Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The moment a child is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.
Eric Berne

This morning -

Yesterday -
5/10/10 -

CALIFORNIA - More than 50 new surface earthquake faults have been discovered in California over the past two decades.


ICELAND - The output from the Icelandic volcano has slowly decreased compared to that of the past seven days, but it is "pulsating and further changes in overall activity can be expected."
News of the decrease was of little consolation to the thousands of passengers on flights canceled or lengthened across Europe Sunday as the volcano's now 2,100 mile long, 1,400 mile wide ash cloud flowed southwest from Greenland to Portugal. Airplanes had to either fly north or south around the cloud to reach their destinations, adding hours of travel time. The eruption plume was mostly between 14,000 to 17,000 feet high Sunday, but occasionally shot up to 20,000 feet. Ash fell further to the west on Sunday. The ash was black. Noises were reported by people in the Vestmannaeyjar-islands about 23 miles southwest of the eruption, Vatnsdalur, 118 miles to the north and Borgarfjörður, 90 miles to the northwest. The level of seismic activity has stayed the same for the past three days. There were seven earthquakes of magnitude 1.5 to 2.0 from noon Saturday to noon Sunday.

No current tropical cyclones.


OKLAHOMA - At least five people were reported dead Monday night in Oklahoma after severe weather caused tornadoes to form across parts of the southern Plains, with some touching down with deadly force in the Oklahoma City area.

CHINA - Severe rainstorms that have killed at least 70 people since Wednesday are expected to continue in the southern and central parts of the country, with strong winds and hailstorms in some areas. Inclement weather in the next two days will affect Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. On Sunday, authorities sounded a yellow-level alert, two levels lower than the highest red alert, to warn of storms continuing in Guangdong, Hunan, Fujian, and Jiangxi provinces until Monday. Torrential rain, gale and hail are also expected to hit the areas. Many affected areas, such as Yunnan and Guizhou, had just emerged from the worst drought in decades.
"Floods usually start in June, but South China has already entered its flood season. The biggest floods have yet to come." The storms have already affected 2.55 million residents and forced 250,000 people to be relocated. The storms have triggered flash floods and mudslides in the past few days. They have swollen rivers, burst dikes, threatened reservoirs as well as damaged highways, bridges and power and telecommunication facilities. The storms affected up to 100,000 hectares of arable land and leveled 9,900 houses.
In Guangdong, heavy rains trapped more than 5,000 people in mountain areas in the villages of Minzhi, Youxi and Shaoguan. Floods also cut off power and food supplies to Minzhi village. Since Friday, downpours of up to 107.7mm in Guangzhou claimed six residents' lives and submerged thousands of cars in garages and streets.


WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA - 5/10/10 - The National Weather Service says it received a number of reports of possible meteor sightings early Monday around 4am. Its Sullivan, Wisonsin office got a call from Rock County 911 dispatchers about sightings by two citizens and a sheriff's deputy. They said a bright green or blue light, followed by a flash could be seen north of Janesville about 4 a.m. Dane County dispatchers also received a call with a similar description. The weather service says it didn't pick anything up on radar. The National Weather Service office in Duluth, Minnesota received a call from the Iron County Sheriff's Department reporting a citizen who saw a bright flash and then "something glowing in the woods."

MARYLAND - 5/10/10 - Reports are beginning to arrive about what sounds like a rather spectacular fireball meteor over Central Maryland just before dawn Monday morning at about 4:45 A.M. "Large green fireball with pieces breaking off and burning off. From the northwest to the southeast."


Ireland reports 1,600 vaccine reactions - More than 1,600 adverse reactions to the pandemic H1N1 vaccine were reported to the Irish Medicines Board. Two deaths were also reported, in people who had underlying conditions, but a link to the vaccine has not been proven. Fifteen people reported an "anaphylactic"-type reaction. Less serious reactions included injection-site problems, stomach upset, flu-like symptoms, dizziness, fainting, and limb weakness.

India region has almost 1% H1N1 case-fatality rate - Researchers found that confirmed H1N1 patients had a significantly higher risk of hospitalization than seasonal flu patients did. Of 93 flu deaths, 84 were from novel H1N1 and 9 from seasonal flu. Pandemic CFR was 0.86%, significantly higher than that of other countries.

Flu still fairly quiet in Australia - Australia so far this year has confirmed 492 cases of influenza, of which 13% have been subtyped as pandemic H1N1; another 73% were influenza A but not subtyped. Less than 1% were A/H3N2, and 11% were type B. Two H1N1 patients were hospitalized. "Levels of influenza-like illness in the community remain relatively low and reporting from laboratories indicates that little of this is due to influenza."

A recall of romaine lettuce that has sickened students with E. coli poisoning is expanding as the government tries to find out where the contamination occurred. A food distributor in Oklahoma, is recalling romaine lettuce that came from the same farm in Yuma, Arizona, that grew lettuce that sickened students in Michigan, Ohio and New York. Ohio-based Freshway Foods announced a 23-state recall of romaine lettuce last week related to those outbreaks. At least 19 people have been sickened in connection with the E. coli outbreaks, which come from a RARE STRAIN of the disease that is difficult to diagnose.
Many of those who became ill were college students in the three states. Middle and high school students in New York were also sickened, including a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause bleeding in the brain or kidneys. Most of the college-age victims fell ill in April and have already recovered. No new cases have been reported in the middle and high schools since April 25. Most of the lettuce recalled was sold to food service establishments. The recall does not affect bagged lettuce in the grocery store.