Archive | December 31, 2016
6,000 dead fish found in the waterways in Maryland, USA
About 6,000 fish were found to have died in eastern Baltimore County waterways, according to a Maryland Department of the Environment investigation.
Preliminary results point to algae-created toxins as the likely cause of the fish kill, which was discovered last week after dead fish were first seen in rivers that include the Gunpowder and Bird, said MDE spokesperson Jay Apperson Monday evening.
The kill has affected at least nine species: yellow perch, largemouth bass, bluegill sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, carp, black crappie, gizzard shad, spottail shiner and channel catfish
A department investigator who is on site today in response to the received reports “saw fish that continue to show signs of stress,” Apperson said.
The investigation has not shown any signs of pollution as a potential cause, suggesting instead that the kill is due to toxins produced by algae, he said.
Courtesy of foxbaltimore.com
1,000 wild geese found dead, and 700,000+ birds killed due to avian flu across Iran
More than 1,000 wild birds, mostly geese, have been found dead in the Mighan wetland in central Iran, the environmental protection organisation told state news agency IRNA on Monday.
IRNA said 63,000 chickens, along with 800,000 fertilised eggs and day-old chicks, were culled at a farm in Qazvin province in recent days after an outbreak of the deadly H1N8 and H1N5 strains of the disease.
That adds to the 725,000 birds destroyed since mid-November across the country following nine flu outbreaks, according to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health released last week.
Licenses for bird shooting have been suspended due to fear of infection by migratory birds, and people have been advised not to buy game birds at local markets.
Despite a small number of human deaths in different countries over the years, the disease is mostly a risk to other birds, spreading rapidly and killing large numbers.
However, scientists have raised concerns that bird flu strains could mutate to be transmitted between humans.
Courtesy of phys.org
10 TONS of dead fish found in a river in Greater Vitoria, Brazil
The number of dead fish at the mouth of the Jucu River in Vila Velha, Grande Vitória, is already at 10 tons, on Wednesday (26). Residents say the killings began last Saturday (22). The problem is caused by the low volume of water and oxygen in the river.
The result of the water analysis should be ready this Wednesday and the Vila Velha City Hall said it will send a team to remove the dead fish and reopen Foz do Rio Jucu.
“This generation of fish came in to make the pyramid. They went in to play. So what happened? All this generation of fish is dead. We’re going to have to wait for the river to improve so that another ratio of fish comes in to spawn. The trend is that fish add up for at least three, four years at the mouth of the river, “said environmentalist Eduardo Pignaton.
Besides the problems of sewage, pollution and low level of the river, the dead fish now begin to invade the mangrove.
“It was very important that the city and state government came to collect these fish, which are already dead, to prevent people from eating this material. The risk of intestinal infection is very great. We do not know exactly what’s inside these fish, “Pignaton said.
Analysts at Iema, the State Agency for Water Resources and the Municipal Environment Secretariat of Vila Velha were on site to test and evaluate the possible causes of fish death.
Courtesy of g1.globo.com
Meteorite or falling plane? Social media in Japan puzzled by mysterious fireball in the sky
© alexandrite1953 / Instagram
People on Japanese social media have been left puzzled by a mysterious fireball in the sky. Some think it was a meteorite or a comet, while others suggest it could have been a falling plane.
The object was reportedly seen near the city of Hakodate on Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, at 4:30pm local time (07:30 GMT), people on Twitter wrote.
Amazed ‘sky-gazers’ took to social media to share pictures and videos of the unknown object, wondering what it was, with theories ranging from meteorite or comet to a falling plane.
Russian social media users were similarly confounded earlier in December, when people in Siberia witnessed a large meteor exploding in the sky that briefly turned the evening as bright as day. Local forums were bombarded with speculations that the flare had been caused by a possible rocket malfunction or other technological mishap, but the authorities assured locals that the burst of light was natural and had caused no damage.
Courtesy of rt.com
QUAKE SWARM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, USA
Hundreds without power as winter storm drops more snow on Interior Alaska
Updated 9:30 a.m.: Hundreds of people in the Fairbanks area were without power this morning as a winter storm that dropped a foot of snow moves out of the region.
As of 9:30, about 1,200 were in the dark, according to the Golden Valley Electric Association outage site. As many as 4,000 people lost power at times overnight as winds gusted to 40 mph and temperatures rose to near freezing. A couple more inches of snow could fall today as both the winds and temperatures are expected to drop during the afternoon.
It was snowing sideways, but it was a balmy 30 degrees Friday night in Fairbanks at press time.
The winter storm could drop another 4-to-7 inches on Fairbanks by the time it subsides this afternoon, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Berg, at about 10:50 p.m. Friday.
Meteorologist Dan Hancock said the hills to the east likely will accumulate more snow than Fairbanks.
“We anticipate the winds will be gusty through the night,” Berg said. “The bigger factor will be drifting snow. That can be kind of hazardous if you hit it the wrong way driving your car. The temperature is hovering around 30 degrees.”
Hancock said to expect winds between about 15 and 30 mph with gusts as high as 50 mph.
“More snow and even windier. We’re concerned about gusts and whatnot bringing down trees and power lines,” Hancock said of the impending storm.
Berg predicted 30 degrees would be the highest temperatures climb so rain, freezing rain and sleet shouldn’t be a problem.
This storm arrives in the wake of a Thursday-night snow storm that left between 10 and 12 inches of snow throughout the Fairbanks area. A squall blew through Fairbanks on Friday afternoon notching 50 mph winds at Fairbanks International Airport, Hancock said.
Greg Probst, a pilot who’s lived in Fairbanks 26 years, said he went to Wasilla, on Thursday with his daughter to pick up sled dogs. As he set out to return from Talkeetna on Friday morning, the driving conditions were “horrendous.”
“It was the worst driving I’ve had in Alaska in the 26 years I’ve been here,” Probst said. “Every 10 minutes I had to chip ice off the windshield and once I had to chip ice off my headlights. We made it all the way to Skinny Dick’s (Halfway Inn) and that’s when it hit. It was horrendous coming around corners, you couldn’t see a thing.”
Courtesy of newsminer.com
QUAKE SWARM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, USA
Major Power Outage to 100,000 Homes Due To Severe Winter Storm In Northern New England, USA
A winter storm brought more than 2 feet of snow to parts of northern New England overnight, and more than 100,000 homes and businesses were without power by Friday morning in hard-hit Maine.
In the region’s first major storm of the season, the National Weather Service received multiple reports of snow falling at a rate of 6 inches per hour. Powerful bands of snow buried some areas knee-deep while other places just miles away received mostly rain.
“It went from just a garden-variety, low-pressure system to a turbocharged storm,” said weather service meteorologist Eric Schwibs.
Hundreds of cars slid off roads from the beginning of the storm on Thursday through Friday morning, when people began digging out.
Some plows got stuck in the heavy snow, blocking roads temporarily. In Vermont, state police said a 69-year-old man was killed in Cornwall when his car went off the road in slippery conditions Thursday and crashed into a tree.
In Maine, a man died in a fire at the height of the storm in the town of Pownal, but it wasn’t clear if the weather played a role.
Southern and western Maine turned out to be in the storm’s bullseye, but the storm played a game of hop-scotch, pummeling some communities with snow while leaving others just miles away drenched in rain.
Big snow totals in Maine included 27 inches in Standish and Naples, 25 inches in Parsonsfield, and 22.7 inches in Hollis.
In Portland, Richard Haynes found out the hard way about the icy conditions. He slipped Thursday night and ended up in the emergency room.
“It caught us off guard,” he said Friday as he shoveled snow. “I almost broke my back, had to get it checked at the hospital before I started shoveling.”
The barometric pressure reading was expected to close in on readings from a crippling storm on Valentine’s Day 2014. That storm canceled flights, knocked out power for thousands and claimed more than two dozen lives on the East Coast.
Because of the power outage Friday, the National Weather Service couldn’t immediately provide a comparison of the two storms.
Ski areas, meanwhile, cheered the winter onslaught.
“Yesterday’s nor’easter is today’s invitation for skiers and riders to come out and enjoy the fresh new snow that the heavens dumped on New Hampshire ski areas,” Ski New Hampshire, a trade organization, declared Friday.
Before going anywhere, motorists first had to dig out snow-covered cars that looked like igloos. The task was made easier by a bright sunny sky and temperatures that began climbing above freezing.
Courtesy of tulsaworld.com
Chemicals Fuel Fire At Mantua Township, New Jersey, USA
Crews from several fire departments battled a chemical blaze Friday afternoon at Karl Industries Inc. on Chamberlain Road in Mantua Township. At least one person, reportedly the owner of the company, was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital for treatment of burns suffered in what was described as an explosion and subsequent fire.
Mantua–Shalersviille Fire Chief Matt Roosa said the department had received a call for a fire alarm and a potential fire. He arrived to find the building ablaze.
“The roof was on fire when we pulled up,” he said. “That was our main concern, exposure control.”
Lt. Brooke Stamm owas first to arrive on the scene. “When we rounded the corner we could see a header, big black smoke over the building and explosions,” she said. “There were loud noises. The roof blew off at one point.”
Karl Industries is located at 11415 Chamberlain Road in Mantua Township. According to its website, the company works with small amounts of chemicals in high pressure reactions.
“There’s all kinds of chemicals and tanks in the building,” Stamm said. “That’s what was burning when we arrived.”
Roosa declared the building “a total loss” except for the front office, which is not attached to the main building. The property value was last appraised in 2012 at $418,000, according to the Portage County Auditor’s Office.
Firefighters from Streetsboro and Hiram in Portage County and Auburn Township in Geauga County helped control the blaze. The Portage County HAZMAT Team and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency were on scene to do chemical analysis and monitor air quality.
“We’re not sure what chemicals are in the building,” Stamm said as firefighters attempted to control the blaze. “To prevent more chemicals from running off the water we’re spraying on the fire, we’re using what we can to cool the area as we need to.”
Courtesy of auroraadvocate.com
Severe Lightning Kills A Family In Zimbabwe, Africa
A woman together with her two sons were this week burnt beyond recognition after lightning struck the hut in which they were sheltering in south eastern Zimbabwe, a report said on Saturday.
According to the Chronicle newspaper, the family of three had just returned from doing their respective chores when nature struck their home.
Mercy Masvaure together with her two sons, Anywhere, 10 and Tatenda Muneno, 6 from Mushandike Resettlement were in their bedroom when the lightning struck.
The hut caught fire and the three were burnt to death.
Masvingo police spokesperson Inspector Charity Mazula has confirmed the incident, adding that the fatal incident occurred on December 29.
Reports indicated that at least six children and an adult were killed by lightning in a remote village in southern Zimbabwe early last year.
The six children were aged between 4 and 11.
The incident reportedly happened in Mugwinyi village in Bikita district.
The seven were sheltering in two thatched huts when the lightning struck.
Courtesy of news24.com