Archive | June 4, 2015
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Another dead whale washed ashore in Northern California, the 12th carcass that has appeared in the past few months and marks a higher-than-normal number of deaths but not a record.
The dozen whales have been found along nearly 300 miles of coastline and are of different species and various ages. In a typical year, one or two gray whales wash ashore, said Frances Gulland, the senior scientist for the Marine Mammal Center.
The most recent animal appeared Tuesday on a beach along the Point Reyes National Seashore, officials said. It’s badly decomposed and headless, making identifying the species and its age difficult, said Mary Jane Schramm, spokeswoman for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
“(The condition) suggests it could be a killer whale attack,” she said.
Scientists are trying to determine if there is a connection between the beached whales, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. They are considering factors such as environmental changes, food distribution, shipping and predator behavior.
“We are seeing them coming from so many different species and various causes of death,” Schramm said. “One of the reasons we are seeing such a cluster at one time is we have very strong winds that have been blowing consistently that are washing things onto shore.”
Scientists say the deaths could be part of the annual gray whale migration from Mexico to Alaska, the newspaper reported.
At least one of the whales showed evidence of being hit by a ship. Two others were missing limbs, which indicates they got tangled in fishing gear or attacked by killer whales.
The latest beached whale appeared a few days after a 28-foot juvenile gray whale washed up on the Sonoma County coast. Last week, a gray whale carcass appeared in Half Moon Bay as officials buried a sperm whale and a humpback whale.
In April, two gray whales got beached in Santa Cruz County, a killer whale was found near Fort Bragg and a gray whale washed up in Monterey County.
Courtesy of pressdemocrat.com
Courtesy of patrika.com
Locals in Uplistsikhe, in Georgia’s Kartli region, threaten that they will block the central highway near Gori because sheep that was returned from Jordan is dying from an unknown disease.
Teo Tlashadze, member of the local council in Gori, told Interpressnews that tens of thousands of sheep were sent to Jordan a few weeks ago, but were rejected for unclear reasons. The sheep were then returned. Farmers now claim their sheep are infected with a disease and that thousands of them have died.
Tlashadze said a few days ago that the sheep have been examined but people don’t know the results yet.
“People are in panic because tens of thousands of sheep died and they had to bury the sheep in pits.”
She said they want help from the government, otherwise they plan to block the highway.
Courtesy of dfwatch.net
A second case of bird flu was announced Tuesday in central Iowa, with an egg-laying operation in Adair County, housing 975,000 hens, believed to be infected, the Iowa Department of Agriculture said.
The first outbreak in central Iowa was at Rose Acre Farms, a Winterset commercial egg-laying facility with 1.5 million chickens that was infected earlier this month.
An egg-laying operation with 160,000 hens in Webster County also is likely infected, the state agency said Tuesday. The new cases pushes the number of birds killed by or destroyed to contain the disease to 26.7 million. The estimate has changed as officials determine how many birds are infected.
The news comes as southwest Iowa residents voice concerns about a private landfill’s decision to accept some of the millions of birds stricken with H5N2.
A photo floating around Facebook showed a dead bird, supposedly laying on the road to a private landfill in Mills County. “Where’s the bag” designed to kill and contain the virus, asks the poster.
But the photo is a prank, said Sheri Bowen, the Mills County public health administrator, appointed to field bird flu questions.
No birds killed or destroyed by H5N2 have been trucked 200-some miles from northwest Iowa, heavily hit by the disease, to the southwest Iowa landfill that has agreed to take some of them, she said.
Iowa Waste System’s decision to accept birds killed by the virus or destroyed to contain it has been controversial. And fears are high.
A public meeting was planned Tuesday night in Malvern. Bowen said it’s important that area residents have a chance to get their questions answered by county, state and federal officials as well as landfill representatives. “We understand that folks have concerns,” she said. “We want them to have accurate information.”
Rain has delayed construction of roads, decontamination areas and other special measures the landfill must take to dispose of the birds, Bowen said. The earliest the landfill could accept the birds is Thursday. “We don’t even know if it will happen then,” she said.
State and federal officials have urged Iowa landfills to help dispose of the dead birds.
Another landfill, Northwest Iowa Area Solid Waste Agency near Sheldon, has agreed to take the birds.
In addition to landfilling, producers are composting and burying the dead birds on site, and the birds are being incinerated. But officials say they also need to landfill the birds in order to deal with a record number of birds infected by the outbreak.
Producers Saturday described weeks-long delays in disposing of the birds as the U.S. Department of Agriculture worked to find landfills willing to accept the birds. Additionally, USDA had to work out protocols to ensure the birds could be safely transported and landfilled.
Protocols include using special Bio-Zip bags for each bird to contain and kill the virus, disinfecting trucks, special routes and landfilling practices that include segregation of the birds from other waste and immediately covering them once they’re landfilled.
Officials have stressed the risk to humans from H5N2 is low. No human infections have been detected and there are no food safety risks for the consumer.
Courtesy of desmoinesregister.com
Photo Antonio Dimas
The GNR announced on Sunday they were investigating the causes of fish kills in Dam Divor in the municipality of Arraiolos, Évora, though not consider the alarming situation, nor the reservoir serves for public water supply. In statement released, the Territorial Command Évora GNR ensures that “so far,” environmental crime evidence were not found. ” According to security forces, “many dead fish” have emerged since the beginning of April, the dam of the banks located in the little church parish in the municipality of Arraiolos, which have been collected by employees of the Association of Irrigators and Beneficiaries of Divor and the municipality. At a recent meeting between various entities, it was decided, according to the GNR, collecting water samples and some dead fish specimens for analysis.
The Protection Service of Nature and the Environment (SEPNA) of the Territorial Command Évora GNR was requested “a more thorough investigation” margins and remote places to identify a possible cause of human origin, however, “to the time, environmental crime evidence were not found. ” Noting that the situation has repeated in previous years and “is not considered alarming,” the GNR said that the phenomenon is being analyzed, “being still premature to certainties for possible causes of the fish kills that dam.”
Courtesy of cmjornal.xl.pt
The Meteorological department has issued a cyclone alert after spotting development of a low pressure in Arabian Sea.
The Met office on Thursday said the low air pressure is forming 1600 kilometer south of Karachi, and an advisory might be issued during the next 24 hours in case it grow into a cyclone.
“Cyclone Warning Centre (Karachi) of Pakistan Meteorological Department is monitoring the local and regional meteorological conditions regularly,” said a statement issued by the Met office.
It said the low pressure system would be named “Ashobaa” if it develops into a cyclone. The Met office said Karachi was not likely to receive rain tonight.
The higher the low-pressure in the system, the greater are the chances of its growing into a tropical cyclone, it said.
Courtesy of geo.tv
Hundreds of schools have been closed in South Korea as officials deal with an outbreak of the MERS virus that has infected 38 people, killed three and caused thousands to cancel travel plans.
More than 1,100 schools and colleges have closed in response to public fears over what has become the largest outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outside Saudi Arabia.
Five more cases were confirmed today, bringing the total number of known infections to 35, the health ministry said.
The first case – reported on 20 May – was of a 68-year-old man diagnosed after a trip to Saudi Arabia.
The third fatality was reported yesterday. The 82-year-old man who was in hospital with asthma and bacterial pneumonia, had shared a room with others infected with MERS.
Since then, more than 1,300 people who may have been exposed directly or indirectly to the virus have been placed under varying levels of quarantine.
Some were isolated at state-designated facilities while many were strongly advised to stay at home.
In Seoul, growing public concern has been reflected in the daily increase in the number of commuters wearing face masks on buses and subways.
And the anxiety has been exported, with the Korea Tourism Organisation reporting that around 7,000 tourists – mostly from China and Taiwan – had cancelled planned group trips to South Korea.
“A mass cancellation of this scale is very unusual… and many travellers cited the MERS outbreak as the main reason,” a KTO spokesman said.
President Park Geun-Hye’s administration, and health officials in general, have been criticised for responding too slowly to the initial outbreak.
In an emergency meeting with health officials yesterday, the president called for “utmost efforts” to curb the spread of the virus and ease public fear.
MERS has now infected 1,180 people globally, with 442 deaths.
More than 20 countries have been affected, with most cases in Saudi Arabia.
The virus, which has no known cure or vaccine, is considered a deadlier but less infectious cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed hundreds of people when it appeared in Asia in 2003.
The World Health Organization said it expected more infections in South Korea, but stressed that there was “no evidence of sustained transmission in the community”.
South Korea also said it had agreed to a request from North Korea to install thermal-imaging cameras in their Kaesong joint industrial zone to prevent infection from the MERS outbreak.
Kaesong lies 10km over the border in North Korea, and around 500 South Koreans travel there every day to manage factories that employ around 53,000 North Korean workers.
Courtesy of rte.ie