Archive | April 9, 2014


Subject To Change

Depth: 8 km

Distances: 3993 km SE of Wellington, New Zealand / pop: 381,900 / local time: 08:29:11.0 2014-04-10
4243 km SE of Avarua, Cook Islands / pop: 13,373 / local time: 10:29:11.0 2014-04-09
4267 km S of Papeete, French Polynesia / pop: 26,357 / local time: 10:29:11.0 2014-04-09

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Subject To Change

Depth: 329 km

Distances: 155km (96mi) S of Mata-Utu, Wallis and Futuna
476km (296mi) WSW of Apia, Samoa

521km (324mi) ENE of Lambasa, Fiji
580km (360mi) W of Tafuna, American Samoa

583km (362mi) W of Pago Pago, American Samoa

Global view


MERS Virus

Saudi health authorities announced on Wednesday another death caused by the MERS virus in the capital Riyadh, bringing the nationwide toll to 67.
The 57-year-old Saudi national had been suffering from chronic illnesses, the health ministry said.
It also reported that another two Saudis had been infected by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, one a 51-year-old and the other a 
90-year-old, both of whom are suffering chronic illnesses.
The latest figures bring to 179 the number of cases of MERS in Saudi Arabia since the virus first appeared in the kingdom in September 2012.
The virus was initially concentrated in the eastern region but has now spread across more areas.
Eleven new cases were reported in the western port city of Jeddah in recent weeks, causing a wave of panic fuelled by rumours circulated on social networks.
Of the 11 victims, two died while six have recovered and another three are undergoing treatment, according to the health ministry.
Three of the patients in Jeddah were health workers, including one of the two who died, prompting authorities to close the emergency department at the city’s King Fahd Hospital.
Patients were transferred to other hospitals while the department was disinfected in a process expected to take 24 hours, the ministry said on Tuesday.
The MERS virus is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.
Experts are still struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no known vaccine.
A study revealed that the virus has been “extraordinarily common” in camels for at least 20 years, and may have been passed directly from the animals to humans.
The World Health Organisation said at the end of March that it had been told of 206 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection worldwide, of which 86 had been fatal.

Virus Kills Millions Of Baby Pigs In America

PEDV Alert

A virus never before seen in the U.S. has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year, and with little known about how it spreads or how to stop it, it’s threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10 percent or more.

Scientists think porcine epidemic diarrhea, which does not infect humans or other animals, came from China, but they don’t know how it got into the country or spread to 27 states since last May. The federal government is looking into how such viruses might spread, while the pork industry, wary of future outbreaks, has committed $1.7 million to research the disease.

The U.S. is both a top producer and exporter of pork, but production could decline about 7 percent this year compared to last — the biggest drop in more than 30 years, according to a recent report from Rabobank, which focuses on agribusiness industries.

Already, prices have shot up: A pound of bacon averaged $5.46 in February, 13 percent more than a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Farmer and longtime veterinarian Craig Rowles did all he could to prevent PED from spreading to his farm in Iowa, the state hardest hit by the disease. He trained workers to spot symptoms, had them shower and change clothing before entering barns and limited deliveries and visitors.

Despite his best efforts, the deadly diarrhea attacked in November, killing 13,000 animals in a matter of weeks, most of them less than 2 weeks old. The farm produces about 150,000 pigs each year.

Estimates of how many pigs have died in the past year vary, ranging from at least 2.7 million to more than 6 million.

The first reports came from the Midwest, and the states most affected are those with the largest share of the nation’s pigs: Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Illinois. The disease also has spread to Canada and Mexico.

Some states now require a veterinarian to certify that pigs coming in are virus-free, while China, which has seen repeated outbreaks since the 1980s, has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to similarly vouch for animals shipped overseas.

Companies are racing to develop a vaccine, but the federal government has yet to approve one. While the mass deaths have been a blow for farmers, the financial impact to them may be limited because pork prices are rising to make up for the loss of animals.

It takes about six months for a hog to reach market weight so the supply will be short for a while. Smithfield Foods, one of the nation’s largest pork processors, has cut some plant shifts to four days per week in North Carolina, and those in the Midwest are likely to do so later this spring, said Steve Meyer, an Iowa-based economist and pork industry consultant.

Smithfield Foods declined to comment.

In the end, consumers will be most affected, Meyer said, with pork prices likely to be 10 percent higher overall this summer than a year ago.

“We’re all used to: ‘We’ve got plenty of food, it’s cheap. We’ll eat what we want to,'” Meyer said. “We Americans are very spoiled by that, but this is one of those times that we’re going to find out that when one of these things hits, it costs us a lot of money.”

Plane Makes A Dramatic Emergency Landing In Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Plane Emergency Landing

A pilot was injured after he was forced to make a dramatic emergency landing in a private plane.


The twin-engine aircraft encountered problems, believed to be with one of the engines, as it flew near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire.


The pilot, who is said to be in his 40s, had to bring the single-seater aircraft down in a field not far from the coastal village.

Scene: The single-engine plane was brought down in a field just outside Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, after the pilot was forced into making an emergency landing

Paramedics assessed the unidentified pilot in the cockpit and he was eventually taken to hospital on a stretcher while wearing a neck brace.


Witnesses said one of the propellers did not appear to be working as the plane descended towards the field and it is not known where the pilot was flying to. 

Response: Eight fire engines attended the scene with 40 personnel on hand to deal with the emergency

A Police Scotland spokesman said: ‘One male pilot was on board and he is okay. It was an emergency landing. We are assisting at the moment.


He was initially taken onto a Scottish Ambulance Service National Risk and Resiliance Department vehicle then transferred to an ambulance on a stretcher further up the field.

Clean-up: The pilot was taken to hospital on a stretcher and wearing a neck brace when he was taken to hospital by paramedics

He was casually dressed in blue jeans and a black fleece when he was taken off the aircraft.


One onlooker said: ‘He remained calm and appeared to be very still when he was put in the stretcher. It must have been quite an ordeal.’


A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: ‘We got the call at 15:45pm.

‘There were five appliances there, two from Stonehaven and three from Aberdeen plus an urban search and rescue unit. There was just short of 40 personnel there. We used two jets and foam as a precaution.’


Tumbleweeds A Big Problem For Colorado’s Drought Areas, USA

Tumbleweeds make for great effects in old westerns, but they have actually become a major problem for some Colorado counties stricken by drought.


According to Huffington Post, the tumbleweed problem is costing Colorado counties thousands of dollars.


Crowley County, just east of Pueblo has spent over $100,000 since November on removing tumbleweeds from roadways and bridges. El Paso County, which includes Colorado Springs has  spent more than $200,000 doing the same thing.


Aside from the cost to the counties, homeowners are being crippled by the massive amounts of tumbleweeds which cover their cars, fill their yards, and block their doors and driveways. Removing the tumbleweeds seems like a daunting task because they just keep coming and coming.


It might make a great premise for a movie, like Tumbleweed City, or Tumbleweeds From Outerspace. But, for the people who are dealing with this ever growing problem it’s not funny.


Planes Crashes, Killing 2 People In Papua

Plane Crash Alert

A light aircraft has crashed in eastern Indonesia, killing it’s American pilot and a passenger.
Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said the US-made Kodiak plane belongs to a private religious foundation, Advent, and was carrying seven people when it crashed while taking off from an airstrip in Papua province.
He says the five surviving passengers were taken to a nearby hospital.
No cause of the crash was immediately given.
Indonesia, a sprawling archipelagic nation of 240 million, has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years. Overcrowding, ageing infrastructure and poor safety standards are often to blame.
Air flight is the main transportation in Papua, the second biggest of Indonesia’s more than 17,000 islands.


***BE ALERT***
Magnetogram 09.04.14  20.08 hrs UTC


Subject To Change

Depth: 5 km

Distances: Gardiner, MT – 48 km (30 miles) SSE (153 degrees)
West Yellowstone, MT – 53 km (33 miles) E (91 degrees)
Cooke City-Silver Gate, MT – 57 km (35 miles) SW (224 degrees)
Island Park, ID – 73 km (46 miles) ENE (76 degrees)
Salt Lake City, UT – 449 km (279 miles) NNE (15 degrees)

2-degree map


Subject To Change

Depth: 15 km

Distances: 75km (47mi) WSW of Iquique, Chile
175km (109mi) NNW of Tocopilla, Chile

239km (149mi) S of Arica, Chile
279km (173mi) NW of Calama, Chile

529km (329mi) SSW of La Paz, Bolivia

Global view