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Sat, 10 Dec 2016
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Earth Changes


What killed up to 300 red-winged blackbirds in Cumberland County, New Jersey?

Hundreds of Red-Wing Blackbirds were found dead in Stow Creek. Officials are trying to determine what might have killed them.
Authorities are still investigating what killed an estimated 200 to 300 red-winged blackbirds in this rural township.

The dead birds were found near Frank Davis Road on Nov. 22, according to Cumberland County Department of Health Director Megan Sheppard.

The were found on the road, in farm fields and in wooded areas. Some of the dead birds were also found on some nearby roadways.

There has been no cause yet determined as to what killed them.

As for humans, Sheppard says there appears to be no threat.

"Not at this time, we don't have any concerns," she said Wednesday, noting no unusual illness has been reported in humans or pets in the area.


Baby and toddler attacked by dog in Brunswick, Georgia

A toddler and a baby were injured in a dog attack at a Brunswick apartment complex last Wednesday, authorities say.

When police arrived on scene, they found a woman lying prone in an open doorway, cradling her 2-year-old great-grandchild from a pit bull as it fought to get at the child, a police report says.

Police approached the woman, who was reportedly crying out, 'Shoot it! Shoot it!,' and the dog started toward the officers.

After attempting to spray the dog to subdue it, one officer pulled out his stun gun and tried to use that on the brown pit bull - but nothing worked, police reports show.

As the dog advanced toward the officers, one officer was able to get the woman out of the doorway and away from the animal.

At that point, officers discovered she was cradling a 2-year-old. It was at that point they discovered she was cradling a 2-year-old. Police say the child had a large gash across his or her forehead, a chunk of flesh missing from his or her chin and multiple other bite marks.


Last remaining dugong in the Gulf of Thailand found dead

© Seub Nakasathain Foundation
A male dugong, believed to be the only remaning dugong in the Gulf of Thailand, was found dead in the sea of Rayong province last week, according to today's report.

The dead dugong was found on Nov. 25, only two days after a dead bruda whale was found near the Lamchabang Pier in Chonburi.

The male dugong was bruised and bloody along his body, indicating a collision before death, according to Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center of the Eastern Gulf of Thailand.

The research center revealed that there were previously a couple of dugongs living along the coast of Rayong to Chanthaburi. Last year, there was a rumor that one of them was dead and sold on the black market. Therefore, this means the dead dugong found last week could have been the last one on the eastern coast.

Polluted oceans endanger their lives but dugongs are also hunted for their bones, which are used to make amulets, just like elephant ivory and rhino snout.


'Unusual' seismic activity reported in New Zealand's North Island

© AP
This photograph of a giant crack in the side of a hill in New Zealand shows where the earth split in two following the recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says a public statement about unusual seismic activity in the lower North Island is not a cause for alarm.

In a statement released this afternoon, Mr Brownlee said GNS Science had observed "unusual activity involving patches of slow-slip activity'' between tectonic plates under the region.

"The heightened activity increases the uncertainty about the likelihood and size of future earthquakes,'' he said.

Mr Brownlee said the observations by GNS were a timely reminder for New Zealanders to be prepared for earthquakes.

Speaking to reporters at Parliament later, the minister clarified that his statement did not amount to a warning about future quakes.

"I just want to make sure that what we are doing is putting that information out there that it is advisable to be prepared.

"We're not creating alarm, we're just creating awareness.''

Since the November 14 earthquake near Kaikoura, a series of simultaneous "slow-slip'' quakes have been observed in Gisborne, the Hawkes Bay, and Kapiti.

Slow-slip quakes move just millimetres at a time and are detected by GPS because they cannot be picked up by seismographs.

Comment: See also:


Weird atmospheric wave ripples over China

© Xiao Shuai
Mesospheric Bore over China


This month, a lot is happening in the mesosphere. The mesosphere is a layer of Earth's atmosphere above the stratosphere; it is the realm of sprites, noctilucent clouds (NLCs), and airglow. Starting on Nov. 17th, NASA's AIM spacecraft spotted bright noctilucent clouds forming in the mesosphere above Antarctica. Then, in an apparently unrelated development on Nov. 24th, the normal dome of airglow over China split in two.

Xiao Shuai photographed the event from Mount Balang in Sichuan:

Comment: For more strange happenings on the planet see: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - October 2016: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


'Disaster zone': Tornadoes kill at least 5 in southeast US states

© wokephotography / Instagram
Tornadoes have ripped across Alabama and Tennessee leaving at least five people dead, more injured and a trail of destruction in what authorities are calling a "disaster zone".

Three people are reported dead in Jackson County, Alabama and two in Polk County, Tennessee. The deaths in Jackson County are reported to all be from the same home while the Polk County deaths are reported to be a husband and wife.

It's understood two more people have died in Meigs County, Tennessee, according to a local ABC reporter.

Deadly storms hit the southeast of the US late Tuesday night, causing damage to numerous properties and leaving thousands without power. Images taken in DeKalb County show a daycare center completely destroyed after a tornado hit.

Cloud Precipitation

Atlantic Hurricane season ends above normal in count says NOAA scientists

As the Atlantic, eastern Pacific and central Pacific 2016 hurricane seasons end today, NOAA scientists said that all three regions saw above-normal seasons.

For the Atlantic, this was the first above-normal season since 2012. The Atlantic saw 15 named storms during 2016, including 7 hurricanes (Alex, Earl, Gaston, Hermine, Matthew, Nicole, and Otto), 3 of which were major hurricanes (Gaston, Matthew and Nicole). NOAA's updated hurricane season outlook in August called for 12 to 17 named storms, including 5 to 8 hurricanes, with 2 to 4 of those predicted to become major hurricanes.

Five named storms made landfall in the United States during 2016, the most since 2008 when six storms struck. Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Matthew struck South Carolina. Tropical Storms Colin and Julia, as well as Hurricane Hermine, made landfall in Florida. Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.


Alarming levels of mercury found in Florida Everglades dolphins; highest concentration ever recorded

© Florida International University
Bottlenose dolphins in the Florida Coastal Everglades have higher concentrations of mercury than any other populations in the world.

FIU scientists examined dolphins from the lower Florida Keys, Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, looking for mercury and organic pollutants in their skin and blubber. Not only did they find high mercury levels in the coastal Everglades dolphins, but they found the highest levels of concentration ever recorded. Potential sources of mercury are both natural and from man-made sources. The finding raises concerns about potential impacts on the health of local populations.

During the past several decades, a variety of marine mammal species from all across the world have experienced unusual die-offs, including bottlenose dolphins along the East coast of the United States. Some scientists believe toxic algae and toxic pollutants like mercury are the primary culprit. Mercury can disrupt the immune system and reproduction of dolphins, making the animals more vulnerable to infection and disease.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods and lightning kill seven in Saudi Arabia

At least seven people died and many others were injured or trapped by heavy rain and floods that swept various regions of Saudi Arabia.
At least seven people died and many others were injured or trapped by heavy rain and floods that swept various regions of Saudi Arabia, press reports said on Tuesday.

The dead included three young Saudi men in Bisha, two others in Baha and two expatriates who were struck by a thunderbolt in Qunfudah.

Torrential floods also destroyed a number of houses, blocked roads and overturned vehicles. The rain and floods in the last few days uncovered the ineffective drainage systems in many parts of the country.

The two expatriates were killed by a thunderbolt, which also injured two of their companions in Qunfudah governorate in Makkah province. Civil Defense teams rushed the victims to hospital.

The rain inundated various parts of Qunfudah governorate and washed away large sections of the International Road linking Jeddah and Jazan.

Black Cat

Man killed by leopard in Himachal Pradesh, India

Animal attacks on human beings are not stopping in Himachal Pradesh. While on Friday a resident was killed by a leopard in Bharari area of Bilaspur district, a resident of Bhunad village of Chamba district was left grievously injured in a bear attack on Sunday.

Tilak Raj (45), a resident of Dadhol Kalan village of Bilaspur was attacked by a leopard on Friday night and his body was found the next day 5,000m away from his house. Forest department had installed three cages to trap the leopard but wild animal is still roaming free in the area.

Sources said that on Saturday afternoon, some people were passing through the forest area when the leopard again attacked them but as people were carrying tools used for the job of a carpenter, they somehow managed to save themselves. Movement of the leopard has created panic in the area.