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
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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)
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