Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Mass Psychogenic Illness - 22 Phuket School Children In Thailand Treated In Mysterious Mass Hysteria Outbreak?!

July 02, 2013 - THAILAND - Twenty two schoolchildren aged 13 to 15 were taken to Patong hospital for treatment after they collapsed screaming and crying at morning assembly today (July 1) at Wat Suwankeereewong School in Patong. Dr. Sirichai Silpa-archa, director of Patong Hospital, said that he first heard about the incident from the Narenthorn Emergency Center, which informed him that one boy and 21 girls had been affected.

At the hospital staff calmed them down, though some of the more serious cases, suffering from anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms or hyperventilation, were given Valium to calm them down. Psychiatrists were also drafted in to talk to the children. Health staff found that this was the second time in four days that this group had experienced mass hysteria. On Friday (June 28) they were on a visit to the Anti-Narcotics Training Project at Chulabhorn Marine Park Conservation Centre in Thap Lamu, Phang-Nga.

After their outbreak of screaming there, they had to be taken to hospital in Phang Nga but all appeared to recover quite quickly. However, this morning, something once again sparked off the hysterics at a perfectly normal morning ceremony at the school. Today, 13 of the students were released and told to go home, another six were also released but were told to call the hospital if they felt strange again, while three remain in hospital for observation. Dr. Sirichai characterized the incidents as “mass psychogenic illness”. - Phuket News.

Dr Sirichai: ‘Mass psychogenic illness’.

Nearly two dozen Phuket students were rushed to Patong Hospital this morning after they collapsed screaming and convulsing during morning assembly – three out of the nine students who were administered anesthesia by doctors at the hospital remain there.  According to reports, the culprit seems to be a ghost in the tourist haven Khao Lak who was offended by a girl putting her sarong in an “inappropriate place.”

The students, 21 girls and one boy between 13 and 15 years old, collapsed into their screaming frenzy while at morning assembly at Wat Suwan Khiri Wongwere School  at about 8:20am. A teacher at the school who declined to be named told the Phuket Gazette that all of the students affected were taken to Khao Lak on a Scouts camping trip on Friday.  The troop returned yesterday. “While we were on the camping trip, one of the girls hung her sarong in an inappropriate place,” he said, declining to be more specific about where the sarong was placed.

“Later, other students reported seeing what seemed to be a woman sitting on that girl’s shoulders.” Stranger, “While we were in Khao Lak, I even had a dream in which a voice told me to take the girl back to where she hung her sarong and apologize,” said the teacher. “But I ignored the dream. It didn’t make sense… Then this happened this morning,” the teacher said. Dr Sirichai Silapa-archa, director of Patong Hospital, told the Gazette, “They were all in shock. They were hyperventilating, so we calmed them down and aided in slowing their breathing.” Thirteen of the students were released from the hospital before lunch, but the other nine were still screaming and convulsing, he said. “We had to put them under general anesthesia so they could sleep and recover while they were unconscious,” said Dr Sirichai. - TVF.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Earthquake Swarm Reported At Nicaragua's Momotombo Volcano!

July 02, 2013 - NICARAGUA - A seismic swarm has been occurring at the volcano during the past 24 hours, including a magnitude 3.0 earthquake yesterday.

This could indicate a magmatic intrusion happening at depth, but so far, no unusual surface activity has been noted.

On the other hand, Momotombo volcano is one of Nicaragua’s most frequently active, with 10 recorded historic eruptions between 1524 and 1905, so new activity would not be a big surprise.

The last time the volcano erupted was in 1905.

Momotombo volcano is a symmetrical stratovolcano rising as a peninsula above the NW part of Lake Managua, Nicaragua. It is one of the most known volcanoes of the country.

Momotombo is located at the SE end of the Marrabios Range. It consists of the remnant of an older volcano which now forms a somma ridge on the southern part and a young symmetrical cone that is less than 4500 years old and contains a 150 x 250 m wide summit crater. Young lava flows from Momotombo have flown down the NW flank into the 4-km-wide Monte Galán caldera.

There have been frequent small ash eruptions that were reported by explorers in the past century, but the volcano has been dormant for more than 100 years now. At the moment, the activity consists of active high-temperature fumaroles and gas and steam emission.

A major geothermal field is located on the southern flank of the volcano. - Volcano Discovery.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Geological Upheaval - The Largest Sub-Glacial Flood Ever Recorded Leaves Massive Ice Crater In Antarctica Ice Sheet!

July 02, 2013 - ANTARCTICA - Scientists have seen evidence for a colossal flood under Antarctica that drained six billion tonnes of water, quite possibly straight to the ocean.

The ice surface slumped as the water in Cook Sub-Glacial Lake drained away (elevation exaggerated).

The cause is thought to be a deeply buried lake that suddenly over-topped.

Satellites were used to map the crater that developed as the 2.7km-thick overlying ice sheet slumped to fill the void left by the escaping water.

The peak discharge would have been more than double the normal flow rate of London's River Thames, researchers say.

The location of the flood was Cook Sub-Glacial Lake (SGL) in the east of the continent, and the event itself occurred over a period of about 18 months in 2007-2008.

It was detected and described using a combination of data gathered by the now-retired US Icesat mission and Europe's new Cryosat platform.

The American spacecraft's laser altimeter first noted a drop in the ice-surface height associated with the slumping.

The European satellite's radar altimeter was then employed to map the shape of the crater that resulted.

Loch comparison

"The crater's a big feature," said Dr Malcolm McMillan from the UK's University of Leeds and lead author of a report in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

"It covers an area of about 260 sq km, which is about the size of Edinburgh, and was as much as 70m deep," he told BBC News.

"We knew from the Icesat data there had been a big elevation change, but it's only now with Cryosat that we've been able to appreciate the true scale of what happened."

The geometry of the crater has enabled the team to gauge the volume of water involved in the outburst and the rate at which it dispersed.

The group's upper estimate is 6.4 cubic km - very nearly as much as is stored in Scotland's famous Loch Ness.

At the peak of the flood, water would have been flowing away from Cook SGL at a rate of 160 cubic metres per second, the team says.

This dwarfs all previously reported sub-glacial "purge" events.

Water network

Cook is one of nearly 400 SGLs now recognised on the White Continent.

These "ghost" lakes are kept in a liquid state by heat rising from the rockbed below and from the pressure of all the ice pushing down from above.

Many of them appear to be linked through a network of rivers, alternately filling with waters from higher up in the hydrological system and then draining to lower elevations.

Cryosat's double antenna configuration allows it to map slopes very effectively.

Understanding this behaviour is now a key quest for glaciologists.

Water on the underside of the ice sheet will lubricate its movement. Computer models that want to simulate how Antarctica will react to future changes in the climate have to take this effect into account.

It is not clear at the moment from where Cook is being replenished - the data shows the floor of the ice cater to be rising currently - but when it over-tops, the lake's waters may run all the way to the coast to enter the ocean under the floating Cook Ice Shelf.

"Further downstream, there was an inflation of the ice," explained team-member Hugh Corr from the British Antarctic Survey. "But whether all that water reaches the ocean, or re-freezes onto the underside of the ice, or even melts more ice with its heat - we just don't know. It will, though, change the lubrication."

Mass loss

Certainly, six billion tonnes of water that was previously stored on land would be a lot to lose to the ocean in a short time.

At present, Antarctica is losing mass at a rate of 50-100 billion tonnes a year, helping to raise global sea level. This study suggests that a not insignificant fraction of this mass loss could be due to flood events like that seen at Cook SGL.

"This one lake on its own represents 5-10% of [Antarctica's] annual mass imbalance," said Leeds co-author Prof Andy Shepherd.

"If there are nearly 400 of these sub-glacial lakes then there's a chance a handful of them are draining each year, and that needs to be considered," he told BBC News.

The Geophysical Research Letters paper is the first to be published with Cryosat's altimeter instrument operating in Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometric (SARin) mode.

This map displays the velocity of the ice in Antarctica. To model this behaviour, scientists have to understand what water is doing at the base of the ice sheet

This sees the spacecraft use two antennas offset by about a metre to listen for the return echo of its radar pulse.

It allows the instrument to judge the angles of return, to sense better the shape of the ice below. This provides far more reliable information on slopes and ridges.

Prof Helen Fricker from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was not involved in the research. She told BBC News: "These exciting results show the potential of the Cryosat mission data to reveal the topography of the Antarctic ice sheet in exquisite detail, which will enable us to learn more about important ice sheet processes.

"The lake drainage event reported here was quite staggering in its size and the 3D image we got of the crater in the surface after the lake drained is unprecedented." - BBC.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 3.6 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Under Lake Erie - Residents Report Loud Explosions; Homes Rattled!

July 02, 2013 - UNITED STATES - An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 3.6 struck early yesterday, beneath Lake Erie, just outside of Cleveland, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The temblor’s epicenter was 4 miles (6 km) northwest of Fairport Harbor, Ohio. It originated 3.7 miles (6 km) deep and struck at 3:48 a.m. local time (07:48 UTC), the USGS reports. Some light shaking was felt in coastal towns just northeast of Cleveland, but no damages were reported, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Damaging earthquakes are rare in the region.

The largest temblor on record in the Northeast Ohio seismic zone struck in 1986 with a magnitude of 4.8, according to the USGS. That quake, which caused minor property damage and a few injuries, was felt over a wide area from Illinois to New York. In Ohio, Lake County officials received multiple calls. “I heard a gigantic explosion, and it rumbled entire house,” one caller said.

“I’m sorry; I’m like shaking so bad right now,” she went on. The quake was felt in places like Perry, and Fairport Harbor. Even Eileen Steele of Mentor heard the pictures on her walls shake. “It was pretty significant, like an explosion had gone off far away and you kind of feel the rumble from it,” said Steele. “This was different. The bed shook,” she said.

All of her animals were alert and scared too, especially her dog. According to the United States Geological Survey, this was a 3+ magnitude earthquake. Even At the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, this seismograph machine picked up the activity at 3:49 a.m.

The machine is part of the museum’s Earthquake Zone display, which is full of information about the natural disasters. But the kind of shaking and rumbling some Lake County residents felt, is something they don’t want to experience again. “It was scary,” Steele said. - Live Science.