Saturday, May 2, 2015

FIRE IN THE SKY: Meteor Explodes Over Ireland - With The Force Of An "ATOMIC BOMB"!

May 2, 2015 - IRELAND
- Astronomers are on the hunt for any witnesses to a meteor that exploded over Northern Ireland with the force of an 'atomic bomb'.

According to the Irish Times, the fireball appeared in the night sky at around 10pm on Sunday 25 April - lighting huge swathes of both Northern Ireland and the north of England.

David Moore from Astronomy Ireland believes that -- judging from eyewitness reports -- the object was probably around the size of a car.

He goes on to tell the paper that in his opinion, the resulting explosion probably produced the equivalent energy of a World War 2 atomic bomb.

Moore is now asking for any witnesses to come forward in the hopes that they can further identify the object and then also try and predict where it landed.

“We are desperately seeking people to fill out the report form on The sad fact is less than one in a hundred people in every single event like this ever fills in the form,”

“There has to be dozens, if not hundreds, of records of this fireball seen on Irish cameras on Sunday night, and to date we’ve only ever received one video report [which was from the 1999 event].”

- Huffington Post.


PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick As The Celestial Black Event Nears - EXTREMELY RARE 4.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Michigan; Largest Tremor In The State Since 1947; Felt In Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin And Ontario! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location map.

- No injuries or damages were reported today after a magnitude 4.2 earthquake rattled Michigan and surrounding states shortly after noon today.

John Bellini, a geophysist at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Goldon, Colo., said the earthquake's epicenter was roughly five miles south of Galesburg, or nine miles southeast of Kalamazoo in central Michigan.

He said the earthquake at 12:23 p.m. could be felt widely across lower portions of the state and into northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio, eastern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin, and western Ontario.

USGS earthquake location map.

Gov. Rick Snyder's office said there were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

Bellini said Michigan has had only one other earthquake of this magnitude, a 4.6 earthquake that shook the state in August 1947. Its epicenter was close to Saturday's - about 30 miles to the southeast.

He said earthquakes of this magnitude are capable of causing minor damages, such as knocking items from shelves, cracking plaster or windows, or damaging brickwork or chimneys on older buildings.

He called today's earthquake "quite uncommon. Michigan doesn't get a lot of large earthquakes."

Since 1973, the state has had only two other recorded earthquakes - one in the western reaches of the Upper Peninsula, the other in central Michigan.
He said dates for those quakes were not available.

He said he would not be surprised if Michigan has no aftershocks, or a few small ones that would not be felt.

USGS shakemap intensity.

Earthquakes tend to cause major damage beginning at a magnitude of 5.

"It is rare for Michigan to experience earthquakes," Snyder said in a statement, "but as we were reminded today, it does happen."

Snyder's office said Michigan State Police continues to monitor the situation.

Social media is buzzing with reports of the earthquake. Michigan residents reported feeling the earth shake in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Troy.

Residents report that they felt it last for a few seconds. Some say their house shook; others said it startled their pets. We've compiled some tweets of their accounts below.

- Detroit Free Press.

Tectonic Summary - Earthquakes in the Stable Continental Region

Natural Occurring Earthquake Activity

Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. Here and there earthquakes are more numerous, for example in the New Madrid seismic zone centered on southeastern Missouri, in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska seismic zone of eastern Quebec, in New England, in the New York - Philadelphia - Wilmington urban corridor, and elsewhere. However, most of the enormous region from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the west. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area more than ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. It would not be unusual for a magnitude 4.0 earthquake in eastern or central North America to be felt by a significant percentage of the population in many communities more than 100 km (60 mi) from its source. A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in eastern or central North America might be felt by much of the population out to more than 500 km (300 mi) from its source. Earthquakes east of the Rockies that are centered in populated areas and large enough to cause damage are, similarly, likely to cause damage out to greater distances than earthquakes of the same magnitude centered in western North America.

Most earthquakes in North America east of the Rockies occur as faulting within bedrock, usually miles deep. Few earthquakes east of the Rockies, however, have been definitely linked to mapped geologic faults, in contrast to the situation at plate boundaries such as California's San Andreas fault system, where scientists can commonly use geologic evidence to identify a fault that has produced a large earthquake and that is likely to produce large future earthquakes. Scientists who study eastern and central North America earthquakes often work from the hypothesis that modern earthquakes occur as the result of slip on preexisting faults that were formed in earlier geologic eras and that have been reactivated under the current stress conditions. The bedrock of Eastern North America is, however, laced with faults that were active in earlier geologic eras, and few of these faults are known to have been active in the current geologic era. In most areas east of the Rockies, the likelihood of future damaging earthquakes is currently estimated from the frequencies and sizes of instrumentally recorded earthquakes or earthquakes documented in historical records.

Induced Seismicity

As is the case elsewhere in the world, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth's crust sufficiently to induce faulting. Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth's crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations. In much of eastern and central North America, the number of earthquakes suspected of having been induced is much smaller than the number of natural earthquakes, but in some regions, such as the south-central states of the U.S., a significant majority of recent earthquakes are thought by many seismologists to have been human-induced. Even within areas with many human-induced earthquakes, however, the activity that seems to induce seismicity at one location may be taking place at many other locations without inducing felt earthquakes. In addition, regions with frequent induced earthquakes may also be subject to damaging earthquakes that would have occurred independently of human activity. Making a strong scientific case for a causative link between a particular human activity and a particular sequence of earthquakes typically involves special studies devoted specifically to the question. Such investigations usually address the process by which the suspected triggering activity might have significantly altered stresses in the bedrock at the earthquake source, and they commonly address the ways in which the characteristics of the suspected human-triggered earthquakes differ from the characteristics of natural earthquakes in the region.


FUK-U-SHIMA: Radioactive Water Leaked From Fukushima Storage Tank - TEPCO!

An aerial view shows the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
and its contaminated water storage tanks (top) in Fukushima. (Reuters/Kyodo)

May 2, 2015 - JAPAN
- A minor leakage of radioactive water has been detected at Japan’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co said. Radioactive liquid was detected under a storage tank with radiation-contaminated water.

A total of 40 milliliters of water was discovered, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant’s operator, said on May 1.

The company believes that the liquid leaked from the storage tank, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun paper reported Saturday.

TEPCO stated that it placed bags of sand around the tank to prevent water from contaminating other areas.

The wet patch measuring 20 square centimeters was discovered by one workers at around 9:30am local time on May 1, it added.

According to TEPCO, seventy millisieverts per hour of beta ray-emitting radioactivity were detected on the surface where the water had leaked.

The leak was detected on the same day as tests began in preparation for the construction of a 1.5-kilometer-long frozen soil wall around the reactor buildings.

A project is aimed at preventing further leaks of radioactive water into the sea from the Fukishima plant.

Three of the Fukushima plant’s reactors suffered a nuclear meltdown due to an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, causing the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

The water used to keep the reactors cool is tainted with radioactive material and has since been leaking and mixing with groundwater that has been seeping through the facility.

In late April, the water transfer pumps at the Fukushima plant were shut down due to a power outage, leading to the leaking of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

It was preceded by a series of toxic leaks in February, which saw around 100 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from one the plant’s tanks.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant tragedy with nuclear meltdown of three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors was caused by an earthquake-triggered tsunami in March 2011.

TEPCO’s efforts to manage the release of radioactive material have been slammed by the global community due to its suppression policy. This year the company was revealed to have been concealing reports of dangerously high radiation levels at the plant since September. - RT.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Japan's Hachijo-jima Island - Tsunami Warnings Lifted; Small Waves Seen Along Izu And Ogasawara Islands! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location

May 2, 2015 - JAPAN
- An earth tremor of magnitude 5.7 has struck 185 kilometres south-south-east of Japan's Izu islands on Saturday, the United States Geological Survey has said.

The USGS at first put the quake at 6.1, but later revised it to a weaker reading. Japanese authorities put the magnitude of the quake at 5.9.

The tremor was at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres.

USGS shakemap intensity

Tsunami warnings were lifted for the Izu and Ogasawara islands after they experienced small waves following the earthquake, public broadcaster NHK said.

Tsunamis of up to 50 centimetres were recorded in the islands stretching south of Tokyo, before the Japan Meteorological Agency lifted warnings at 4:10 am local time, NHK said. - ABC News Australia.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Philippine Sea and Vicinity

The Philippine Sea plate is bordered by the larger Pacific and Eurasia plates and the smaller Sunda plate. The Philippine Sea plate is unusual in that its borders are nearly all zones of plate convergence. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, south of Japan, beneath the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs, which extend more than 3,000 km along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This subduction zone is characterized by rapid plate convergence and high-level seismicity extending to depths of over 600 km. In spite of this extensive zone of plate convergence, the plate interface has been associated with few great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) ‘megathrust’ earthquakes. This low seismic energy release is thought to result from weak coupling along the plate interface (Scholz and Campos, 1995). These convergent plate margins are also associated with unusual zones of back-arc extension (along with resulting seismic activity) that decouple the volcanic island arcs from the remainder of the Philippine Sea Plate (Karig et al., 1978; Klaus et al., 1992).

South of the Mariana arc, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath the Yap Islands along the Yap trench. The long zone of Pacific plate subduction at the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea Plate is responsible for the generation of the deep Izu-Bonin, Mariana, and Yap trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of circum-pacific island arcs. Similarly, the northwestern margin of the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasia plate along a convergent zone, extending from southern Honshu to the northeastern coast of Taiwan, manifested by the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) trench. The Ryukyu Subduction Zone is associated with a similar zone of back-arc extension, the Okinawa Trough. At Taiwan, the plate boundary is characterized by a zone of arc-continent collision, whereby the northern end of the Luzon island arc is colliding with the buoyant crust of the Eurasia continental margin offshore China.

USGS plate tectonics for the region

Along its western margin, the Philippine Sea plate is associated with a zone of oblique convergence with the Sunda Plate. This highly active convergent plate boundary extends along both sides the Philippine Islands, from Luzon in the north to the Celebes Islands in the south. The tectonic setting of the Philippines is unusual in several respects: it is characterized by opposite-facing subduction systems on its east and west sides; the archipelago is cut by a major transform fault, the Philippine Fault; and the arc complex itself is marked by active volcanism, faulting, and high seismic activity. Subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate occurs at the eastern margin of the archipelago along the Philippine Trench and its northern extension, the East Luzon Trough. The East Luzon Trough is thought to be an unusual example of a subduction zone in the process of formation, as the Philippine Trench system gradually extends northward (Hamburger et al., 1983). On the west side of Luzon, the Sunda Plate subducts eastward along a series of trenches, including the Manila Trench in the north, the smaller less well-developed Negros Trench in the central Philippines, and the Sulu and Cotabato trenches in the south (Cardwell et al., 1980). At its northern and southern terminations, subduction at the Manila Trench is interrupted by arc-continent collision, between the northern Philippine arc and the Eurasian continental margin at Taiwan and between the Sulu-Borneo Block and Luzon at the island of Mindoro. The Philippine fault, which extends over 1,200 km within the Philippine arc, is seismically active. The fault has been associated with major historical earthquakes, including the destructive M7.6 Luzon earthquake of 1990 (Yoshida and Abe, 1992). A number of other active intra-arc fault systems are associated with high seismic activity, including the Cotabato Fault and the Verde Passage-Sibuyan Sea Fault (Galgana et al., 2007).

Relative plate motion vectors near the Philippines (about 80 mm/yr) is oblique to the plate boundary along the two plate margins of central Luzon, where it is partitioned into orthogonal plate convergence along the trenches and nearly pure translational motion along the Philippine Fault (Barrier et al., 1991). Profiles B and C reveal evidence of opposing inclined seismic zones at intermediate depths (roughly 70-300 km) and complex tectonics at the surface along the Philippine Fault.

Several relevant tectonic elements, plate boundaries and active volcanoes, provide a context for the seismicity presented on the main map. The plate boundaries are most accurate along the axis of the trenches and more diffuse or speculative in the South China Sea and Lesser Sunda Islands. The active volcanic arcs (Siebert and Simkin, 2002) follow the Izu, Volcano, Mariana, and Ryukyu island chains and the main Philippine islands parallel to the Manila, Negros, Cotabato, and Philippine trenches.

Seismic activity along the boundaries of the Philippine Sea Plate (Allen et al., 2009) has produced 7 great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquakes and 250 large (Magnitude greater than 7) events. Among the most destructive events were the 1923 Kanto, the 1948 Fukui and the 1995 Kobe (Japan) earthquakes (99,000, 5,100, and 6,400 casualties, respectively), the 1935 and the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquakes (3,300 and 2,500 casualties, respectively), and the 1976 M7.6 Moro Gulf and 1990 M7.6 Luzon (Philippines) earthquakes (7,100 and 2,400 casualties, respectively). There have also been a number of tsunami-generating events in the region, including the Moro Gulf earthquake, whose tsunami resulted in more than 5000 deaths.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Bulusan Volcano In The Philippines Explodes - Ejecting Steam And Ash; 40 Volcanic Quakes Recorded!


- The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), in its 1:30 p.m. advisory Friday, disclosed that Bulusan Volcano (12.7667°N, 124.0500°E) situated in Sorsogon Province, produced a steam and ash explosion which lasted for 5 minutes based on seismic records.

The volcanic activity was recorded at 8:09 a.m., although it may not have been observed visually due to thick rain clouds covering the summit.

"At around 10:30 a.m., when the crater became visible, strong to moderate, dirty white steaming was observed, reaching 200 meters high and drifting west-northwest coming from the northwest vent of the volcano," Phivolcs said.

Only five (5) volcanic earthquakes were detected during the past week by the Bulusan seismic network, but after the steam and ash explosion, the network recorded approximately 40 volcanic earthquakes.

Alert Level 0 status currently prevails over Bulusan Volcano, Phivolcs added.

However, local government units and the public are reminded that entry to the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) remains strictly prohibited due to the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions.

Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit as ejecta from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.

"Furthermore, people living within valleys and along river/stream channels should be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall," Phivolcs underscored. - Interakyson.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: Spectacular Sun Halo Captured Over Wirral, United Kingdom!

May 2, 2015 - UNITED KINGDOM
- Haloes are formed by light being reflected by ice crystals that have formed in high cirrus clouds

These stunning photos show a spectacular sun halo forming in the skies over Wirral.

Haloes - rings that form around the sun or moon - are created by light being reflected by ice crystals formed in high cirrus clouds.

While they can be an indicator of rain, as the ice crystals often indicate an approaching frontal system, it is thought this halo was formed as a result of unusually cold overnight temperatures.

The photos were taken in Bromborough by Kirsty Bakstad outside her home this morning.

She told the ECHO: "It was about 11am, we were just pulling up outside our home in Bromborough when my husband Will, who had his sunglasses on, spotted it.

"He told me to look through the sunglasses, and there was this huge ring around the sun.

"I took a few pictures with my phone through the sunglasses, then a few directly.

"I had to Google it to find out what it was.

"I love taking weather pictures, usually red sunsets or funny-shaped clouds, but I've never seen anything like this before."

A Met Office spokesman said: "It was very cold overnight on Merseyside, around 1.8 degrees, so it's likely that ice crystals could have formed in high cirrus clouds.

It doesn't necessarily mean it's going to rain, though rain is forecast anyway for the area later on on Saturday.

"Haloes can be quite common, you see them around the moon quite a lot in this country in the north because of the colder temperatures overnight, but in the winter you can see them in the daytime more often."

According to the Met Office website, haloes can vary is size depending on the structure of the ice crystals reflecting the light.

They can be either white, or faintly coloured, depending on the angle the light rays strike the crystals.

The majority of ice crystals are hexagonal, or six-sided, and the most common angle light is refracted through them is about 22 degrees.

Small haloes produced at 9 degrees and larger ones at 46 degrees are relatively common, and in some cases only part of a halo forms. - Liverpool Echo.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFFS: Disaster Precursors And Warnings From Mother Nature – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Migratory Patterns, Attacks, Deaths, And Appearance Of Rare Creatures!

May 2, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Second dead whale found at Pacifica, California within 3 weeks

A humpback whale in Pacifica washed up on shore May 4, 2015, close to the sperm whale that stranded in mid-April at Sharp Park State Beach.  © Terry Ashkinos

A second dead whale has washed up along the tiny coastal town of Pacifica, this time about half a mile from where the first one was found about three weeks ago.

The young female humpback whale was spotted on Monday at Sharp Park State Beach, and is already drawing crowds of onlookers taking photos, some with fingers crossed that this one won't stink and rot on the sand as the first one has been doing since it washed up at the same beach on April 15.

"I'm sorry to see it, it's quite a sight," said John Valentini, 74, of San Bruno. "I have no idea what's going on."

Sue Pemberton with the California Academy of Sciences was out at the beach Tuesday morning and told NBC Bay Area that she doesn't think there's anything particularly wrong with the ocean, or that there is an epidemic of dead whales.

"I think it's a coincidence," she said. "They are two different species and age classes. There are pretty strong onshore winds at this beach, and it lends itself to being a repository for dead marine mammals and garbage. I'm not surprised. Animals die."

A necropsy is scheduled for Wednesday to give scientists a "fuller picture," she said.
Scientists still don't know what killed the adult sperm whale - which is about twice the size of the female humpback - after they performed a necropsy on it. As late as this weekend, the whale's carcass was laying on the beach, causing a horrific odor as birds pecked away at its decaying flesh.

The whale hasn't been moved, according to Police Chief Dan Steidle, because no jurisdiction has yet to claim it. Steidle told NBC Bay Area that the dispute is whether the first whale's body lies on the property of the city of Pacifica, the federal government - the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the city and county of San Francisco's Recreation and Park District, or the state of California. He said the city is waiting for a ruling to decide who will move the whale and how to move it. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the best thing to do is to tow the whale back out in the ocean, but at this point, it may be too late, he said, because the carcass of the sperm whale is deeply embedded in the sand.

As for the humpback found on Monday. "This one is definitely San Francisco's," Steidle said.

A spokeswoman for the Marine Mammal Center, whose veterinarian and marine biologists performed a necropsy on the sperm whale, told The Associated Press that 17 dead sperm whales have washed up on California's northern coast in the 40 years since they have dealt with such cases.  - NBC Bay Area.

Huge swarms of locust "black out the sky" in Queensland, Australia

Magnified spectrum image of locust taken through an electron microscope by the CSIRO.

Plagues of locusts have been devouring their way through the state's central west compounding the hardships suffered by drought-affected farmers.

More than 150 swarms have been reported to Biosecurity Queensland so far this year, with some reported to be more than 40ha in size and thick enough to "black out the sky".

While their activity has been dying down as winter approaches, there are fears eggs are lying dormant waiting to return in favourable weather conditions.

There were only 15 swarms reported throughout the state from 2011 and 2013.

But Biosecurity Queensland figures show there were 40 swarms reported in January, 59 in February, 43 in March and 16 in April
and conducted aerial sprays over 20,000ha of central Queensland to tackle them.

Locust activity has been reported mostly in the central west including Blackall-Tambo, Emerald, Longreach, Barcaldine, Banana, Boulia, Cloncurry and Diamantina.

A sorghum crop defoliated by locust swarm. 
© Graham Spackman/Iker Ag Consulting

Jilly Peck, a farmer from Purtora, near Blackall, said last month her property had two swarms go past it in three weeks.

"At first I thought it was a dust storm. I've never seen anything like it," she said.

"It didn't do any damage because we didn't have any grass to lose."

Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige said his council had undertaken spraying to address the pests, which was difficult as the swarms kept moving.

"They're a major bloody problem, they do a lot of destruction," he said.

Blackall-Tambo Regional Council Mayor Barry Muir said he had heard reports from farmers west of Blackall of swarms that "just about blacked out the sky".

"It's bad enough with the drought without the grasshoppers eating what's left," he said.

"The worst part of it is when they go to ground and lay eggs again you don't know where they're coming out again." - The Sunday Mail.

Elephant tramples villager to death in Raigarh, India: 4th casualty in a week

Elephant on a charge.

A man was trampled to death by a herd of elephants in Chaal forest of Dharamjaigarh region in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday, fourth casualty in a week. This is the 12th death recorded from Korba, Surguja, Jashpur and Bilaspur regions of the state this since January.

On an average, 25 people fall prey to tuskers in the state annually.

Foresters said 61-year-old villager from Sharasmal village went to forests to collect forest produce when a herd of elephants attacked and trampled him to death. His maimed body was recovered by officials.

Despite large number of deaths caused by elephants, state government has not been able to come up with an effective strategy to deal with the problem and experts attribute laxity on government's part due to presence of rich mineral resources in forests resulting in mining activities. Large part of forest divisions with elephant presence (accounting to more than 30% of human deaths and crop damage) has been identified as sites for mining.

Greenpeace India, campaigner Nandikesh Shivalingam, who prepared a detailed report on condition of human-elephant conflict in northern Chhattisgarh, told TOI, "Paying compensation is a temporary relief and not long-term solution. Government has to either choose land for mining or reserve some space for elephant corridor."

State has ignored recommendations by Wildlife Trust of India and Project Elephant to secure regions in Korba and Dharamjaigarh forest divisions for elephant conservation, he alleged.

Mining and deforestation had pushed hundreds of elephants from Jharkhand and Odisha to Chhattisgarh where they have started venturing into human habitats. "It is the duty of the state to balance wildlife, displacement of tribal population and habitat making sure availability of mineral resources," he said.

While Dharamjaigarh has recorded 69 human deaths and 32 elephant deaths in last few years, according to a report, 215 human deaths were reported between 2005 and 2014. According to Greenpeace, 65% of human deaths due to elephants nationwide were caused by 10% of India's elephant population in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.

Social activist at Dharamjaigarh, Sajal Kumar accused state government of ignoring the issue. "Spending lakhs of rupees on solar fencing to prevent elephants venturing in human habitat is simply a waste of money. Tuskers break them effortlessly."

Over the last four years state has paid about Rs 7 crore as compensation towards injured, loss of life, property and crop damage in elephant attacks. "Sometimes victims have to wait for months and a year to get compensation," he said.

Talking to TOI, Tapesh Jha, chief conservator of forests, wildlife, Bilaspur explained, "Root cause of conflict is availability of common resources to both animal and human at same place. One is intelligent and the other is dominating. While forest department has been working on tracking elephants, solar fencing, forewarning villagers, constituting hulla party as part of crisis management, there are several factors that needs to be worked upon."

Another forest official said on condition of anonymity, "Easy availability of crops collected at place makes it easy for tusker to feed in stead of searching for it," the official said.  - The Times of India.

Piranha caught In Lake Bentonville

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed with Channel 7 News Sunday that a piranha was caught in Lake Bentonville last week.

According to AGFC Assistant Chief of Communications, Keith Stephens, the fish was caught on Friday. Stephens said people have caught piranhas in Arkansas before, but they don't last long.

"We get a few pacus and piranhas caught from time to time. They get too big from someone's aquarium and they release them. They cannot survive our low winter water temperatures, so no populations have ever been established," Stephens said.

According to AGFC piranhas are among several species of exotic animals that are unlawful to import or transport.  - KATV.

Man killed by elephant in West Bengal, India

A 67-year-old man was killed by a wild elephant near Belpahari town in Midnapore West district today, forest department officials said.

Sukhen Mura of Banspahari village had come to Belpahari to collect his old age pension and was returning home in a cycle through a forest where a herd of three elephants were staying.

One of the three pachyderms wrapped Mura with its trunk and flung him on the ground, the officials said.

After being taken to hospital, he was declared dead on arrival.  - Press Trust of India.

Coyote carries off dog in Randolph, New Jersey

This photograph shows a coyote stalking the Upper West Side of Manhattan on April 22. The animals are said to be most aggressive around this time of year

A vicious coyote attacked a pet dog and dragged it into the forest in a New Jersey town - the latest in a string of incidents which have seen the wolf-like animals encroach on towns and cities.

The beast grabbed the beloved pet, a Yorkshire terrier, in the backyard of his owner's home in the township of Randolph, around an hour west of New York City.

The Yorkie, named Bo, was seen being carried away by the coyote around 10pm Tuesday, police said. reported that Bo's owner had let him out briefly when the coyote struck and watched the abduction without being able to help.

Police and wildlife officials combed the nearby woods in the hope of tracking down either Bo or the coyote, but turned up no trace of either.

Another Randolph resident reportedly said that the same coyote had repeatedly approached his dog on Tuesday night.

According to the New Jersey fish and wildlife department, coyotes are most aggressive around late spring and early summer.

Female coyotes tend to bear their litters in April and May, the department says, and the extra mouths to feed makes the animals bolder.

Authorities said this can even lead to attacks on humans, though those are rare.

The latest coyote attack follows a series of sighting in and around New York City.

This Wednesday a was chased down in Queens by the NYPD and tranquilized - officers posted pictured of the subdued animal, which they handed over to animal control experts.

Just days before another coyote gave officers in Battery Park City a memorable chase, as police patrol cars and even a helicopter were deployed to catch it.

This coyote, too, was tranquilized and given to animal control.

New Jersey is even more used to coyote sightings - one man in Bergen County was bitten last month by a coyote which later tested positive for rabies.

According to coyote experts, the best way to halt their advance is to avoid feeding the animals, to seal garbage as thoroughly as possible, and to keep pets and children away from them.

The animals were once creatures of Midwestern plains and southwestern deserts. But they have dramatically expanded their range in the last two centuries, partly because of declines in their predators, such as wolves and cougars.

Although coyotes have been hunted for sport and killed as threats to livestock, they're now found from coast to coast. There are an estimated 30,000 in New York state, where they were first noted in the 1930s, the state Department of Environmental Conservation says.

Hardy and omnivorous, they've appeared in cities from San Francisco to Detroit to Chicago, where one coyote popped into a downtown sandwich shop in 2007 and researchers have tracked hundreds in the area. In New York, there were at least four Manhattan sightings in 2010 and a headline-grabbing chase in Central Park in 2006. - Daily Mail.

Cougar attacks dog near Powell River, British Columbia

Bruce, a 4-year-old pit bull, has a drainage tube running from his forehead to the side of his cheek to help him recover from a cougar attack.  © Ron Smid/Facebook

A four-year-old pit bull is recovering after being attacked by a cougar near Powell River, B.C., last week.

Bruce, who lives with his owner Ron Smid in a secluded area, disappeared into the woods last Thursday, April 23, returning a few minutes later — bleeding.

"He must have caught a scent and he didn't want to be called back," said Smid.

It wasn't until Bruce was examined by the vet and his body shaved, that the full extent of his injuries could be seen.

There were puncture wounds all over the dog's body and lacerations across his head.

"The largest wound that is apparent is a large tooth-like fang that went through the middle of his skull and it actually penetrated right to the bone," said Smid.

No one saw the attack, but Smid said both the vet and the local conservation officer agreed it was a cougar attack, and that Bruce's large, square head may have saved his life.

"The size of his skull that Bruce has, I think the cougar was actually unable to enclose its entire mouth around it and get leverage to actually crush the skull," he said.

Bruce is still nursing his wounds, but is in high spirits — especially after being fed treats at the vet's office.

He's back at home, but staying in the house until his wounds heal.

Bruce is just one of three of Smid's dogs. The attack was a wake-up call, Smid said, and the dogs will be kept under a closer watch from now on.

"I've been living in British Columbia for 16 years, I've never seen [a cougar] ... it's just made me aware that this can happen at anytime." - CBC.

Rampaging raccoons beseige mobile company’s office in Moscow

Reuters/Ilya Naymushin

Three raccoons broke out of their cages and caused havoc at a mobile company’s office in Moscow. The crimes of the striped perpetrators, who overturned boxes and destroyed equipment, were caught on a CCTV cam.

The raccoons arrived at one of the offices of Russian mobile broadband services provider and smartphone maker, Yota-System, together with their animal trainer.

The woman, who went to the office to buy a signal booster, reportedly left the cages containing the raccoons unattended as she had to run to the nearest ATM.

 WATCH: Furry company ravages mobile operator office.

While she was withdrawing cash, one of her raccoons seized the moment and successfully opened its cage. Not only did the raccoon escaped, it also freed its mates.

The three then launched into vigorous activity in the office, overturning every box they found and destroying tow antennas.

The company estimated that the damage caused by the animals stood at at 44,000 rubles (around $850), 360 Podmoskovye channel reported.

But both sides decided to settle the matter out of court, agreeing that the animal trainer will just stage a free performance for the children of Yota-System’s employees. - RT.

Pit bull terrier attacks owner then mauls 63-year-old man in Port St. Lucie, Florida

Nova, a pit bull, shows off bullet wound sustained to hind end following attack.

One man was severely injured after he was attacked by a pit bull Monday in Port St. Lucie, according to a police report.

David Brashear, 63, was in critical condition at Lawnwood Medical Center after he was mauled by a pit bull named Nova on the 2200 block of Southeast Rich Street, police said.

The incident began around 3 p.m. when a neighbor requested that the pit bull's owner, Vincent Bacchus, bring his dog inside so that she could let her dogs out, the report said. As Bacchus was attempting to bring Nova inside, the pit bull turned on its owner and bit him in the arm. Bacchus was forced to jump a fence into his neighbor's yard to get away from Nova, according to the report.

Pit bull bite sustained by dog owner in Port St. Lucie attack.

As Bacchus was treating a laceration on his arm, they heard Nova barking aggressively. That's when Bacchus saw Brashear, his roommate, pinned to the ground while getting mauled by Nova.

The neighbor gave Bacchus a 9-millimeter handgun to stop the attack. Bacchus fired three shots, shooting Nova once in the hind end and ending the mauling, police said.

Brashear underwent surgery on his arm. Bacchus, 22, took himself to the hospital to threat wounds to his arm.

Animal control confiscated Nova, the report said.

During an investigation into the incident, officers learned that Nova attacked another man two weeks ago, biting him on the neck. The attack was not reported "for fear the animal would be taken away," the report said. - Palm Beach Post.

Bear captured after chasing two people at Granby refuge, Connecticut

Black bear.
A black bear chased a man and a woman out of a refuge in Granby on Monday.

It happened at the McLean Game Refuge on Brandoor Hills Road.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was searching for the animal, and at a little after 2:30 p.m., officials had brought in a bear trap to help capture the bear.

It said the victims were identified as 62-year-old Clyde Grindal and 25-year-old Jessica Kraiza.

Officials said the two people were chased "by an unusually aggressive black bear" in separate incidents within one hour.

The man allegedly suffered some scratches including a laceration to the chest and was treated at the scene. Officials said it is unclear if the scratches were from tree branches while he was running from the bear.

The woman told officials that the bear came up to her when she was walking the trail near the trout pond.

"It chased her first, but it was for a short period of time, the bear lost interest with her, but maybe a minute later, based on the calls Granby police got, the male was chased," said Col. Kyle Overturf of DEEP police.

Kraiza said she was training for a half marathon when she turned around and noticed the bear was running after her.

"I thought I was going to die. It didn't feel real," she said. "I was just hauling it and praying for my life."

She said she tried everything to stop the bear, from throwing a piece of clothing on the ground to getting on top of a bench and standing still.

"My next reaction was there was a big bench. The way I was taught was if you have a bear near you is to get up on top of something and pretend to be big and be still," she said.

When nothing worked, she ran away with the bear in hot pursuit.

"I just figured the only way I was getting out was if I sprinted and good thing I'm a big runner," she said.

She said at one point she was running down a hill and said the bear was only just about two arm's length behind her.

The bear started foaming at the mouth, she said, and that is when she said she thought her life was over.

"I just sprinted the other way and I don't think I've run so fast in my entire life," Kraiza said.

But to her surprise, the black bear stopped chasing after her when something else distracted him.

"I was screaming the whole time and as soon as he saw the other families, he completely stopped at the cabin and turned back around," she said.

DEEP said the bear is about one-and-a-half years old and weighed about 140 to 160 pounds. Officials searched for the bear for several hours.

They had said if they are able to catch the bear it will be euthanized "because of the aggressive behavior it displayed toward humans." As of 10 p.m. it is unclear if the bear had been euthanized.

Police said this was an unusual situation, as black bears are no stranger to Connecticut and are rarely aggressive.

"It's not completely unheard of, but we don't know exactly what happened here today, whether the bear was surprised at a food source, or if cubs were involved," said Paul Rego, a wildlife biologist. "Bears actually chasing people, it's quite rare, but not completely unheard of. Across the country, black bears have killed people."
A nearby school was also on alert and walkers were denied access to the trail while the search went on.

"I don't know if this bear happens to maybe not feel so well, but I've never had any issue with it, walking through here all the time," said Ann Mikkelson of Granby. "He just looked at me, but if he had cubs, I would never go near him."

Both of the victims are expected to recover.

Officials said they canvassed several miles of the area while searching for the bear. They had also set a trap.

The Refuge is open to the public, offering trails and picnic areas. - Erie TV News.

Elephant kills person in Rangamati, Bangladesh

A youth, who was injured by a wild elephant at Madhyam Ghanmor village in Longdu upazila on Monday night, died at Longdu Upazila Health Complex early yesterday.

The deceased is Joyprakash Chakma, 38, a resident of the village.

Police said a wild elephant from the adjacent hills entered the village and attacked Joyprakash while he was guarding his paddy field around 8:30pm on Monday night, leaving him critically injured.

Villagers rushed him to Longdu Upazila Health Complex, where he succumbed to his injuries around 6:00am. - The Daily Star.

Winter bird migrants from Himalayas stay south in Tamil Nadu, India

Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura). © Wikimedia Commons

Indian pitta and black-naped oriole, two species of migratory birds from the Himalayan region, have extended their stay in the Grizzled giant squirrel sanctuary in Srivilliputhur.

Sighting of these rare birds were recorded during a bird census last Saturday and Sunday.
Bombay Natural History Society member S Chandrasekar, who took part in the census, said normally these birds stay till the end of March. When temperatures soar, they return to their habitat after nesting and roosting. This time they are hanging around. We need to study the reasons.

Five species of birds have been recorded during the census, the other three species being the Wayanad laughing thrush, yellow-throated bulbul and Malabar trogan. A decade ago it was considered that the yellow-throated bulbul was purely an Eastern Ghats species. Sighting of this bird last week in the Western Ghats has opened new possibilities of studies. Similarly, the sighting of Malabar trogan was reported from camps set up in high altitude areas. All the five species were not recorded in last year's census.

Madurai Nature Forum coordinator N Raveendran, who covered Mudaliyaroothu in the sanctuary, said his team sighted great-pied hornbill, fishing eagle and black eagle in Sithathu Kaavu and Vattappaarai, located in higher elevations. "Sighting of these birds in such higher elevations indicates that the forest areas and the ecosystem in this region are flourishing well along with the birds," he said.

Mudaliyaroothu, located at an elevation of 1,200m in the Srivilliputhur range, and Kottamalai at an elevation of 900m in the Saptur range in the sanctuary are the two important places where good bird population has been recorded during the census. A total of 15 camps have been set up in the elevated areas, and 35 volunteers including students from various colleges and professionals participated in the census, he added. - The Times of India.

MONUMENTAL GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: What's Happening With The Water In Oregon's "Lost Lake" - Mysterious Hole Drains All Its Water, Leaving A Barren Landscape; Scientists Are Baffled?!

- The 'Lost Lake' off Oregon's Highway 20 has a deep, dark secret.

Most of the year, it looks like any other lake; peaceful and still.

But come winter, and a mysterious hole begins draining it of all its water, leaving a barren landscape that has baffled scientists for centuries.

As the eruption cooled, the hardened pipes emptied, leaving behind tubes in the form of vast tunnels.

WATCH: Oregon's mysterious "Lost Lake".

Jude McHugh, spokeswoman with the Willamette National Forest, told the Bulletin, that the hole has been there as long as anyone can remember.

There appears to be a relatively simple explanation to how the water is being lost.

Geologists claim the area's volcanic landscape is to blame for the lake's rapid drainage.

They believe a lava tube beneath the lake formed when flowing lava hardened near the surface and flowed downwards.

Similar lava tube drain holes have been found at Fish Lake, only a few miles from Lost Lake near the junction of U.S. Highway 20 and state Highway, according to the Bulletin.

But what has stumped researchers is where exactly all this water goes.

McHugh claims it may seep into the porous subsurface underground, refilling the aquifer that feeds springs on of the Cascades. However, this has never been confirmed.

Now and again, locals will find strange objects in the lake, such as car parts, engines and other types of debris.

McHugh believes these are attempts to try and 'plug the leak', but warns this may simply lead to flooding of the local area.

'If anyone was ever successful at plugging it, which we're not sure they could do, it would just result in the lake flooding, and the road. It's an important part of how the road was designed,' she said. - Daily Mail.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Fireball Seen In Eatontown, New Jersey!

Sightings of a meteor like this one, photographed over the Arizona desert in 2001, were reported at the Jersey Shore and along the Northeastern U.S. Friday night, May 1.
© Associated Press

- There were numerous reports of a meteor streaking across the night sky late Friday.

Dora Marcouiller said she saw it while she was driving in Eatontown about 9:40 p.m.

"It flew southeast/northwest. It was as clear as day and crossed the top of the tree line. I saw the ball illuminating the sky with the tail of burning fire behind. It was huge and very distinct," the Eatontown resident said in an email to the Asbury Park Press.

Most meteors, or shooting stars, are visible as brief streaks of light. Marcouiller's description appears to match that of a "fireball," an unusually large and bright meteor. To be considered a fireball, a meteor must be at least as bright as Venus, according to an article from

Meteor-related websites reported sightings from Quebec, Canada to Maryland Friday night.

- Asbury Park Press.