Archive | March 7, 2015


Subject To Change

Depth: 23 km

Distances: 208km (129mi) ESE of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea
249km (155mi) SSW of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
422km (262mi) W of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
442km (275mi) NNE of Alotau, Papua New Guinea
595km (370mi) ENE of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Map showing extent (w,s,e,n) = (146.7368, -11.5501, 156.7368, -1.5500999999999996)




***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 07.03.15  22.49 hrs UTC




***BE ALERT***

Proton Alert 07.03.15 22.00 hrs UTC


Subject To Change

Depth: 521 km

Distances: 481km (299mi) SSW of Ndoi Island, Fiji
685km (426mi) SW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
714km (444mi) S of Suva, Fiji
770km (478mi) SSE of Nadi, Fiji900km (559mi) S of Lambasa, Fiji

Map showing extent (w,s,e,n) = (174.233, -29.5491, 180, -19.5491)

Massive landslide kills over 50 miners at Hpakant, Kachin State, Myanmar

Landslide Danger Alert

Many raw jade miners have been estimated to have been killed in a landslide on Friday after a giant amount of dump soil over 1,000 feet high collapsed in Hpakant, Kachin State.
“I run as soon as I heard about the landslide. There were about 30 people running behind me. When I arrived on the hill, I looked back and I didn’t see anyone. Other estimates the death toll to be over 50,” said Phoe Tin Lay, who escaped from the landslide.
Located between Khunkhar village and Shansu village, the dump soil has been dumped by two big gem companies – Yazahtarni and Aung Min Hein.
Local residents say there is a cave with water at the area of the dump site so the water eroded at the base of the dump soil, leading to the landslide as the area could not bear the weight of the soil.
mar8 landslide1
The area where the landslide took place in Hpakant (Photo – Aung Hein Min/EMG)
Although many have estimated the death toll to range between 50 and 100, the authorities stated that they have not collected an exact figure and expect the death toll to be lesser than estimated. 
“Some lived in tents by themselves or with another person. They have been buried under the landslide so how are they going to come and give their names?” said a raw jade miner.
Although the incident took place around 11 am when the dump trucks were given a rest, a big jade has been found so the owner and his workers were at the base of the dump soil so they were all buried under the landslide, according to eye witnesses.
A similar incident took place near Mawmaungbon village on January 6 and the death toll was estimated to be high, but the search halted after finding four bodies. Now, the search is being conducted, but no dead bodies have been recovered so far. The local residents have been criticizing the company for using only one backhoe to searching for the bodies.
mar8 landslide2
The area where the landslide took place in Hpakant (Photo – Aung Hein Min/EMG)
Courtesy of Eleven Myanmar News

Swine flu kills 8 people in Kashmir

Swine Flu Alert

Swine flu has claimed one more life in Kashmir Valley since yesterday, taking the total death toll to eight. 14 people were tested positive for the H1N1 virus, according to officials.
‘One more patient infected with swine flu virus has died taking the death toll to eight. However, the patient had multiple co-morbidities as well and may have died of those ailments,’ Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS)’s spokesperson Kulsoom Bhat said here. (Read: Swine flu symptoms and signs you MUST be aware of!)
She said the number of patients infected with the virus has risen to 291 as 14 new cases had surfaced during the last 24 hours. ‘14 more patients have tested positive for the virus during the last 24 hours. The total number of infected is now 291,’ she said.  (Read: Swine flu in Kashmir: 10 more people infected with H1N1 virus, no fresh deaths reported)
The official said six fresh samples were taken today for testing from 80 patients who were at the special OPD of the hospital. The number of patients infected with swine flu and admitted at the isolation ward of the hospital was 13, including one in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while two patients were discharged today, she said.
Courtesy of The Health Site

10 more MERS-linked deaths in Saudi Arabia

MERS Virus Alert

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has killed 10 more people in Saudi Arabia over the past week, raising health officials’ concern about containment of the deadly virus.
Data from Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry demonstrate that the death toll has surged above 400, with the latest deaths occurring between February 27 and March 5.
According to health officials, the virus killed 30 people in February alone, six of whom died in Riyadh.
A total of 936 cases have been reported since the virus was identified in 2012, with 402 of them leading to death.
On March 4, the Saudi Health Ministry announced an expansion of a public education campaign to halt the spread of MERS-CoV.
Social media, television, radio, print, and text messages are used to propagate the belief that “We can stop it.”
International investigation
The campaign was launched after an international team of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies, including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health, conducted a mission to investigate the surge in MERS cases.
Officials from the international team said on February 23 that “efforts to educate professionals and the public are urgently needed.”
According to the WHO, the preliminary results of studies indicate that people working with camels are at increased risk of infection from MERS-CoV, and particularly juvenile camels are susceptible.
MERS, a respiratory disease which can cause severe pneumonia, was first discovered in September 2012 in a Qatari man who had traveled to the kingdom.
In early February, Abdul Aziz bin Saeed, the head of the center coordinating the Health Ministry’s response to MERS, warned that MERS cases suddenly increase around this time of year, when there are more young camels circulating.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, which is worst hit by the virus, MERS has been reported in more than 20 other countries. Most of the reported cases have been linked to the Middle East. However, some Persian Gulf states, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Britain have been also affected by the virus.
The disease, which causes coughing, fever and pneumonia, does not appear to be as contagious as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which infected over 8,000 people and killed about 10 percent of them more than a decade ago.
Courtesy of Press TV

Deadly bird flu strain hits commercial turkey operation in west-central Minnesota, USA

H5N2 Virus
State health officials say a strain of bird flu that’s deadly to poultry has been discovered in Minnesota, after the population of a commercial turkey barn was decimated in a matter of days — from a flock of 15,000 to fewer than 100.
Health officials said Thursday that the risk to the general public from the virus — known as H5N2 avian influenza — was “very low,” though there was some occupational risk to workers handling the turkey flock in west-central Minnesota.
The four workers who worked at the Pope County farm — which was not identified — were being monitored. However, no human infections from this strain of bird flu have been detected anywhere.
Health officials said there were four barns on the property — two for raising turkeys and two for laying eggs — and only one of the poultry raising barns experienced the severe “death loss.”
Officials quarantined the farm and said the remaining turkeys would be killed to prevent the disease’s spread. No birds ever went outside the barns.
Still, state and federal officials plan to scour the area around the farm for the presence of infected birds, though the likelihood of finding any is considered slim because of the frigid conditions.
“We’re optimistic (about possibly containing an outbreak) because there are no other commercial operations in that area,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “If we can get through the next 21 days (the disease’s incubation period) without finding anything, we should be in good shape.”
The disease originates from wild waterfowl — geese, ducks and shorebirds — and is endemic in that population. Infected flocks that originated in Eurasia eventually traveled to North America in late 2014 via migratory pathways, including the Pacific Flyway. Once there, the Asian strains mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating the new strain. The strain has been confirmed in backyard and wild birds in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Thursday’s announcement marks the first time the strain has been detected in the Mississippi Flyway.
Waterfowl typically do not experience severe symptoms and often don’t appear sick. Poultry, on the other hand — including chickens, turkeys and pheasants — are particularly susceptible to the disease.
“Songbirds, the types of birds that come to your backyard feeders, really don’t get infected as a general rule,” said Dr. Carol Cardona, professor of avian health at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “We don’t know why. … Those smaller birds are not great hosts of the virus.”
Cardona noted that infected poultry would not make it to food markets, as it is all tested for influenza.
The disease is typically spread through fecal matter, which can be tracked into commercial farms by workers.
According to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Minnesota is the top producer and processor of turkeys in the country, raising 46 million birds annually, worth around $750 million.
State officials said they suspect the outbreak could have an impact on the state’s poultry export business, which totaled some $92 million in 2013.
That amount represents 10 to 12 percent of the total value of state turkey production, said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.
“Our biggest area of growth has been export markets,” Olson said. “We were watching for this, but we didn’t expect to see it this soon.”
Frederickson acknowledged that exports could take a hit, as has been the case in the Pacific Northwest.
“We’re very cognizant of that,” Frederickson said. “We can only prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
The Pope County farm’s owners noticed elevated mortality in their flock on Feb. 26, when they lost an initial 70 birds. The following day, they lost hundreds and contacted state officials. A U.S. Department of Agriculture lab confirmed the virus to state officials Wednesday night.
Those coming into contact with sick or dead poultry or wildlife should wash their hands with soap and water and change clothing before coming into contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.
Courtesy of WDAZ8 TV

Four devastating plant viruses found in England, UK

Virus Detected

England’s fledgling wine industry is threatened by a group of devastating plant diseases discovered in the country for the first time.
Experts at the Royal Horticultural Society in recent months have identified four separate viruses which can obliterate grape crops.
The diseases, spotted on vines at RHS gardens in Wisley, Surrey, and the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale. Kent, have damaged vineyards in wine-growing countries around the world.
Outbreaks of the disease can result in reduced yields, delayed fruit ripening and overly-acidic grapes.
The only way to properly deal with the problem is to pull up the plants, experts say.
Experts at the Royal Horticultural Society  have identified four separate viruses which can obliterate grape crops (file picture)
Experts at the Royal Horticultural Society have identified four separate viruses which can obliterate grape crops (file picture)
The warning comes after wine producers announced this week that they are to apply for the name ‘Sussex wine’ to be given protected ‘designation of origin’ status, putting it in the same league as Champagne and Bordeaux.
The reputation of English wine has grown immeasurably in recent years, particularly in warm and sunny Sussex, which has similar soil and climate to the Champagne region of France.
Sales of sparking English wine are expected to hit £100million in 2015, following a boom in the number of vineyards in recent years.
In 2014 alone 46 wine producers opened in southern England, a 50 per cent year-on-year increase in new firms.
Vines are also becoming a popular plant in back gardens, with many homeowners trailing one over a trellis or up the inside of a conservatory.
Dr Gerard Clover, head of plant health at the RHS, said there is no sign the viruses have yet made it into commercial vineyards, but warned producers to be wary of the disease.
Writing in the trade journal the Grape Press, due to be published next month, he said: ‘The discovery of four grapevine viruses not previously reported in the UK during an in initial survey suggests there is no room for complacency.
‘These viruses have the potential to spread and cause damage to the UK’s developing grapevine industry.’
The four viruses cause different problems to plants, including leafroll disease, stem pitting, and fleck disease.
Outbreaks of the disease can result in reduced yields, delayed fruit ripening and overly-acidic grapes (file picture)
Outbreaks of the disease can result in reduced yields, delayed fruit ripening and overly-acidic grapes (file picture)
They are thought to have come to our shores on imports of infected plants, but can also be spread by mealybugs and scale insects.
Dr Clover urged commercial vineyards to be aware of the risk and to only use plants that are certified as being virus-free.
Speaking to the Daily Mail last night, he said: ‘We found four of these viruses in Wisley and one at Brogdale. But we found them because we knew what we were looking for.
‘The symptoms could easily be mistaken for something else – nutrient deficiencies for example, or other problems.
‘We visited two commercial sites in Suffolk and Surrey and found no signs of the viruses at either.’
But he said that until now there has been limited monitoring for viruses in British vineyards, so the diseases are likely to be i8n other sites as well.
He added: ‘It is reasonable to suggest that they could have spread further, but it is impossible to say how far.
‘Luckily we have caught this early so we have opportunity to do something about it.’
Courtesy of The Daily Mail

30 fresh deaths take H1N1 swine flu toll to 1,319 in India

H1N1 Flu Alert

Thirty more persons, including a noted theatre personality, have died due to swine flu in the country taking the toll over the 1,300 mark even as SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, suspected to be suffering from the disease, was hospitalised. Union Health Ministry data said 1,319 persons have perished due to the disease while the number of persons affected across the states stood at 24,661 as on March 6. The Ministry had yesterday said that 1,289 had died while the number of those affected by it across the states was 23,922 as on March 5 this year. (Also read: Swine Flu H1N1: Healthy diet can help you fight the deadly virus)
Noted theatre personality and former HoD, foreign languages department of Agra University, Jitendra Raghvanshi died of swine flu today at a Delhi hospital. He was also an active member of CPI. Mulayam Singh Yadav has been admitted to a hospital in Gurgaon after he complained of breathlessness and uneasiness. “His samples have been sent for tests. He has symptoms of swine flu but nothing can be said as of now. Reports are awaited,” said a senior doctor at the hospital.
Health Ministry data for different states showed that the highest number of deaths due to the disease was in Gujarat at 324 while 5,411 persons have been affected by it. Rajasthan came second with 305 deaths and 5,898 persons affected. In Maharashtra, the number of deaths was 201 while that of those affected was 2,386, followed by Madhya Pradesh 186 deaths and 1,389 affected. Although the number of deaths in Delhi remained at ten (of only residents of Delhi), the city witnessed a rise in the number of persons affected by it as it reached 3,417.
In Karnataka, as many as 1,707 people have been affected by swine flu while the death toll has reached 55 while in Telangana, the numbers were 1,731 affected and 61 deaths. One more person succumbed to swine flu in Kashmir, taking the toll to nine, while 67 more patients have tested positive for H1N1 virus, health officials there said. Health Ministry data however showed that while eight persons have died in Kashmir, three persons have died in Jammu.
Kerala too has witnessed nine deaths while in Haryana, 27 people have died due to the disease. In Punjab, 47 people have perished to swine flu.
With rains lashing Delhi, health officials said generally, during monsoon the virus increases and there will be no decrease in the virus due to the rains. High temperatures are deterrent to the virus, health ministry officials said.
Courtesy of India,com