousand meters into the air resulting in multiple injuries and destroyed homes. A resident said, “This is crazy! Strong winds suddenly came and blew everything away.”

A lava dome in the Shinmoedake crater is growing and could spill out creating a lava flow. Authorities therefore are maintaining a restricted zone of four kilometers around the volcano. A level 3 alert is being maintained for both regions with 5 being the highest level when evacuations are carried out. And volcanic experts are warning that the recent eruptions on Shinmoedake and other peaks in Japan resemble the highly destructive blasts that occurred 300 years ago which killed more than 30 people.

Another Icelandic volcano ‘set to erupt’ – Scientists in Iceland are warning that another volcano looks set to erupt and threatening to spew-out a pall of dust that would dwarf last year’s event. Geologists detected the high risk of a new eruption after evaluating an increased swarm of earthquakes around the island’s second largest volcano. The area around Bárdarbunga is showing signs of increased activity, which provides “good reason to worry”. A low number of seismometer measuring devices in the area is making it more difficult to determine the scale and likely outcome of the current shifts. But there was “every reason to worry” as the sustained earthquake tremors to the north east of the remote volcano range are THE STRONGEST RECORDED IN RECENT TIMES and there was “no doubt” the lava was rising. The lack of coverage from measuring devices means they cannot accurately detect the depth and exact location of the increased number of localised earth movements and much of the area is covered with glaciers. “This is the most active area of the country if we look at the whole country together. There is no doubt that lava there is slowly growing, and the seismicity of the last few days is a sign of it.”

The Icelandic Met Office had on Sunday warned of the increased risk of a eruption in north-west side of Vatnajökull glacier due to the high earthquake activity in the area, and added: “It is clear that only time is going to tell us if there is going to be a eruption in this area soon or not.”

The last recorded eruption of Bárdarbunga was in 1910, although volcanologists believe its last major eruption occurred in 1477 when it produced a large ash and pumice fallout. It also produced the largest known lava flow during the past 10,000 years on earth. It is the second largest volcano on Iceland and is directly above the mantle plume of molten rock. By comparison, Bárdarbunga dwarves the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which shut down most of Europe’s airspace last year after its ash cloud drifted across the continent’s skies.

TAIWAN – The National Science Council will set up a station to monitor volcanic activity in the Datun mountain group north of Taipei this year. Volcanic observation must be carried out continually to provide a basis for comparison. Taiwan has no such volcano observatory at present. The measurements necessary for monitoring volcanic activity are chemical analysis of the gases and water emitted from the underground magma, and observation of changes in seismic activity and topographical transformations.

The Datun group lies on the edge of the Taipei Basin and is thought to be the only potentially extant volcano on Taiwan proper. Whether or not the Datun volcano group is capable of becoming active again was a scientific question worthy of further study. “The observatory’s most important objective will be to connect with existing observation facilities through the Internet to establish a real-time monitoring system. Whenever there is seismic or volcanic activity in the Datun Mountains, we will be able to assess it immediately.” At present the Datun volcano has not reached the eruption stage, so there is no need for concern.


NORTH CAROLINA – 2/5/11 – Something is shaking the southeast and has been for quite some time. A Carolina Beach resident was enjoying a Saturday morning when she felt and heard a ‘boom.’ Many people in her neighborhood ran outside in hopes of finding the source of the noise. “It feels like a Mack truck driving by and it just shakes your whole house.”

“It’s a shaking feeling. More than thunder and more than a truck going by. Initially that is what it sounded like but it turned into something more than that and I guess more movement. I went to Facebook and I asked, ‘Did anyone else just feel a small earthquake?’ And within minutes people were posting from all over town saying, ‘I felt it in Mayfaire,’ ‘I felt it in Pine Valley.'” Dozens posted on her wall and thousands have reported the noises up and down the coast on various websites from Georgia to Virginia. With speculative explanations ranging from the ordinary, like military aircraft to the outrageous like ghosts and aliens.

“I don’t think it’s ghosts, and I don’t think it’s aliens,” said a geophysicist with the United States Geological Service in Menlo Park, California. “I think it’s likely to be small earthquakes.” An earthquake produces audible sound by making the “ground around the person listening seem like they are in a big woofer. The ground is vibrating and that sound is transmitted up into the atmosphere and you hear a low rumbling sound.”

But on the east coast another prominent Geophysicist says earthquakes have nothing to do with it. “There are earthquakes occurring all around the world that we are recording here in North Carolina,. If we had a local earthquake it would be impossible for us not to record that.” Of all the loud booms heard, recorded and studied there has never been any direct relationship discovered between any seismic activity. “It’s just very unlikely that we could have humans observe this and not have our very sensitive instruments making these observations.”

But the California scientist strongly disagrees saying, “Magnitude twos and smaller could produce an audible sound that and shaking that wouldn’t be recorded on the seismic stations.”

There are a number of aircraft and submarine testing and bombing ranges off the coast stretching from Florida to New Jersey, with more than a dozen off the Carolina coastline. And supersonic flight can certainly make a boom. But no military instillation is taking credit for the booms, and no exercises were scheduled at the time.

“We know that these things were reported long before people were flying around at the speed of sound.” In fact the term Seneca Guns, which is often used to describe these sounds comes from a James Fenimore Cooper story explaining the same phenomenon published in 1851, 50 years before man even learned to fly.

“It just doesn’t make sense how nothing could show up. How could nothing at all show up if all these people definitely felt and heard something that wasn’t thunder, that wasn’t a plane, and wasn’t a truck driving by the house?” Rven the most experienced scientists can’t agree on an answer. You could eliminate some theories by installing a seismometer and sensitive microphones along the Carolina coastline. But, since the booms do little more than rattle windows finding someone to foot the $10,000 to $20,000 bill in our current economy will likely keep the public guessing as to what is causing the mysterious booms. It’s just bizarre.”

NORTH CAROLINA – 2/8/11 – Another “boom” felt downtown and in Leland. Folks downtown and across the river in Leland heard another mysterious “boom” in the afternoon around 3:30 p.m. At the radio station it felt and sounded like either someone had hit the building with a vehicle or like someone dropped something huge on the roof. No one knows for sure what causes the booms. Many believe it’s a sonic boom created by a military jet from a nearby base. Others say it’s something called the “Seneca Guns,” a phenomenon caused by shifting plates out in the ocean.


Cyclone Yasi, which pounded northeastern Australia Friday, moved south as a tropical depression Saturday, bringing downpours and flash floods to the Melbourne region. More than 175 millimeters of rain fell in parts of Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, while powerful winds downed trees and power lines. 2,000 kilometers to the north, the coastal communities of Cardwell, Tully and Mission Beach bore the full brunt of Cyclone Yasi, which made landfall early Thursday carrying winds as high as 300 kilometers an hour.

Authorities on Friday confirmed the first death from the storm. Two other people who were missing turned up safe. One damage assessment firm said losses from the storm could total as much as $5 billion. The storm tore the tops off hundreds of homes and buildings in the most affected areas, and downed trees and power lines, leaving nearly 200,000 residents without electricity. It also caused significant damage to Queensland’s crucial sugar and banana crops. Cyclone Yasi is just the latest natural disaster to hit Queensland. Several weeks of heavy rains and flash flooding has killed 35 people and caused billions of dollars in damages.

A huge mop-up is underway at Mildura in Victoria’s north-west, with homes awash, crops inundated and sewage posing a health risk. The border city is counting the cost of an estimated YEAR’S WORTH OF RAIN IN A DAY – the drenching started on Friday evening and spilled over into Saturday. “I’ve never seen a dump like this across the whole district. This is just the biggest thing.”

By today, some 200 homes had been flooded, but the number was growing as word got around. All eyes were on a large drainage basin at Irymple, six kilometres south of Mildura, which was struggling to cope with massive inflows. Pumps were being used to take water from the basin to avoid more homes being flooded. “A lot of the vines are underwater. All the table grapes are covered in white plastic.” Many roads in and around Mildura remain impassable. The Bureau of Meteorology today cancelled its severe weather warning for the state’s northern regions as well as for the Gippsland and East Gippsland areas in the state’s south-east.

AUSTRALIA – Alice Springs is bracing for potential flash flooding from the after effects of Cyclone Yasi that has lashed Queensland.

Tropical cyclone Yasi not only felled vast numbers of trees in some of Australia’s most spectacular and precious rainforest, but its might will have been felt underwater, too. Yasi will almost certainly have left a trail of destruction across a section of the Great Barrier Reef, hundreds of kilometres long. Many people do not realise that hundreds of kilometres offshore large parts of the Great Barrier Reef rise almost to the ocean surface, making it extremely vulnerable to wave action. A cyclone generates massive waves that pulverise coral, leaving a trail of rubble and smashed life. The damage can extend tens of metres below the surface.

The Great Barrier Reef has adapted to deal with the effects of cyclones and fierce storms – along its entire 2300 kilometres length there have always been areas recovering from some kind of disturbance or another, creating a mosaic of healthy and damaged reef. But scientists fear that as the grip of climate change tightens, the frequency and intensity of the disturbances will increase, leaving the reef too little time to recuperate between disasters.

Cyclone Wilma was THE FIRST TROPICAL CYCLONE IN RECORDED HISTORY TO EVER HIT NEW ZEALAND and it topped off a month that saw the tropics quite literally move into the upper North Island. While many remember cyclones Drena, Fergus and Bola – or even Giselle (causing the 1968 Wahine disaster) – those storms were “extra tropical”. They started off as tropical cyclones but changed when they lost their tropical characteristics. Sounds like a minor technicality but it is a significant change in the power and energy inside the storm.

Most of the storms in New Zealand are lows – deep and stormy, but with a different structure to tropical cyclones, which are far more aggressive. The closeness of the isobars in cyclones makes them so dangerous. Like an ice figure skater pulling their arms into spin faster, the tighter the isobars get the faster a cyclone spins. The more spread out the isobars are, the more spread out the winds are – and the air doesn’t spin as fast. Extra-tropical is when the skater opens her arms and the winds spread out and generally become weaker.

So Wilma was a tropical cyclone when she arrived but Zelia and Vania were not. Incredible after so many years of no cyclones they had three named storms in just three weeks. Some parts of the North Island had 400% OF THEIR JANUARY RAINFALL, which included Auckland, eastern Northland, the Firth of Thames, Coromandel and western Bay of Plenty – with many new records set. In contrast, it was dry for parts of inland south Canterbury and the Nelson Ranges. The weather pattern has now shifted into a “spring-like” westerly. It’s created huge temperatures – Gisborne reached 36C on Wednesday while that same morning Timaru started the day at 29C at 5am.

Topical Cyclone Zaka is expected to bring high winds and stormy seas this evening to Raoul Island, part of the Kermadec Group. Zaka is moving southwest with winds averaging 45 knots or 80 kilometres per hour at its centre. New Zealand’s Metservice warns heavy rain, thunderstorms and northeast winds gusting to 120 kilometres per hour could cause damage to trees and insecure structures on the island. Raoul is the largest of the Kermadecs, about 1000 kilometres north east of New Zealand. Winds are expected to ease as Zaka moves south, passing to the northeast of the North Island on Tuesday. So far the Pacific region has experienced six cyclones this season, and the region’s weather forecasters say the southwest Pacific can expect at least six more before the end of April.

Tropical Cyclone Zaka developed over the Pacific Ocean over the weekend and has become a tropical storm. The storm, the latest to develop after Cyclone Yasi pummeled Australia last week, is nearing Raoul Island (also called Sunday Island), the largest and northernmost of the main Kermadec Islands. It’s located about 680 miles (1,100 kilometers) north-northeast of New Zealand’s North Island. Zaka is expected to track near northeastern New Zealand.

Satellite imagery shows that Zaka has a well-defined center of circulation, and convection (rapidly rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) and thunderstorms are wrapping around the storm’s eastern side. The reason for more thunderstorms and convection on the east side of the storm is an upper-level low pressure area sitting to the northwest of the storm. That upper-level low is suppressing convection on the western side of Zaka.

New Zealand’s Metservice expects Tropical Storm Zaka to bring thunderstorms, gusty winds, rough surf and heavy rainfall to Raoul Island as it passes between 90 and 120 miles (150 to 200 km) west of the island this evening (New Zealand local time). Zaka had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (64 kph) at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST) today. It was still 550 miles (885 km) northeast of Auckland, New Zealand, and was moving south-southwest near 25 mph (40 kph) and kicking up waves 14 feet (4.2 meters) high. Because Zaka is moving into an area with increased wind shear (winds that can weaken and tear a storm apart) it is expected to weaken as it passes northeast of New Zealand’s North Island tomorrow.

Cyclone Zaka weakens off the east coast of New Zealand. Tropical cyclone Zaka – the latest storm to develop over the Pacific Ocean after cyclone Yasi pummelled Queensland last week – was last night passing the East Coast as a small storm. After passing west of Raoul Island, the largest and northernmost of New Zealand’s main Kermadec Islands, Zaka headed for New Zealand in a weakened state as it entered cooler waters. “Despite the centre being just 200km away from land, the system may not even bring cloud to the eastern tip of the North Island. The system is so small it may only bring a period of easterly winds for an hour or two this evening north of Gisborne.” But the “low” could drive in some rough seas over the next 12 to 24 hours around East Cape, Gisborne and Mahia Peninsula. Swells near the centre of the low will be around 5m high with waves reaching 2m to 3m around East Cape and Gisborne.

High chance of cyclone developing off Pilbara coast on Thursday – A low pressure system is expected to develop off the north west Kimberley coast in Australia today and is expected to move west south-west and develop into a tropical cyclone. “Well off the coast though by the looks of things and the expected track is further west or south west. So, it doesn’t look like it will do much for us, most of the rain associated with it will be off the coast.”

Outback floods give way to muddy mess – Floodwaters which lapped at outback homesteads and communities across northern South Australia have started to ease. The waters still cover much of the northern grazing lands but buildings are now drying out. “We’re in the process of cleaning everything up and just trying to again salvage what we can.” Torrential rain and storms across a wide area of SA were a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Yasi heading inland.

The flood recovery will take time. “This is going to be a bit of a marathon for us….Once we can get access to the roads of course the problem is if we get another storm like we did the other day it’s just going to turn into another river again and we’re just going to have to go through the whole thing all over again.”

Queensland towns remain cut off after Cyclone Yasi – More than five days after a category five cyclone battered northern Australia, help has still not reached some remote communities in Queensland. While loss of life has been minimal, Cyclone Yasi caused widespread damage to homes, roads, bridges and crops. The army has been cutting its way through mountains of debris to reach smaller townships and farms. Essential services are slowly being restored but some smaller communities have yet to receive the help they need. The task – after the state’s worst storm in a century – is immense. The coastal town of Cardwell, south of Cairns, was very badly damaged. “The lifeblood of this place is the highway out front of us and my fear is that if they don’t get this highway going, up and going again that our future, we won’t have one.” The Australian government says that the impact of Cyclone Yasi and recent flooding in Queensland will affect economic growth during the first quarter of the year.


SRI LANKA’s monsoon rains have spread to more villages and towns, leaving at least 14 people dead and more than one million with flooded homes.

AUSTRALIA – More Queensland extreme rainfall events expected. Queensland’s summer of 2010-2011 will be long remembered for its widespread flooding and the impact of Cyclone Yasi, but it may not be an isolated occurrence for the state. Research from the Australian Institute of Marine Science shows the frequency of extreme rainfall events has been increasing since the late 19th century.

Some latest research supports predictions that tropical rainfall will become more variable in a warming world. Scientists at AIMS have investigated several long coral cores from the Great Barrier Reef and that has allowed them to reconstruct northeast Queensland summer rainfall back to the late 17th century, providing more than 300 years of records to examine past climate variability and change. The 1973-1974 summer wet season, when Brisbane experienced its previous major flood, was the wettest in at least the past three centuries. Extreme wet and dry events had always occurred in Queensland, but the cores provided evidence that they are happening more frequently now than they did in earlier centuries. “The fact that extreme wet and extreme dry weather will happen more often and can potentially impact on thousands of people and millions of dollars worth of property, is something that the community will have to consider.”

AUSTRALIA – Western and Southeast districts of ueensland received more heavy rain with storms yesterday. Baralaba in the Capricornia picked up a hefty 123mm in the 24 hours to 9am, this is their heaviest daily rain total in 8 years for any month. Rain rates were also up to 11mm in ten minutes at Longreach and 9mm in ten minutes at Roma.

The storms developed yesterday due to cold upper level air which increased the instability in the atmosphere. There was also a surface low pressure trough moving through southern QLD which was already causing patchy rain and the odd storm. The heavy rain is also largely attributable to the very high amounts of moisture in the atmosphere. This is a result of the passing of two ex-Tropical Cyclones, moist southeasterly winds and a prolonged increased flow of moisture from across the Pacific due to the La Nina Event that they are currently experiencing. Storm activity will contract further north into the tropics over the next few days thanks to a high pressure ridge strengthening in the east and stabilising the atmosphere.


Extreme weather could create a global food crisis – 2010 was among THE HOTTEST AND WETTEST YEARS ON RECORD – we are entering a period of climate and food insecurity (says Munich Re, one of the world’s leading reinsurers).

“There is a systematic influence on all of these weather events nowadays because there is more water vapour lurking around in the atmosphere than there used to be, say, 30 years ago. It’s about a 4% extra amount, provides plenty of moisture for these storms and it’s unfortunate that the public is not associating this with the fact that this is one manifestation of climate change. And the prospects are that these kinds of things will only get worse in the future.”

Globally, 2010 saw 19 nations – a RECORD NUMBER – SET TEMPERATURE RECORDS including Pakistan, which hit 53.5C, the HOTTEST TEMPERATURE EVER RELIABLY MEASURED IN ASIA’S HISTORY. From mid-December to mid-January of this year, parts of north-eastern Canada were 21C above average, “which are very large values to be sustained for an entire month”. In mid-December, Greenland experienced THE MOST EXTREME HIGH-PRESSURE SYSTEM OF ITS KIND EVER RECORDED ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET. Last year saw THE GREATEST ICE MELT ON RECORD for Greenland.

In America, Tennessee was devastated by a ONCE-IN-A-1,000-YEAR rain storm leading to what some called Nashville’s Katrina. In October, the STRONGEST STORM EVERY RECORDED IN THE MIDWEST BROKE PRESSURE RECORDS. “The term ‘100-year event’ really lost its meaning this year.” The Moscow heatwave this summer was so severe that the Russian Meteorological Centre reported: “There was nothing similar to this on the territory of Russia during the LAST 1,000 years in regard to the heat.”

Pakistan was inundated by a deluge that seemed beyond imagination – until an area the size of Germany and France combined was inundated by “biblical” floods in Australia. In Carnarvon, MORE THAN A YEAR’S WORTH OF RAIN FELL IN JUST 24 HOURS. In one city in Queensland, six inches fell in just 30 minutes. Very warm sea surface temperatures contributed to the record rainfall and very high humidity across eastern Australia during winter and spring. The most recent decade (2001-10) was also the warmest decade on record for sea surface temperatures following the pattern observed over land. In January, more than 300mm fell in just a few hours in many regions of Brazil, causing their deadliest natural disaster in history. Again, a key contributor was the second warmest sea surface temperatures on record for the moisture source region.

Individually, these climate-driven extreme events were disasters, but collectively they contributed to a global food crisis. In early January, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s food price index, “a basket tracking the wholesale cost of wheat, corn, rice, oilseeds, dairy products, sugar and meats” had jumped to a RECORD HIGH. When the real food instability comes – if, for instance, the US or Chinese breadbasket gets hit by the type of heatwave Russia just did – the big grain producers will ban exports, to make sure their people are fed. In this scenario, if you don’t have your own food supplies or an important export item to barter – particularly oil – your country is going to have big, big problems feeding its people.

“Given the association of extreme weather and climate events with rising global temperature, the EXPECTATION OF NEW RECORD HGIH TEMPERATURES IN 2012 also suggests that the frequency and magnitude of extreme events could reach a high level in 2012. Extreme events include not only high temperatures, but also indirect effects of a warming atmosphere including the impact of higher temperature on extreme rainfall and droughts. The greater water vapour content of a warmer atmosphere allows larger rainfall anomalies and provides the fuel for stronger storms driven by latent heat.” Barring a major volcano, half the years this decade are likely to be warmer than 2010. That means wetter and more extreme weather. And that means more food insecurity.


AUSTRALIA – More than 100 people have fled their homes in Perth’s east where a bushfire is burning out of control.

SYDNEY’S RECORD HEATWAVE has continued for a seventh day but the city can breathe a sigh of relief as a break is set to come. A new overnight record was set with temperatures only lowering to 27.6C at Sydney’s Observatory Hill by 6.10am (AEDT) today – one degree higher than the previous record set in 1973. The heat record had extended into the seventh straight day that the Sydney area experienced 30C-plus temperatures. Since records were first kept in 1858, Sydney HAS NEVER EXPERIENCED SUCH CONSISTENTLY HIGH TEMPERATURES. Sydney Airport set an overnight record high of 26.4C at 7.11am (AEDT), topping the previous mark set in 1929. Homebush in the city’s west recorded an overnight high of 27.3C. Relief though is on its way with a change in the weather expected this afternoon.

Temperatures are expected to drop to the mid 20s and are predicted to stay there until Wednesday.

AUSTRALIA – Wildfires have destroyed a number of homes in western Australia, as the north-east of the country continues to be affected by flooding brought about by Cyclone Yasi last week. Flooding also affected the southern state of Victoria after Yasi caused a series of thunderstorms over Melbourne and other large towns in the state. The resulting two days of heavy rain caused further flooding. Yasi compounded the state’s misery, coming on the heels of devastating floods that have claimed 35 lives and destroyed hundreds of homes since December.

In the western Australian city of Perth, wildfires tore through suburbs, destroying at least a dozen homes. There have been no reports of casualties. In Victoria, the Melbourne suburb of Elwood was one of the hardest hit, with floodwaters cutting off many houses and washing cars off roads. Melbourne received HALF ITS AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL IN JUST A DAY. In Queensland, some 7,000 people remain in evacuation centres and thousands more are living in their battered homes without power or water supplies. Communication links have yet to be restored to many areas.

AUSTRALIA – Up to 40 homes have been destroyed in Roleystone and Kelmscott, and up to 60 could be damaged by out-of-control bushfires threatening lives and properties across Perth. The Black Sunday bushfires are burning out of control in Roleystone and Kelmscott, Brigadoon and surrounding suburbs including Red Hill. Around 400 firefighters are working to bring the fires under control but strong winds are spreading flames fast. As daylight faded air operations to put out the flames were stopped as they cannot fly at night. A fire in the City of Armadale was started accidentally by someone using a grinder.

A fire in the City of Swan is believed to have started after strong winds snapped a tree branch which then fell on to an electrical unit. The blaze, which has threatened lives and was impacting on homes in Brigadoon, Baskerville, Millendon, Red Hill and Herne Hill of the City of Swan last night, has been burning for more than 24 hours and destroyed more than a 1000 hectares. The fires impacting Roleystone and Redhill are still out of control and lives and homes are in danger. The blaze in Roleystone could still destroy more homes. “The fire is uncontrolled, it is at risk of running in a highly populated area. It (the number of homes damaged) could increase anything up to 60.”

INDIA – The 2010 was the hottest year since 1901. But 2011 might break last year’s record because of the `warm’ winter spell being witnessed for last few days. After first 15 days’ record-breaking low temperatures in January, the winter has been keeping warm for past 22 days. And, now for last two days, mercury levels have been UNUSUALLY high in UP. While the day temperatures were 5-8 degrees above normal, night temperatures were 2-4 degrees above normal. The weather normally witnessed towards March end is prevailing at present in February.

The steady stream of western disturbances (WD) hitting the Himalayas are responsible for the weather change in the plains. The forecast is that temperatures will come back to normal levels in next 3-4 days. The cause of worry is lack of winter rains so far. If similar conditions continue for a week, it may hit rabi crops, particularly wheat. On Monday, the maximum temperature in the city was 31 degrees Celsius, seven degrees above normal. The minimum temperature was 12.2 degrees Celsius, four degrees above normal. The normal maximum and minimum temperatures for February are 26 degrees Celsius and 9.3 degrees Celsius respectively. Normal rainfall for January is 21.9 mm and 11.2 mm in February.

Western disturbances are cyclonic circulations which originate from the Mediterranean sea due to pressure variation and travel all the way to India, causing snow/rainfall in the northern hill regions. Untill the time WD prevails, it keeps winds over hills warm. When these winds come to plains, they increase temperatures. The WDs, when they move beyond hills, also cause rains and hail/thunderstorms in the plains. The average temperatures in India have been rising since 1998. The mean annual temperature of the country as a whole in 2010 was 0.93 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 average. It was because of high maximum temperatures in March, April and May, while minimum temperatures were high in November.The country’s annual average temperature is 24.64 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, farmers fear that high temperatures and absence of rains may harm the wheat crop. Warm winters last year had led to shrivelling of wheat grains. Wheat requires moderate mercury levels (maximum 20-23 degrees Celsius and minimum 4-5 degrees Celsius) in the sowing season in December and light rains in January-February for proper growth.


US snow melts leaving mess, and bodies – The mountains of snow that have covered the northeastern US landscape for the past month and a half are finally melting, revealing oozing lumps of garbage, gaping potholes, bicycles, rat-infested sofas, discarded Christmas trees – and even bodies. More than 145 centimetres of snow has fallen on New York City this winter, ITS SNOWIEST JANUARY EVER, and the story is similar elsewhere around the northeast. Residents welcomed warmer weather this week before an expected plunge back into the freezer, but they weren’t so thrilled about the side effects. “This is disgusting. I can’t tell if it’s snow or garbage or some sick other thing,” said one resident, finding discarded bills, paper cups and sludge in the shrinking mound of snow and ice covering her car. “This stinks.”

Since a post-Christmas blizzard dumped more than 0.6 metres of snow on parts of the city, the snow piles have forced pedestrians to weave single-file through snow-packed footpaths. Two bodies were found in vehicles last week. In both cases, a passer-by spotted someone slumped over the wheel after snow melted away from the windows. One man was found dead on February 1 of an apparent gunshot wound; he had been reported missing a week earlier. And on Friday, a day after he was reported missing, a body was found in the driver’s seat of a BMW. Authorities believe he may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. At least one other body was discovered in the New York area in late January, in a parking lot. The man had been dead of hypothermia for several days before anyone noticed.

After complaining for weeks about the city’s failure to plough enough snow, many New Yorkers are now griping about the garbage piles and big pieces of furniture, some crawling with rats. During the many snowstorms to hit the city, the Sanitation Department suspended garbage collection for days at a time in order to use trucks for snow removal, which meant about 11,000 tons of rubbish per day didn’t get collected. Some of it got buried by the succeeding storms. Garbage collection has since resumed, but it’s not proceeding fast enough for some New Yorkers. “It’s like we’ve replaced the snow walls with garbage walls. Even the parks are covered in mud and filthy snow.”

High pressure pushed wacky weather over USA – Record, or near-record, snowfalls in Chicago, New York City and Tulsa. For much of the USA, the winter has been a seemingly endless series of intense cold snaps and colossal snowstorms during months of record-shattering weather. It may not sound too dramatic, but when we’ve had extreme winter weather in North America and Europe, the common denominator has been UNUSUALLY HIGH PRESSURE AT THE UPPER LEVELS OF THE ATMOSPHERE over the Arctic and Greenland. Such high atmospheric pressure has made temperatures warmer than average over Canada, Greenland and Alaska, but has opened the door to lower pressure, cold outbreaks and ferocious storms over the USA and Europe.

The high pressure over Greenland this winter was characteristic of the “negative phase” of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and its close cousin the Arctic Oscillation. Both oscillations refer to seesaw patterns in atmospheric pressure between the polar regions and the middle latitudes. In the oscillations’ “negative phase,” higher-than-normal pressure areas form over the polar regions and lower-than-normal pressure troughs form over the middle latitudes. These persistent “troughs” helped stir up storms over the middle latitudes.

La Niña – cooler-than-average water in the central Pacific Ocean – played a role this winter, but other climate patterns, such as the NAO and the persistently strong ridges and troughs overwhelmed the effects of La Niña in some areas. In a typical La Niña winter, much of the southern and central USA see a warmer- and drier-than-average winter while the West Coast and Northwest are colder than average. A strong El Niño can mean a stormy winter along the West Coast, a wet winter across the South and a warmer-than-average winter for parts of the North. “They (La Niña and El Niño) are not the be-all and end-all of everything.”

How about global warming? Does this cold winter disprove it? Not really. As global temperatures rise, higher pressure is more likely at upper levels of the atmosphere, which is what happened this winter. Strong ridges aloft in recent months and years have been conducive to potent troughs of low pressure that help form intense storms.

“While major population centers such as London, Paris, Chicago and Atlanta were shivering, which got a lot of media attention, large expanses in and near the Arctic, including northeast Canada and Greenland, have been experiencing UNUSUALLY WARM conditions this winter.” The loss of Arctic sea ice, which was at its LOWEST DECEMBER AND JANUARY LEVELS ON RECORD, could be changing atmospheric patterns.


Will asteroid Apophis hit Earth in 2036? NASA rejects Russian report. In 2004, NASA scientists announced that there was a chance that Apophis, an asteroid larger than two football fields, could smash into Earth in 2029. A few additional observations and some number-crunching later, astronomers noted that the chance of the planet-killer hitting Earth in 2029 was nearly zilch.

Now, reports out of Russia say that scientists there estimate Apophis will collide with Earth on April 13, 2036. These reports conflict on the probability of such a doomsday event, but the question remains: How scared should we be? “Technically, they’re correct, there is a chance in 2036 [that Apophis will hit Earth].” However, that chance is just 1-in-250,000. The Russian scientists are basing their predictions of a collision on the chance that the 900-foot-long (270 meters) Apophis will travel through what’s called a gravitational keyhole as it passes by Earth in 2029. The gravitational keyhole they mention is a precise region in space, only slightly larger than the asteroid itself, in which the effect of Earth’s gravity is such that it could tweak Apophis’ path. “The situation is that in 2029, April 13, [Apophis] flies very close to the Earth, within five Earth radii, so that will be quite an event, but we’ve already ruled out the possibility of it hitting at that time. On the other hand, if it goes through what we call a keyhole during that close Earth approach … then it will indeed be perturbed just right so that it will come back and smack Earth on April 13, 2036.’ The chances of the asteroid going through the keyhole, which is tiny compared to the asteroid, are “minuscule”.

The more likely scenario is this: Apophis will make a fairly close approach to Earth in late 2012 and early 2013, and will be extensively observed with ground-based optical telescopes and radar systems. If it seems to be heading on a destructive path, NASA will devise the scheme and machinery necessary to change the asteroid’s orbit, decreasing the probability of a collision in 2036 to zero. There are several ways to change an asteroid’s orbit, the simplest of which is to run a spacecraft into the hurtling rock. This technology was used on July 4, 2005, when Deep Impact smashed into the comet Tempel 1.

Newly-discovered asteroid 2011 CA7 is flying past Earth today only 63,000 miles away, or 1/4TH THE DISTANCE TO THE MOON. At closest approach around 1700 UT on Feb. 9th, the VW-Bug-sized space rock will zip through the constellation Orion glowing like a 17th magnitude star.

Several small asteroids passed close to earth in the last few days.

The 1 meter-sized 2011 CQ1 came closest and on 2/4 passed only 0.03 lunar distances from earth.

Asteroid 2011 CQ1 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on February 4 and made a RECORD CLOSE EARTH APPROACH 14 hours later at 19:39 UT (14:39 EST). It passed to within 0.85 Earth radii (5480 km) of the Earth’s surface over a region in the mid-Pacific. This object is the closest non-impacting object in our asteroid catalog to date. Prior to the Earth close approach, this object was in an orbit that was mostly outside the Earth’s orbit. Following the close approach, the Earth’s gravitational attraction modified the object’s orbit to an orbit where the asteroid spends almost all of its time inside the Earth’s orbit. The close Earth approach changed the asteroid’s flight path by about 60 degrees. Because of their small size, objects of this size are difficult to discover but there are likely to be nearly a billion objects of this size and larger in near-Earth space and one would expect one to strike Earth’s atmosphere every few weeks on average. Upon striking the atmosphere, small objects of this size create visually impressive fireball events but only rarely do even a few small fragments reach the ground.

The 3 meter-sized 2011 CF22 on 2/6 passed only 0.1 LD (one tenth the distance to the moon).

The 4 meter-sized (VW Bug sized above) 2011 CA7 on 2/9 will pass only 0.3 LD (1/4 the distance to the moon).

The 23 meter-sized 2011 CZ3 on 2/10 will pass 2.5 LD (Two and a half times farther away than the moon.)]

Formerly quiet sunspot 1153 is suddenly crackling with C- and M-class solar flares. Because sunspot 1153 is rounding the sun’s western horizon, these eruptions are not Earth-directed. They are, however, Venus-directed. The second planet from the sun could receive glancing blows from solar plasma clouds in the days ahead.


100,000 sharks mass off Florida’s beaches – A mass of more than 100,000 sharks was spotted swimming just 100 yards off Florida’s sandy beaches. A long-time fisherman and marine technology expert was cruising 300ft above the clear waters in his helicopter on Sunday when he came across the astonishing scene.

He whipped out his smartphone to capture the masses of deadly predators, which spanned a 20-mile stretch of water. The sharks – believed to be Spinners, between 3ft and 7ft long – were heading north and swimming parallel to the east coast’s beaches between Fort Lauderdale and exclusive Jupiter Island.

Small groups of strays were even spotted milling around swimmers who appeared to be blissfully unaware of the danger, although no injuries were reported. Experts say this is the time of year when sharks migrate and head for warmer waters, typically swimming close to the shore while chasing after bait-fish. But the expert was baffled as to the staggering number of sharks gathered in the shallow waters. ‘It was an truly amazing sight. ‘I’ve been a fisherman for 20 years…They’re prevalent at this time of year but what amazed me was the sheer numbers of them. There were tens of thousands of them – I’d say maybe 100,000. I kept on flying for about 20 miles and they just kept on coming. It’s common to see large predatory sharks come in and feed on schools of bait-fish – the odd thing was I didn’t see any bait-fish at all!

Florida 2/4/11

Source: RSOE

Several people were stung when a large number of Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish washed ashore Sunday. The victims were injured while walking along the beach but none seriously.

Death in the Bat Caves: Disease Wiping out Hibernating Bats


ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2011) — Conservationists across the United States are racing to discover a solution to White-Nose Syndrome, a disease that is threatening to wipe out bat species across North America. A review published in Conservation Biology reveals that although WNS has already killed one million bats, there are critical knowledge gaps preventing researchers from combating the disease. WNS is a fatal disease that targets hibernating bats and is believed to be caused by a newly discovered cold-adapted fungus, Geomyces destructans, which infects and invades the living skin of hibernating bats. Since 2006 about one million bats across six species in eastern North America have died from WNS, and as a result several species of bats face endangerment or extinction.

Japan 2/6/11

Source: RSOE

Another tufted duck found dead in Fukushima Prefecture has been confirmed to have been infected with a highly virulent type of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, the Environment Ministry said Friday, after confirming earlier this week that three other ducks had the virus. In Miyazaki Prefecture, meanwhile, preliminary tests showed positive for avian flu in six chickens which had been found dead in a poultry farm in Miyazaki city. The prefectural government subsequently asked 51 farms in the city not to move their chickens, which number 1.93 million. The virus found in the four ducks in Fukushima Prefecture was ”extremely closely related” to the one discovered in a wild duck in Hokkaido last October, according to the ministry. The Fukushima prefectural government said Friday that no abnormalities have been found in on-site inspections conducted from Thursday at 59 farms within a 10-kilometer radius of the water reservoir where the dead ducks were found. The Environment Ministry also began Friday a study of wild bird droppings collected in the area to check whether the virus has spread. In Miyazaki, detailed examinations are planned to confirm whether the dead chickens were infected with flu. If confirmed, all the roughly 10,000 chickens at the same farm will be culled, according to local officials. It is yet another blow to the local poultry industry in the southwestern prefecture, which was hit by bird flu in 2007 and then a foot-and-mouth epidemic that led to the slaughter of about 290,000 cows and pigs.

North Carolina 2/6/11

Source: RSOE

A video posted to YouTube over the weekend by a sport fisherman shows thousands of dead fish floating off the coast of the Outer Banks. Fisherman Mike Stokes says the fish were, “dead stripers floating belly up, pretty much as far as you could see, a couple hundred yards.” But it’s not pollution that’s killing the fish. State officials say it’s the fishermen. Commercial boats are limited to taking just 50 fish a day. That quota comes with unintended consequences. “The rule almost encourages waste, because they’re only allowed a certain number of fish and they’re bringing way more fish than they’re allowed to keep on board,” Stokes says. The smaller fish that come up in fishermen’s nets get discarded and end up floating lifeless in the ocean. It’s not as simple as just putting the bass back in the water. Stokes says most of the fish are severely damaged when commercial boats bring them up. “What happens is all the fish in that net are crushed under the weight of all the fish, so when they get the fish they keep and throw the rest back I’d say a huge percentage of them die,” Stokes says. Recreational fishermen say the solution is simple. Change the regulations from 50 fish per boat to a set tonnage for the week. This would allow commercial fisherman to bring in more fish while eliminating the waste in striped bass. Stokes says, “That way he wouldn’t be forced to throw excess fish or above-the-quota fish overboard, potentially to their demise.” NewsChannel 3 took action to get answers on what’s being done to fix the problem. Robert Bizzell, Chairman of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission says setting limits by weight rather than the number of the fish, is likely.

Egypt 2/6/11


The Ministry of Health of Egypt has announced a case of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus. A 7 year-old male from Gharbia Governorate, developed symptoms on 20 Jan 2011 and was hospitalized on 20 Jan 2011. He is in a stable condition. Investigations into the source of infection indicated that the case had exposure to sick poultry. The case was confirmed by the Egyptian Central Public Health Laboratories, a National Influenza Center of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN). Of the 122 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 40 have been fatal.

Laos 2/6/11


About 200 cow and buffalo calves in Aed district, Houaphan province, have died after contracting a mouth infection, according to local officials yesterday [3 Feb 2011]. “The animals that died were aged between 1 and 6 months,” an official from the provincial Livestock and Fisheries Sector, Mr Phuangsavath Phommasy, told Vientiane Times during a telephone interview. According to a laboratory investigation into the cause of death, the animals did not die from foot-and-mouth disease [FMD] or as a result of the recent cold weather but from a mouth infection [see comment below]. Animals from 9 villages in Aed district have been infected with the disease. The district is located in the north of Laos and shares a border with Viet Nam.

Thailand, Cambodia 2/6/11


Health officials warn that an ongoing border dispute and subsequent military build-up along the Thai-Cambodian frontier could undermine global efforts to contain drug-resistant malaria, citing limited access for surveillance, early diagnosis, and treatment.

Flu outbreak closes GBHS unit in Markdale


Grey Bruce Health Services has closed the medical surgical unit to new admissions and put restrictions on visits at the Markdale hospital due to an outbreak of influenza A. The inpatient nursing unit was closed Friday afternoon, the hospital corporation announced in a news release Friday night. There were three confirmed cases of influenza A in the unit, which had 11 patients.

Three cases of cholera confirmed in New York City


Three New York City residents caught cholera while attending a wedding in the Dominican Republic. The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the people have recovered from the illness since visiting the island nation on Jan. 22. Health officials said there is no chance of an outbreak because of the infected residents. The New York Times reports the cases were the first since an outbreak occurred last year in Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is working with the city health department to determine whether the three cases are linked to the Haitian outbreak, which has killed thousands since October.

Flu Season Hits Pennsylvania


Flu season struck Pennsylvania early this year, with cases surging a few weeks before they normally do. The state saw an influx of flu cases in mid-January, and those numbers are on the rise. The Pennsylvania Department of Health says the viral infection is “widespread,” especially in the south central and north central regions. The flu normally hits Pennsylvania at the end of January or beginning of February and peaks by early March. This year, the state logged 1,200 flu cases during the week ending Jan. 29, up from 915 the previous week, and 597 the week before that. Normally at this time of year, there are no more than 600 cases per week.

FMD found at nation’s largest breeding farm


Thirteen pigs were confirmed Saturday to have foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) at Korea’s largest breeding farm – the Department of Animal Resources Development in Cheonan, South Chungcheong – which provides sperm from high-quality livestock to farms nationwide, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said yesterday. There are currently 350 cows, 1,650 pigs and 13,430 poultry (chicken and ducks) at the facility, the ministry said. The ministry said yesterday that the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service conducted an inspection Saturday on 13 pigs that at showed signs of FMD at the breeding farm. All 13 tested positive.

Six die of CSM in Upper West this yea


Wa, Feb. 5, GNA – Out of 43 reported cases of Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis (CSM), six people have died from the disease in the Upper West Region during the first four weeks of this year. Jirapa and Lawra Districts recorded two deaths each while Sissala West and Lambussie Districts had one death each.

Winter flu death toll rises to 15


The flu outbreak has claimed a total of 15 lives in the Republic this winter, with three more deaths reported in the last week. Health chiefs warned that while the number of new cases is in decline, levels among schoolchildren aged from five to 14 continue to rise. Two more people with swine flu have died in the north, bringing the total number of deaths during this flu season to 25. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) confirmed the swine flu H1N1 virus is only accounting for just over a third of all flu cases tested in the Republic. Nearly two-thirds were Influenza B. Statistics showed the number of people suffering from flu needing hospital care over the winter months rose to 803 on Wednesday, with 103 critical cases admitted to intensive care.

Where are the striper? Maybe dead on the bottom or washed up on the beach


Talked to several charter captains today and they all had the same thing to say. Since the massive striped bass kill near Oregon Inlet, anglers were having trouble finding cooperative fish. There might not be any. Aerial pictures from more commercial trawler spills Thursday and Friday show hundreds, if not thousands, of fish floating along the coast of the Outer Banks. Those fish either sunk to the bottom or washed up on the beach. A few were scooped up by anglers not wanting to see the fish wasted. North Carolina officials only counted 251 fish. A story in this morning’s Virginian-Pilot quoted North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries spokesperson Patricia Smith stating “if someone actually has photos of thousands of fish, we’d be happy to see them.”

Flu Update: 30 States Reporting Widespread Outbreaks


February is the peak of flu season so make sure you are prepared! Flu activity continues to show no signs of slowing as numbers across the U.S are up again from last week, with more states reporting widespread flu outbreaks. Since the last update, the number of flu cases has gone up again. Just like last week, every state is reporting at least some flu activity. There are now 30 states; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming, reporting widespread flu. Regional flu was being reported in 15 states. Local activity was reported by the District of Columbia and one state, Washington. Sporadic activity was seen in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah.

Gastric flu outbreak spreads in Britain


Britain is in the grip of a gastric flu outbreak which has spread from hospitals in Scotland to the south coast, health chiefs said today.Levels of the virus, which has already affected 12 hospitals in Scotland, are higher than those recorded in the past, said the Public Health Laboratory Service.The number of people struck down with the viral infection on hospital wards was today expected to rise amid reports of the bug in Manchester, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Dorset and Cornwall. There was also a similar case in Birmingham earlier this month.So far, Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary has been worst hit with 283 patients and staff hit by the illness.It has forced emergency admissions to the hospital to be diverted to the city’s Southern General Hospital until further notice.

Typhoid fever outbreak hits Cebu village


CEBU, Philippines – Twenty cases of typhoid fever have been recorded in Sitio Cabal-asan in Barangay Arpili, Balamban, Cebu as of Sunday. Officials from the Department of Health (DOH) and Integrated Provincial Health Office have visited the mountain village and distributed water disinfectant for residents.The DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit met with villagers to tell them of their situation. Health official Renan Cimafranca said that they conducted the water source in the area tested positive for the typhoid fever bacteria. A blood test was also conducted on 6 residents who showed typhoid fever symptoms. Five of them tested positive.

School quarantine extended as flu outbreak keeps students in bed


With a flu epidemic raging across Russia, Moscow’s officials have decided to extend its school quarantine. The city’s Health Ministry have announced that they are giving themselves 48 hours to figure out whether it is safe for kids to go back to school. Meanwhile, they prolonged the quarantine for another two days for children under 15. The officials also decided that every student will be checked for cold and flu before lessons start in Moscow schools. The Health Ministry is urging parents not to send children to school with the slightest signs of cold or flu. A total of 2,105 Muscovites were hospitalized with cold and flu over the past week.

08/02/11: Cambodia Reports First Bird Flu Outbreak


Apparently the avian flu is spreading very quickly in Asia. There has been one new outbreak of suspected highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a village poultry flock the south of the Cambodia. The authorities sent Immediate Notification dated 7 February 2011 to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). According to the report, the outbreak started on 27 January at Prek Doung in the region of Kandal. In a village flock of 232 birds, 48 died and 174 have been culled.

Measles Outbreak in New Zealand


Auckland has reported an outbreak of measles that arrived with infected travelers on an Emirates flight from Brisbane nearly a month ago and is spreading very quickly.The nine passengers on the Emirates Flight of January 11th would have come into contact with many others and there is increasing alarm that the situation cannot be controlled with the disease spreading like wildfire. 300 persons have been already identified, who have come in contact with these passengers and 12 have tested positive for this highly infectious illness. Now, as these, without knowing about the danger, come into contact with yet others, there can be no immediate halt to the epidemic. Although, according to Public Health Director, Julia Peters, most cases are in West Auckland, there has been a report from Wellington too.

New Zealand added to Google swine flu map


“Likely” swine flu infections suffered by ten Rangitoto College students have been noted on Google’s official Flu Trends site, created in co-operation with the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and pinned on an unaffiliated Google Map tracking the possible pandemic. Yesterday, deputy director of public health Dr Darren Hunt confirmed that the 10 Rangitoto students had tested postitive for Influenza A. It won’t be known for several days whether they are suffering from H1N1 or “swine flu,” the subset of Influenza A that has so far killed 80 in Mexico and infected more than 20 in the US, where President Obama has declared a public health emergency. But Health Separtment officials describe the scenario as “highly likely.” The 10 were part of a wider group of 22 Rangitoto students who arrived home from Mexico to New Zealand on Saturday, with 14 reporting flu-like symptoms. One is in hospital, the rest are under home quarantine.

Possible Rabies Outbreak Reported in Argentina


According to a report from the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID), there recently has been a rise in the number of equine rabies cases diagnosed in the Corrientes province of Argentina. Officials believe the horses were infected with the disease via vampire bats.The extent of the outbreak remains unclear, but officials have announced they will begin vaccinating horses within a six-mile radius of where the initial cases were diagnosed in an attempt to reduce the number of horses that contract the virus. Additionally, ISID reported that the Ministry of Public Health will “take follow-up action for the bat colonies in the area.”

Five children killed by rabies outbreak in Peru’s jungle


Five children killed by rabies outbreak in Peru’s jungleAt present, five children from the indigenous communities Awajun and Wampis have died in Peru due to rabies spread by vampire bats, according to information issued by the Ministry of Health. This case brings the total number of fatalities of this outbreak to 20. Fernando Borjas, a local health official said that some 3,500 people had been bitten by these vampire bats, and warned that there are not enough vaccines in the affected areas since those are located in remote places.

Alarming riddle of the seas as thousands more dead fish wash up on U.S. beach in latest mass death mystery


First it was birds falling out of the sky in Louisiana and Texas. Then scores of devil crabs were found dead on a beach in England. Now, in the latest unexplained mass animal death to hit the headlines this year alone, thousands of fish have again washed up dead in Florida. This follows similar incidents where large schools of fish were found lifeless on beaches in Arkansas, Maryland and New Zealand in January. What caused the fish in this latest incident to die is not yet known, but biologists believe they may have been killed due to a lack of oxygen in the water. Fishermen at Sebastian Inlet State Park first made the grim discovery on Friday. ‘I saw the fish jumping out there and I thought it was going to be a really good day for fishing, and then I noticed over here in the surf that they’re all dead,’ fisherman Jeff Johnson told WPBF 25 News.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Crews Checking for Dead Fish


SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Texas Parks and Wildlife crews are on their way to check the beaches for dead fish. Many dead fish washed up on Boca Chica Beach and South Padre Island during last week’s winter weather. About a thousand mullets and hundreds of speckle trout were killed. The fish could not handle the frigid temperatures in the gulf waters.

UFO linked to 2000 fish deaths says Panorama Diario


BOGOTA – Residents of a community northeast of Colombia claim that 2000 fish have turned up dead since last week, following last week’s appearance of a strange, flashing object seen briefly over a local swamp. The incident occurred at the village of El Llanito in the jurisdiction of the city of Barrancabermeja. Residents saw a flying object in the skies last Friday, according to local media. Shortly afterward, dead fish were found floating in the swamp, but unlike other similar cases ascribed to the lack of oxygen, residents of El Llanito are startled by the fact that fish display burn marks on their scales.

8,500 chickens infected with H5N1 virus in N’ganj


Narayanganj, Feb 7 ( – Some 8,500 chickens of two poultry farms in Narayanganj have been found infected with H5N1 virus, commonly known as bird flu virus. According to reports, around 200 chickens of the two farms in Batenpara area of Siddhirganj under Sadar Upazila died on Monday morning. The infection was confirmed when the officials of the Upazila livestock department, sent a sample of the tissue to the Central Diseases Investigation Laboratory (CDIL) in Dhaka for analysis.

5,000 chicken culled in Gazipur


Gazipur, Feb 7 (–Some 5,000 chickens of a poultry farm in Gazipur have been culled which were found infected with H5N1 virus, commonly known as bird flu virus. District livestock department official Mohammad Shamsur Rahman told that they were confirmed about the infection on Monday evening. According to reports, chickens of Khorshed Agro Farm at Konabari were dying of H5N1 virus over the last few days.

Three swine-flu deaths raise winter toll in Hong Kong to nine


Hong Kong – Three more patients have died of swine flu in Hong Kong, bringing the number of human deaths from the virus this winter to nine in the densely populated city, health officials said Tuesday. The Hospital Authority confirmed that a 21-year-old woman and two men, 53 and 62, had died of swine flu since the weekend.

Severe Outbreak Disease in Afghanistan Left 17 Dead


WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2011 /NewsRelease/ – In a presentation at the conference, Tim Motley, principal scientist, Ibis Biosciences, a subsidiary of Abbott (NYSE: ABT), reported on genotypic characterization of Yersina pestis after a severe outbreak of the unknown disease in Afghanistan’s Nimorz Province in December 2007. Eighty-three men and women experienced severe fever, vomiting and diarrhea, and 17 died. All had consumed camel meat. Due to the gastrointestinal symptoms and disease severity, anthrax was suspected. Today, at the American Society for Microbiology Conference on Biodefense and Emerging Diseases, scientists from Abbott Molecular presented data showing the unique power of the company’s Ibis technologies to recognize and further characterize unknown disease-causing pathogens to help aid within the bioforensic analysis of pandemic outbreaks.

Myanmar (Burma) 2/9/11

Source: RSOE

The recent outbreak of bird flu in Sittwe Township in western Burma’s Arakan State has brought great losses for the local poultry farmers as they had to cull thousands of their birds, said one affected farmer. The farmer told Narinjara that he is unable to save his business after all the chickens from his farms were taken by the authorities in the culling. “All 4,000 chickens, worth about ten million kyat, were taken from my farm and culled by the officials. So far, I have not gotten any compensation from the authorities and now it is very difficult for me to restart my business,” said the farmer. Officials from the local health and municipal departments have culled thousands of chickens from the poultry farms in the area after finding a strain of the H5N1 virus, also known as the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza – HPAI virus at a farm in Bumay Village in Sittwe Township on 12 January 2011. “As my farm is near the village hit by the flu, all of my chickens have been wiped out by the officials even though they were uninfected. The farms in other nearby villages also faced the same fate and an estimated 50,000 birds from both infected and uninfected farms have been culled by the authorities,” said the farmer. Another farmer reported that most of the affected farmers are facing a loss of their livelihood as authorities have neglected to even provide loans, much less compensation, to help them recover from the loss. “There is no compensation or loans being provided by the authorities to the farmers. It is like we had to suffer according to our fate. Apart from this, we have to pay the officials for anti-virus sprays on our farms and for culling the chickens, and now we are facing the ruin of our business,” he said. According to a local veterinarian, the virus is now under control as health officials have been closely monitoring the farms in the area after culling the affected birds.

Cambodia 2/9/11

Source: RSOE

A five-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, the World Health Organisation said Wednesday, in the first reported fatality from the virus since early last year. The girl fell ill in the capital Phnom Penh on January 30 and was taken to hospital with symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath, a joint statement from Cambodia and the UN’s public health arm said. She died on February 4. “Despite intensive medical care, the girl died 12 hours after admission from complications,” it said. The child is the 11th person in the country to become infected with the H5N1 virus and ninth to die since 2003. Cambodia said it was working to identify her close contacts and “to initiate preventive treatment as required”. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng urged people with respiratory infections who had been in “contact with dead or sick poultry to promptly seek medical attention”.

Peru 2/9/11

Source: RSOE

Health authorities have declared a red alert in Peru’s northern Amazon jungle region following the outbreak of a “very aggressive” dengue strain that has killed 14 people and sickened thousands. Dengue is endemic to the jungle region but until now Peru has largely dealt with the American strain of the disease. “[Authorities are facing] a new variety that we did not know in Peru and that probably entered from Brazil via the Amazon,” health minister Oscar Ugarte told local reporters. About 13,000 people have been infected and at least 1,600 people have been hospitalised for treatment, a health official in Loreto, in north-eastern Peru. There is no vaccine for dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease. A senior Loreto health official, Hugo Rodriguez, says this dengue strain is known as the Asian-American variety, and unlike the American variety produces severe shock among victims. “It is a combination of both varieties,” Mr Rodriguez said. Health officials in Iquitos, Peru’s main city on the Amazon River located 1,000 kilometres north of Lima, has launched a fumigation program in an attempt to diminish the number of mosquitos. The virus can result in deadly fevers, especially among children: half of those killed were minors.

New Zealand 2/9/11

Source: RSOE

The Community and Public Health Division of Canterbury District Health Board is warning travellers who arrived in Christchurch on Monday, January 31, on a Pacific Blue flight from Melbourne may have been exposed to measles. Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says Community and Public Health has been notified of an infected passenger who arrived on Pacific Blue Flight DJ 60, which departed Melbourne and arrived in Christchurch at 3pm last Monday. “Measles is a serious illness with 10 per cent of people who have the disease requiring hospital treatment. Measles is at its most highly infectious stage before any symptoms of a rash appears,” Dr Humphrey says. “The infected passenger was travelling to Christchurch for a wedding and would have been travelling during this highly infectious period.” Passengers on the flight would now be experiencing symptoms, he says. “Measles is easily spread through the air and people sitting in a row close to an affected passenger are potentially at risk. Even people sitting further away could have been infected, for example, while walking past the passengers with measles, or while waiting in the airport gate lounge.” While measles is now rare in New Zealand, thanks to vaccination, Dr Humphrey says there were still three outbreaks in 2009/2010, each of which was started by people who were infected overseas. “People tend to underestimate measles – reality is it can be a nasty disease. Measles can’t be treated once you get it, so the only way to prevent the disease is through immunisation.” “It is important to call first because measles is highly infectious and people with measles can infect others in the waiting room,” Dr Humphrey says.

Saudi Arabia 2/9/11

Source: RSOE

A number of people have been treated for dysentery following the Jan. 26 floods in Jeddah, although the exact numbers are unknown. Pharmacies have also reported a rise in the number of people asking for diarrhea medication. According to Sami Badawood, the city’s director of health affairs, 161 people were admitted to hospital following the floods for a variety of reasons. However, complaints include not only dysentery, but also panic and asthma attacks triggered by the floods. One case of dysentery serious enough to require hospitalization was that of 45-year-old Filipino Mario Cunanan.

Argentina 2/9/11

Source: RSOE

An 18-year-old youth presented with symptoms compatible with those of a hantavirus infection and is admitted to intensive care at the La Plata Hospital Italiano. His status is “very delicate” critical, according to medical sources. The Buenos Aires Minister of Health explained that “this coming week we will know the results of the laboratory tests for the samples that were sent to the Instituto Malbran and that confirm, or not, the diagnosis of the disease.” He underscored that “despite that this is just a suspected case, we will work the same way as if it was confirmed in the place where we presume that he contracted the disease.” The young man lives near the la Rueda location and besides studying, plays football in the 1st division of the Villa San Martin de Abasto Club, the place where he lives. The young man “first felt a strong stomach pain and fever, so had a test done, but later felt worse — he had a fever and vomiting — and when he went to the hospital he was admitted and was kept in intensive care,” added the report. One of the suspicions was that he could have contracted the virus infection in his home, since the residence is located along side a balanced feed production plant, and, according to the explanation of medical sources, “it is a swarm of rats.”

R2.4m for Rift Valley Fever outbreak in Eastern Cape


The department said 550,000 doses of vaccine were being administered in the affected areas bordering the Kei River, Centane, and Ngqamakwe. It had formed a committee with the department of health and the Amathole District Municipality to arrange support and education of farmers about RVF. Control measures included:

— vaccinating susceptible stock using a new needle for each animal;

— requiring that all mortalities, abortions and illness be reported to local animal health technicians or state veterinarians;

— preventing the destruction of carcasses and foetuses, which could be burnt or buried only on the authorisation of state vets;

— setting out of precautions to be taken when handling sick animals, foetuses or carcasses, including minimum protective clothing; and

— requiring additional control measures such as weekly spraying of stock, moving animals away from standing water to high altitude areas. The RVF outbreak was confirmed in January at three farms in the Graaf-Reinet and Kei Mouth areas. Two people infected with the disease in the Northern Cape in January have since recovered. The disease is a viral zoonosis, which means it is an animal disease which can be transmitted to humans.

Ind. among 11 states with widespread flu outbreaks


INDIANAPOLIS — While the recent flu outbreak has been widespread in Indiana and 10 other states, this year’s virus is not as threatening as those seen in past years, according to state and federal health officials. Four people have died in Indiana, but ISDH epidemiologist Shawn Richards said the strains seen this year have not been as severe, and there is no one strain responsible for all the deaths. Federal health officials said Tuesday they were classifying the outbreak as widespread in 11 states because it had affected people in at least half of the counties in those states.

Ghanaian Cholera Outbreak Kills Four, Sickens 200, Graphic Says


An outbreak of cholera in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, has killed four people and sickened more than 200, the Daily Graphic said. The government is offering free treatment to those affected and undertaking a public education campaign to combat the outbreak, the Accra-based newspaper said, citing Edward Antwi, a deputy regional director of public health.

Fruit fly outbreak in Goulburn Valley


QUEENSLAND fruit fly has been discovered north of Shepparton. Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) had declared a 15-kilometre suspension zone around the detection site. The suspension zone will regulate the movement of locally-produced host fruit from the suspension zone to Melbourne and other sensitive markets. Mr Walsh said conditions were right for further outbreaks of fruit fly. “The warm, humid conditions being experienced this summer mean that the pest can rapidly complete its life cycle and build in population,” Mr Walsh said.

Cough spreading among Maroondah residents


AN outbreak of whooping cough in Maroondah has prompted doctors to warn that anyone in contact with babies should be vaccinated against the disease. Twenty-three cases have been reported in the municipality so far this year, with four cases reported in the past week. Eastern Health’s Mary O’Reilly said the disease had broken out across Melbourne over the past six months. “Melbourne generally gets outbreaks every three to four years, mainly in spring and summer, and we have a bit of an outbreak at the moment,” Ms O’Reilly said. She said babies and young children were most at risk, and could stop breathing after a bout of coughing and also contract pneumonia.

Victorian dairy farmers urged to beware of fungus in pastures


Victorian dairy farmers and livestock producers are being urged to watch out for a fungus that grows in pastures and can be fatal for animals. The fungus thrives in wet and warm conditions and produces a toxin which attacks the livers of animals when ingested and causes eczema. There have been reports of cattle in the Gippsland region becoming sick from the fungus and one cow has died. District vet Jack Winterbottom says they are expecting a major outbreak this year.

South Korea reeling from FMD outbreak


DENVER – Stretching well into its third month, South Korea’s foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) crisis has taking a severe toll on that country’s domestic swine herd and created a huge spike in pork prices. To help ensure an adequate supply of pork and alleviate soaring prices in the meat case, South Korea’s government has announced a tariff relief measure on 60,000 metric tons of imported pork, according to the US Meat Export Federation. Pork imported into South Korea from most foreign suppliers is subject to a 25% duty. But between now and June 30, duty-free access will be granted for a 50,000 metric ton tariff rate quota (TRQ) of frozen pork products intended primarily for further processing. A separate, 10,000 metric ton TRQ has also been established specifically for frozen pork belly.

Herpes goes airborne, terrifies nation


With the smiles, obnoxious feelings, hearts, Bulgarian chocolates and prim cut roses, love is indeed in the air this Valentine’s Day. However, this February brings with it something altogether more menacing: airborne herpes? According to the latest CDC (Center for Disease Control) report, the airborne herpes outbreak stems from higher altitude levels coupled with even higher levels of sexual activity than usual.

Yellow fever issues in Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar


The Ministry of Health for Zanzibar has requested that all local and international tour operators be informed that a valid International Certificate of Vaccination to prevent yellow fever will have to be shown at points of entry to the country i.e. airports, seaports and borders. This request is felt necessary for the safety of tourists owing to the large outbreak of yellow fever that is ongoing in northern Uganda, where 226 cases and 53 deaths have been recorded. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommend all travellers have the vaccine at a registered yellow fever centre here in the UK, to be sure that travellers will not be vaccinated on arrival. This is a recommendation- not mandatory but is for travellers’ safety.

Beijing Reports Fourth H1N1 Death


According to an announcement posted to the official website of the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, as of midday on Feb 8 2011, 195 cases of A/H1N1 flu had been detected in Beijing this year, with one patient dying from the unique strain of the influenza virus over the past week, taking the total death toll for the Chinese capital this year to four. A report published on the website of the English edition of the People’s Daily in mid-January, quoted the deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention He Xiong as saying it was unlikely the A/H1N1 type of influenza will become this year’s dominant strain, because many people were already infected in 2009 and about 100 million people have been vaccinated in a nationwide program that began in early 2010. According to government statistics, most infections during the flu season are caused by the type B and H3N2 viruses. Health officials believe that A/H1N1 is unlikely to become the main flu strain in 2011.

Hundreds of sparrows fall dead in Rotorua


Hundreds of sparrows which were found dead in central Rotorua over Auckland Anniversary weekend could have been deliberately poisoned, the SPCA says. About 200 of the birds fell from the trees and died near Rotorua Central Mall, and another 200 were found dead near a skatepark a short distance away on Ranolf St.

Thousands of mallards die; traced to eating moldy grain


As many as 7,000 mallards have died in a small pond near Pierre, S.D., the apparent result of the birds ingesting moldy grain from a feedlot. The congregation of mallards had remained in South Dakota despite severe cold and snow this winter, gathering in a small pond, apparently kept open by an artesian well. The well can’t be easily shut off, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service memo. The fear at first was that the birds died of cholera. Instead, toxicology reports indicate a fungal infection as the cause, likely caused by the moldy grain.

Conn. Coop Falls Under Snow, Killing 85,000 Hens


Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky (reh-VIS-kee’) said Thursday the chicken coop collapsed Jan. 27 at the Kofkoff Egg Farm in Bozrah, a small town southeast of Hartford. He says the number of hens killed was reported to the state recently. He says the dead birds were incinerated.

12 Pelicans Dead, 100 Sick In Mayport


MAYPORT, Fla. — Bird experts in Jacksonville are trying to figure out what killed a dozen pelicans in Mayport and sickened more than 100 others. The recent deaths come just weeks after the mysterious deaths of thousands of birds falling from the sky in Arkansas. Cindy Moseling, who’s been caring for and rehabilitating birds at Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary on Big Talbot Island for decades, said she has seen her feathered friends die for various reasons, but is especially concerned this time. “The last few days, we’ve had quite a bit of birds dying,” Moseling said. She said she’s found the pelicans dead near the St. Johns River and seen at least 100 more that don’t look healthy. She said it’s because of something in the water.

Thousands of dead fish stink up Sebastian Inlet


SEBASTIAN INLET — Visitors coming to Sebastian Inlet State Park are being greeted with a pungent fish smell. Biologists said it’s all the result of a large fish kill. “Try to see some dolphins, and instead, dead fish,” said Lynn Try, a visitor. Dead fish are dotting the shoreline. Some observers have claimed there are millions of them, and even on Tuesday, people were still calling the state hotline to report the dead fish. FWC biologists said they first began getting reports of dead Menhaden, or bait fish, late last week. These fish are small in size, ranging from three to five inches long. Their numbers are staggering, and they are piling up along the shoreline.

UK 2/10/11

Source: RSOE

Government vets have started an investigation after five swans were found dead in Co Down. A mystery disease is one of the lines of investigation |being pursued by scientists |after the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) revealed the discovery was the second of its kind to be probed. In the previous case lesions were discovered, suggesting some sort of bacterial infection. However DARD insists there is no evidence to suggest the deaths are part of a rising trend. The five mute swans were found dead on private land in Killyleagh and it is understood another two birds have fallen ill. The birds were removed so post-mortem examinations could be carried out.

New Zealand 2/10/11

Source: RSOE

Stings from microscopic jellyfish are plaguing swimmers at popular beaches on Auckland’s North Shore. A health warning has been issued for Takapuna, Cheltenham, Narrow Neck and Red Beach after reports of people developing itchy and painful red rashes after swimming. The rashes were very likely caused by microscopic jellyfish, a statement from Auckland Regional Public Health Service said. It said the jellyfish, which are too small to be seen, get caught inside togs and sting covered skin areas once the swimmer gets out of the water. Medical Officer of Health Dr Simon Baker said the problem was likely to spread throughout the Hauraki Gulf amid warm summer weather. “The only sure-fire way of avoiding this rash is not to swim at affected beaches.” Tactics for minimising the risk of jellyfish stings include not wearing baggy clothes in the water, removing togs and showering after swimming, said Dr Baker. If swimmers get a rash, cool clothing and calamine lotion may help, he said. “We know this is the time of year that people want to be at the beach. We just want people to have the information they need to make choices for their own and their families’ good health.” Little is known about the habits of microscopic jellyfish. Until 2008 the rash associated with their sting was thought to be caused by sea lice. However, sea lice tend to bite exposed areas of skin, whereas the jellyfish normally sting beneath togs.

India 2/10/11

Source: RSOE

A 22-year-old youth from Jodhpur who is suffering from viral encephalitis has been brought to a city hospital. Doctors said his condition is critical and samples of his blood have been sent to the National Institute of Virology [NIV], Pune. Doctors at the Sterling Hospital said this is the 4th case of viral encephalitis from Jodhpur, Rajasthan, in the hospital. The youth is suffering from high fever, vomiting, and head ache, and also fell unconscious. The test carried out on the cerebral spinal fluid shows inflammation in the brain due to the virus [infection]. There is a possibility of a viral outbreak in the district of Rajasthan. “We have collected his samples and have sent them to NIV to find out which virus is affecting him,” said infectious diseases consultant Dr Atul Patel. He said that ascertaining the kind of virus is important as a viral encephalitis outbreak in Bangladesh has claimed 29 lives. Earlier, there were reports of viral encephalitis fever in Chhota Udepur [Gujarat state], which claimed 2 lives. Neurophysician Dr Sudhir Shah said he has seen 4-5 cases from the same area in the past and had also spoken to local physicians about the possibility of a viral outbreak. “A young girl with viral allergy has also been taken to a hospital and earlier too, there were cases of viral encephalitis,” said Dr Shah.

Wisconsin 2/10/11

Source: RSOE

Passengers on board Southwest flight 730 from Tampa to Milwaukee describe a scary scene while flying home from Florida. Some passengers couldn’t breathe, others had flu like symptoms. There was one nurse on board who told Today’s TMJ4 that she tried to help mid-flight. “The stewardess came on and asked was there a nurse or a doctor on the plane. And I’m a nurse, so I raised my hand,” Terry Zeuske said. Zeuske didn’t have any medical tools or medicine, but did what she could to help after several people got sick mid flight. She said one was: “Blue around the lips; his fingertips were blue. He said he was having trouble breathing. So we got oxygen and put that on him,” Zeuske said. “And while I was doing that, they wanted me to go to someone else who was kind of having the same symptoms.” Elizabeth Orr-Bell wore a surgical mask on the plane to stay safe. She and a group of friends went on a cruise from Tampa to Cozumel, Mexico. One of her friends got very sick after spending time on the beach in Cozumel. “He was running a high fever and was dehydrated. So we took him down to the ship doctor; they ran some tests on him, gave him some antibiotics, and once we boarded the plane, he wasn’t breathing too well,” Orr-Bell said. Ambulances, the haz-mat team, and the Milwaukee Health Department were waiting when the plane landed. Two of the sickest passengers, including Orr-Bell’s friend, were taken by ambulance to the hospital. The other passengers were quarantined in the International Arrivals Terminal while health officials investigated. Southwest said the plane was sterilized and is back in use.

Phillipines 2/10/11

Source: RSOE

Twenty cases of typhoid fever have been recorded in Sitio Cabal-asan in Barangay Arpili, Balamban, Cebu as of Sunday. Officials from the Department of Health (DOH) and Integrated Provincial Health Office have visited the mountain village and distributed water disinfectant for residents. The DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit met with villagers to tell them of their situation. Health official Renan Cimafranca said that they conducted the water source in the area tested positive for the typhoid fever bacteria. A blood test was also conducted on 6 residents who showed typhoid fever symptoms. Five of them tested positive. Cimafranca said that based on their investigation, only 9 of the 200 residents of the village have toilets. He said that this contributed to typhoid fever outbreak. The constant rain carries human waste toward villagers’ source of water. Cimafranca urged residents to first boil their water and utensils before using them. Chlorination of the water source was also advised. Cimafranca said the best way to prevent the incident from happening again is for the village to have a better water system. Barangay Captain Emong Paulin said the barangay council has yet to approve a P50,000 project to make sure that the water supplied to houses is safe for drinking.

Salmonella outbreak reported at Maine facility


CAMDEN, Maine (AP) — Maine health officials say one person has died following a salmonella outbreak at a retirement and assisted-living facility in Camden. Dr. Stephen Sears, acting director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said seven cases of salmonella have been identified among residents at the Quarry Hill extended-care community. A spokesman for Pen Bay Health Care, the parent organization of Quarry Hill, told the Bangor Daily News the outbreak was noticed Jan. 24 when several residents became ill with symptoms including diarrhea, cramps, headache, fever and vomiting. One person was hospitalized and another person, whose name was not released, died Feb. 2. Sears said salmonella is usually food-borne, but epidemiologists have not been able to trace the cause of the outbreak.

Measles concern in central Pa.


After five cases of measles were recently confirmed in Perry County, the state’s Department of Health advised surrounding counties to be aware of the outbreak. There have not been any confirmed cases in York, said spokeswoman Holli Senior of the state’s Health Department. But that doesn’t mean a local college didn’t take action. York College students were notified via e-mail Wednesday afternoon of a “measles outbreak in our local area.”

Norovirus Outbreak Reported At Cincinnati School


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that norovirus spreads from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. The Health Department said the school is doing everything it can to make sure surfaces inside the school and school buses are scrubbed down to stop the virus’ spread. “The problem is even after the symptoms are gone, the shed of the virus continues up to 30 days,” said Dr. Marilyn Crumpton with the Health Department.

N.Korea confirms foot-and-mouth outbreak


SEOUL – NORTH Korea confirmed on Thursday it has been hit by an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, saying thousands of animals had died. The livestock disease broke out in the capital Pyongyang late last year and has spread to eight provinces since then, the state news agency said. It said the capital and North Hwanghae and Kangwon provinces had been worst affected, with about 10,000 cows and pigs infected and thousands of them dying. The report, quoted by the South’s Yonhap news agency, said emergency quarantine orders have been issued across the country.

New plan to tackle spur-throated locusts outbreak


The New South Wales government has endorsed a plan to battle the state’s largest outbreak of spur-throated locusts in forty years. The large species which is normally found in Queensland has caused widespread damage to pasture, cotton, corn, citrus, legumes and sorghum across the state’s west. Affected areas include Nyngan, Warren, Bourke, Narromine and Collarenebri. The Primary Industries Minister, Steve Whan, says insecticide is being made available to farmers to try to control the nymphs on the ground.

Outbreak of scarlet fever and measles in North Vietnam


There is great public concern at the outbreak of scarlet fever and measles in Hanoi and the Northern provinces. Not only children but also adults are susceptible to the infectious virus. Patients are already crowding the infection division of the National Tropical Disease Centre in Hanoi. According to the deputy director of the hospital, Nguyen Hong Ha, scarlet fever has occurred during the same time in previous years and children have been most vulnerable to the disease. This year however, the fever has prolonged for one month and showed no signs of abating.

Hospital closes wards to visitors after norovirus outbreak


WALSALL Manor Hospital is in lockdown to visitors after all of its wards were closed following an outbreak of the highly contagious Norovirus. The dramatic step was taken on Tuesday (February 8) and will remain in place until further notice. Hospital bosses are now urging visitors with family and friends currently in the hospital’s care to stay away to help prevent the stomach bug – which causes sickness and diarrhoea – from spreading. Michael Scott, chief executive at Walsall Manor Hospital, said: “The spread of infection is easiest in places where groups of people are together for a reasonable amount of time, such as hospitals.

Algae outbreak closes Torrens


AN outbreak of blue-green algae has caused the closure of sections of the River Torrens. Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said Adelaide’s hot and dry conditions had contributed to increased levels of algae, prompting Adelaide City Council to temporarily close it yesterday from Hackney Rd to the city weir for up to a week. Fishing and paddleboats have been banned while the closure is in place, but Popeye cruises and the Adelaide Gondola will remain operational. Signs warning the public against contact with the water have been installed.

Salmonella cases go up in SA


More than 70 people have been affected by an outbreak of salmonella in South Australia. Last week itself, the number of cases stood at 60. Since then 13 new patients have complained about the infection and their tests have turned out to be positive. The attack this time is of salmonella typhimurium phage type 9. But when asked, the public health director Kevin Buckett till now the exact source of contamination has not been found out and that needs to be determined first before any proper step for control could be taken.

India 2/11/11

Source: RSOE

A forest official died and another sustained injuries today in an attack by the wild bees at Pakidi hill under Sheragada block in Aska forest range in Ganjam district. “The dead forester Chintamani Swain (51) along with his guard had gone to conduct survey for plantation in the hill when the incident took place,” forest ranger (Aska) N C Dora said. Swain, a native of Sorada area was working in Sheragada block. The body of the forester was recovered from the jungle, while the injured guard was admitted at the hospital at Sheragada, Dora said. The body was handed over to the relatives after conducting post-mortem, Dora said.

New Zealand 2/11/11

Source: RSOE

The deaths of thousands of fish over the past week in the Whangamarino wetland have been caused by very low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, The Department of Conservation [DOC] says. Department spokesperson Kevin Hutchinson said numerous reports had come in from concerned residents and wetland users about the deaths, numbering possibly in the hundreds of thousands. While most are pests such as koi carp and catfish, native species mullet, bullies and eels have also been found dead. “The drought at the end of 2010 exposed large areas of the wetland and rapid plant growth occurred in areas usually under water. High rainfall in January compounded by the baked dry ground in the catchment meant water rapidly ran off into the wetland and water levels remained consistently high for about three consecutive weeks.” Kevin Hutchinson says the decomposing plant matter started a bacterial process which depletes oxygen in the water.

West Virginia 2/11/11

Source: RSOE

Authorities have found more than 20 dead horses on a farm in West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture says it has activated its homeland security incident management team to assess the situation at the property in Greenbrier County. Local reports indicate up to 26 horses have been found dead on the property, thought to be about 300 acres, since a tipoff to county officials on Wednesday. A feed and grain store is just a few hundred metres from the property in Crawley, where the dead animals were found. West Virginia’s agriculture commissioner, Gus Douglass, said his department had the duty to ensure the carcasses were disposed of properly to protect the environment and the health of other animals. He said his team left the department’s headquarters at Guthrie early on Thursday afternoon local time and would report back once they assess the situation. He said he was disturbed by the discovery. “It seems we’re seeing more of these incidents in recent years – particularly with horses – and I find that very distressing. “Farmers have a moral obligation to care for their animals, and the vast majority of them do so. But there are a few that, for whatever reason, fall short of those responsibilities.” While the agriculture department has broad authority when it comes to controlling infectious diseases in farm animals, state law gives county sheriffs or their designees authority over animal welfare issues. “Some people believe that the Department of Agriculture is responsible for the welfare of farm animals, but that’s simply not the case. “If we receive a report of distressed animals, we can enter a farm to see if the cause is disease related. If not, that’s where our authority ends,” said One report from West Virginia suggested a law enforcement official visiting the property saw 14 dead horses as he headed up the old road to an abandoned farmhouse on the property. A man is under investigation over the treatment of the horses and faces two counts of midemeanour animal cruelty, a report suggests. Further reports indicate the man at the centre of the investigation has interests in other properties, which are also being checked.

Egypt 2/11/11

Source: RSOE

A new fatal case of bird flu – avian influenza A/(H5N1) virus infection – was reported yesterday on 9 Feb 2011 in Monoufia governorate. The victim was a 43 year old agricultural worker. Dr Hisham Atta, deputy minister of health said that the victim had been detained at hospital in Shebin 2 days ago after symptoms of the disease had begun. He had a high temperature and experienced joint pain. Clinical samples were obtained from his family to determine whether they have been exposed to the virus. The victim’s house has been treated with disinfectant.

Hundreds of dead birds discovered in Lake Charles


LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is trying to figure out what caused the death of hundreds of birds in south Lake Charles. The birds were discovered on Thursday morning. More than 100 birds were scattered across Lake Street between Gauthier and Tank Farm Road; another hundred were found on Lincoln Road, about a mile away. Kori Legleu, a biologist with Wildlife and Fisheries, identified the birds as Tree Swallows, a kind of bird that travels in tight flocks.

Dozens of poisoned birds fall from the sky above Columbia County


KINDERHOOK — A couple of residents of Kinderhook in Columbia County collected dozens of dead birds that fell from the sky and littered their yards and nearby tree branches. It turns out that they were European starlings that were poisoned by a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to eradicate bird flocks that threaten dairy farms. Carol Bannerman, a USDA spokeswoman, tells the Kingston Daily Freeman that it’s not an uncommon practice for farmers to use pesticide-laced bird seed to kill flocks of starlings. Usually, they die on the farmland, but in this case, the farm was close to town so the bodies were found by rather startled residents. European starlings are an invasive species and as such aren’t protected by law like native songbirds are. Bannerman said huge flocks of thousands of starlings may settle on a farm and devour large quantities of feed set out for the cattle.

Huge fish kill reported in Vero Beach


Another massive fish kill has struck Florida waters — this time affecting menhaden in a Vero Beach state park. The Sebastian Inlet State Park became inundated with swathes of dead fish last week. According to one report, some residents have estimated that there are “millions” of dead fish, and the area is now inundated with a strong odor from the decay.

Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak Spreading to South America and Florida


February 11, 2011 (Vienna, Austria) — The cholera epidemic that developed in Haiti became a multifocal event as it spread throughout South America, due to factors such as air travel and immigration that act as “vectors” of infectious disease, a new report suggests. The findings were reported by Jennifer Malaty, from the Georgetown University Medical Center, in Arlington, Virginia, here at the IMED 2011: International Meeting on Emerging Diseases and Surveillance. “Cholera’s sudden emergence in the Americas and the Caribbean after 100 years of silence was a tragic reminder of how mobile pathogens have become,” Ms. Malaty told Medscape Medical News. “The [Haitian] population also had the disadvantage of being immunologically naïve,” she said.

34 test positive for tuberculosis exposure at NJ hospital


TOMS RIVER — A total of 34 employees at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis last week, but no one has contracted the disease, the hospital CEO reported on Thursday. The Ocean County Health Department and state Department of Health reviewed a list of every patient admitted to the rehabilitation hospital during the past year and none were identified as known TB patients, said Patty Ostaszewski, the hospital’s chief executive officer, in a prepared media statement.

Cholera deaths rise to six in Accra


Accra, Feb. 11, GNA – The Regional Health Directorate of Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Friday cautioned residents to observe personal hygiene and adhere to advice provided by health professionals as the number of deaths from the cholera outbreak in Accra rose to six.

Norovirus cases confirmed at Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown


INDIANTOWN — A pair of dangerous contagious disease outbreaks at a Treasure Coast prison over the past three weeks has left parts of the prison on quarantine and inmates’ relatives scared for the prisoners’ safety. Prison officials at the Martin Correctional Institution were still dealing with a potentially deadly bacterial meningitis outbreak at the jail last week when Martin County Health Department officials say they were first alerted to the another contagious disease spreading through prison dorms — one that had inmates vomiting and experiencing flu-like symptoms. Health department officials eventually confirmed six inmates had contracted norovirus — a gastrointestinal virus known as the “Norwalk virus,” which has made headlines in recent years for a number of outbreaks on cruise ships. Up to 130 other inmates showed symptoms of the disease.

Maine Reps Push for Disaster Relief for Shellfish Industry


Maine’s two congressional representatives, Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, today urged the House Appropriations Committee to provide disaster relief for Maine’s shellfish industry, hit hard in 2009 by one of the worst red tide seasons in recent history. In a letter to the committee, the two say the about 3,000 harvesters and dealers were affected by the toxic algae outbreak, which shut down 97 percent of the state’s shellfishery. Michaud and Pingree say the funding is needed to help rebuild the industry, which they say generates about $50 million in revenue each year.

Health Dept. Investigating Possible Norovirus Outbreak


Arlington County’s health department is investigating a possible Norovirus outbreak at an assisted living facility. The county issued a short statement to last night confirming they’re “currently investigating reports of gastrointestinal (GI) illness at a long-term care facility.” Citing “confidentiality rules,” a Department of Human Services spokesman refused to identify the facility. A source, however, tells us the facility is the Sunrise at Bluemont Park (5910 Wilson Blvd) senior living community. The source says paramedics were called to the building on Wednesday. Medics then called the health department. “We have not yet identified the cause of the illness; however, it is not uncommon to have GI illness due to Norovirus this time of year,” DHS spokesman Kurt Larrick said. “We are working with the facility on ways to control the spread of illness.”

Typhoid outbreak in interior of Naitasiri


There is a typhoid outbreak in the interior of Naitasiri, mainly in the villagers of Sawanikula, Narokorokoyawa, Nasau and Korovou, whereby more than 100 people have been medically checked for the illness. However, the confirmed number of cases is still yet to be finalized. Medical staffs on the ground have confirmed that the outbreak is serious, they have placed a curfew for the villagers, and the doctors have been making regular visits to monitor the situation.

Typhoid outbreak in Fijian district


There’s an outbreak of typhoid in the Fijian district of Naitasiri in Viti Levu. Fiji Village states more than 100 people have been checked for the illness but the number of confirmed cases remains unclear. Fiji’s Health Minister Neil Sharma told Radio Australia News they’re currently assessing the number of cases which come in. Dr Sharma says if those numbers go beyond a certain point they ring the alarm bells and make sure teams are place to provide treatment. A public health intervention is also now underway, advising people how to prevent the spread of typhoid.

Beware chlamydia outbreak: health official


FREDERICTON – On the eve of his departure for a new post in British Columbia, senior health official Dr. Paul Van Buynder says the biggest public health challenge facing New Brunswick is a chlamydia outbreak of epidemic proportions. The outgoing deputy chief medical officer of health says there were 1,800 confirmed cases of the sexually transmitted infection last year, a 20 per cent jump from the year before. “If you are under 30 and you are breathing you need a chlamydia test,” he said yesterday, his last day on the job before packing his bags for a Vancouver-area health authority, where he will become the chief medical health officer.

Jaundice outbreak in Ahmedabad, 40 cases detected


The old water pipeline leakage has resulted in an out break of jaundice in Khadia and Sarangpur areas. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s health department has come across 40 cases of jaundice in these areas since the beginning of February. Contaminated water due to leakages in water pipelines at couple of places have been considered to be the root cause of the water-born disease. The health department brought the same to notice of the engineering department of the central zone that repaired the pipe lines.

Cambodia 2/12/11


A five-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, the World Health Organisation said Wednesday, in the first reported fatality from the virus since early last year. The girl fell ill in the capital Phnom Penh on January 30 and was taken to hospital with symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath, a joint statement from Cambodia and the UN’s public health arm said. She died on February 4. “Despite intensive medical care, the girl died 12 hours after admission from complications,” it said. The child is the 11th person in the country to become infected with the H5N1 virus and ninth to die since 2003. Cambodia said it was working to identify her close contacts and “to initiate preventive treatment as required”. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng urged people with respiratory infections who had been in “contact with dead or sick poultry to promptly seek medical attention”.

Burma 2/12/11


The recent outbreak of bird flu in Sittwe Township in western Burma’s Arakan State has brought great losses for the local poultry farmers as they had to cull thousands of their birds, said one affected farmer. The farmer told Narinjara that he is unable to save his business after all the chickens from his farms were taken by the authorities in the culling. “All 4,000 chickens, worth about ten million kyat, were taken from my farm and culled by the officials. So far, I have not gotten any compensation from the authorities and now it is very difficult for me to restart my business,” said the farmer. Officials from the local health and municipal departments have culled thousands of chickens from the poultry farms in the area after finding a strain of the H5N1 virus, also known as the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza – HPAI virus at a farm in Bumay Village in Sittwe Township on 12 January 2011. “As my farm is near the village hit by the flu, all of my chickens have been wiped out by the officials even though they were uninfected. The farms in other nearby villages also faced the same fate and an estimated 50,000 birds from both infected and uninfected farms have been culled by the authorities,” said the farmer. Another farmer reported that most of the affected farmers are facing a loss of their livelihood as authorities have neglected to even provide loans, much less compensation, to help them recover from the loss. “There is no compensation or loans being provided by the authorities to the farmers. It is like we had to suffer according to our fate. Apart from this, we have to pay the officials for anti-virus sprays on our farms and for culling the chickens, and now we are facing the ruin of our business,” he said. According to a local veterinarian, the virus is now under control as health officials have been closely monitoring the farms in the area after culling the affected birds.

Angola 2/12/11


At least 320 cases of measles were recorded over the past ten days in communes of Sanga and Kissanga-Kungo, in Cela district , coastal Kwanza Sul province, reported the local Health Department. Speaking Friday to Angop, the acting head of district Health Department, Joaquim da Costa Tomás, said that the cases have claimed nine lives and 170 people in serious health condition. To roll back the spread of disease, a team of experts from Health Public have been sent to carry out a vaccination campaign.

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