Sunday, March 29, 2015

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Powerful 7.7 Magnitude Mega-Quake Strikes Off Papua New Guinea - The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center Warns That "Hazardous Tsunami Waves Are Possible"! [TECTONIC SUMMARY + MAPS]

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake has hit near Kokopo Panguna on New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea.

March 29, 2015 - PAPUA NEW GUINEA
- A major earthquake with a magnitude 7.7 has struck off Papua New Guinea and a tsunami warning was issued soon after.

The epicentre of the 33km- deep quake was near the town of Rabaul in the northeast of Papua New Guinea, The US Geological Survey (USGS) said. It struck at 12.48pm, NZT.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii said "hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1000 km (620 miles) of the earthquake epicentre along the coasts of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands".

Tsunami waves reaching 1-3 metres above the tide level were possible along some coasts of Papua New Guinea, said the centre.





"Based on preliminary earthquake parameters... hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within
1,000 kilometres of the earthquake epicentre," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

No destructive, Pacific-wide tsunami was expected, it said.

The North Cape of New Zealand was initially listed as a threatened coastal area, however a national advisory from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management said there was no threat to New Zealand.


USGS shakemap intensity.

"Based on the current information, the initial assessment is that the earthquake is unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will pose a threat to New Zealand."

Waves less than 30 centimetres in height could reach the coasts of Tonga, Japan, Australia, and a number of other countries. - Stuff.




Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the New Guinea Region and Vicinity

The Australia-Pacific plate boundary is over 4000 km long on the northern margin, from the Sunda (Java) trench in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east. The eastern section is over 2300 km long, extending west from northeast of the Australian continent and the Coral Sea until it intersects the east coast of Papua New Guinea. The boundary is dominated by the general northward subduction of the Australia plate.

Along the South Solomon trench, the Australia plate converges with the Pacific plate at a rate of approximately 95 mm/yr towards the east-northeast. Seismicity along the trench is dominantly related to subduction tectonics and large earthquakes are common: there have been 13 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded since 1900. On April 1, 2007, a M8.1 interplate megathrust earthquake occurred at the western end of the trench, generating a tsunami and killing at least 40 people. This was the third M8.1 megathrust event associated with this subduction zone in the past century; the other two occurred in 1939 and 1977.

Further east at the New Britain trench, the relative motions of several microplates surrounding the Australia-Pacific boundary, including north-south oriented seafloor spreading in the Woodlark Basin south of the Solomon Islands, maintain the general northward subduction of Australia-affiliated lithosphere beneath Pacific-affiliated lithosphere. Most of the large and great earthquakes east of New Guinea are related to this subduction; such earthquakes are particularly concentrated at the cusp of the trench south of New Ireland. 33 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900, including three shallow thrust fault M8.1 events in 1906, 1919, and 2007.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.


The western end of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary is perhaps the most complex portion of this boundary, extending 2000 km from Indonesia and the Banda Sea to eastern New Guinea. The boundary is dominantly convergent along an arc-continent collision segment spanning the width of New Guinea, but the regions near the edges of the impinging Australia continental margin also include relatively short segments of extensional, strike-slip and convergent deformation. The dominant convergence is accommodated by shortening and uplift across a 250-350 km-wide band of northern New Guinea, as well as by slow southward-verging subduction of the Pacific plate north of New Guinea at the New Guinea trench. Here, the Australia-Pacific plate relative velocity is approximately 110 mm/yr towards the northeast, leading to the 2-8 mm/yr uplift of the New Guinea Highlands.

Whereas the northern band of deformation is relatively diffuse east of the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, in western New Guinea there are at least two small (less than 100,000 km²) blocks of relatively undeformed lithosphere. The westernmost of these is the Birds Head Peninsula microplate in Indonesia's West Papua province, bounded on the south by the Seram trench. The Seram trench was originally interpreted as an extreme bend in the Sunda subduction zone, but is now thought to represent a southward-verging subduction zone between Birds Head and the Banda Sea.

There have been 22 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded in the New Guinea region since 1900. The dominant earthquake mechanisms are thrust and strike slip, associated with the arc-continent collision and the relative motions between numerous local microplates. The largest earthquake in the region was a M8.2 shallow thrust fault event in the northern Papua province of Indonesia that killed 166 people in 1996.

The western portion of the northern Australia plate boundary extends approximately 4800 km from New Guinea to Sumatra and primarily separates Australia from the Eurasia plate, including the Sunda block. This portion is dominantly convergent and includes subduction at the Sunda (Java) trench, and a young arc-continent collision.

In the east, this boundary extends from the Kai Islands to Sumba along the Timor trough, offset from the Sunda trench by 250 km south of Sumba. Contrary to earlier tectonic models in which this trough was interpreted as a subduction feature continuous with the Sunda subduction zone, it is now thought to represent a subsiding deformational feature related to the collision of the Australia plate continental margin and the volcanic arc of the Eurasia plate, initiating in the last 5-8 Myr. Before collision began, the Sunda subduction zone extended eastward to at least the Kai Islands, evidenced by the presence of a northward-dipping zone of seismicity beneath Timor Leste. A more detailed examination of the seismic zone along it's eastern segment reveals a gap in intermediate depth seismicity under Timor and seismic mechanisms that indicate an eastward propagating tear in the descending slab as the negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere detaches from positively buoyant continental lithosphere. On the surface, GPS measurements indicate that the region around Timor is currently no longer connected to the Eurasia plate, but instead is moving at nearly the same velocity as the Australia plate, another consequence of collision.

Large earthquakes in eastern Indonesia occur frequently but interplate megathrust events related to subduction are rare; this is likely due to the disconnection of the descending oceanic slab from the continental margin. There have been 9 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded from the Kai Islands to Sumba since 1900. The largest was the great Banda Sea earthquake of 1938 (M8.5) an intermediate depth thrust faulting event that did not cause significant loss of life.
More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

- USGS.




INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Plane Crashes In Montana - Pilot Dies On Impact, Wife Injured!

A Piper Saratoga aircraft.

March 29, 2015 - MONTANA, UNITED STATES
- CBC News has learned the names of a Chestermere couple involved in a fatal plane crash on Thursday afternoon in a mountainous area of Montana.
David Charron, 56, was the pilot and died on impact.

His wife Valerie
Charron, 54, survived. She was able to call 911 from the crash site using her cellphone.



She stayed in communication with rescue crews for the five hours it took them to get to the remote crash site.

“The lady said that they had that indicator that went off that said they were about to have a collision, so they turned, but they were in the clouds so they started taking out trees and crashed,” David Wendt, under-sheriff at the Meagher County Sheriff's office, told CBC News.

Wife received medical treatment 


John Lopp, the sheriff at the Meagher County Sheriff's office, told CBC News what he heard from rescue personnel on the site near Hidden Lake, Mont.



“It was mostly impact still, the wings were broken off but the fuselage was mostly together. It appears the plane started losing altitude, started clipping trees,” he said.

Valerie Charron is being treated in hospital in Great Falls, Mont.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board told CBC News their investigation into the cause of the crash has not yet started.

WATCH: David Charron dies in plane crash in Montana.





Officials said investigators have not yet arrived at the crash site.

The Federal Aviation Administration will also be involved in the investigation.

The sheriff said the autopsy on Charron is now complete and his body would be released to the family later on Friday. - CBC.




MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFFS: Disaster Precursors And Warnings From Mother Nature – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Migratory Patterns, Attacks, Deaths, And Appearance Of Rare Creatures!

March 29, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.


10,000 baby sea lions dead on one California island — Experts: “It’s getting crazy… This is a crisis… Never seen anything like it… Very difficult to see so much death” — TV: “Numbers skyrocketing at alarming rates” — “Woman is burying the rotting mammals” after digging graves at beach


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article12965981.html#storylink=cpy




NBC L.A., Mar 12, 2015 (emphasis added): “The sea lion emergency is back all along the California shore“… [Pups] are washing ashore at a rate so alarming, rescuers said Thursday, this year is the worst yetmore than 1,600 marine mammals [have been picked up].

KTLA
, Mar 10, 2015: Stranding numbers for the months of January and February were more than 20 times the average [said NOAA].

ABC 10 News
, Mar 14, 2015: Friday, Konnie Martinkis was burying her third sea lion… There were at least five within just more than a football field’s length that were dead… she contacted the city… but it just decomposed as more showed up… she will continue building those graves.



Coast News
, Mar 12, 2015: [NOAA] said not to feed it [that] will only prolong the animals suffering.

KABC
: Numbers are skyrocketing at alarming ratesSunday, six sea lions were found dead

NY Times
, Mar 12, 2015: “It’s getting crazy,” [Wendy Leeds, animal-care expert at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center] said… Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist with [NOAA said] “We do expect the population to take a drop… probably a really good hit”… Michele Hunter, the center’s director of animal care, said, “It’s very difficult to see so much death.”

Sacramento Bee
, Mar 7, 2015: Tens of thousands of pups birthed last summer are believed to be dying on the islands some [are] desperately trying to climb onto small boats or kayaks… Scientists noted a worrisome anomaly in 2013, when 1,171 famished pups were stranded… scientists blamed the phenomenon on unseasonably cold watersOn San Miguel Melin said researchers believe “probably close to 10,000 are dead, and we expect more to die over coming months”… the mortality rate is similar on San Nicolas.

Time
: Experts at NOAA say that the culprit is rising ocean temperatures [note "unseasonably cold" ocean temps were the culprit during the record strandings in 2013]… a NOAA climate expert said that they do not believe the stranding increase is tied to climate change.

Marine Mammal Center
, Mar 5, 2015: It’s clear these sea lions are trying to tell us something. Their very presence here in such great numbers at this time of year is sounding an alarm up and down the coast… it signals something complex happening in our ocean… sea lions are very sensitive to their environment… alerting us to major changes in the ocean… The scene on the Channel Islands this year is grave, worse even than what researchers saw in 2012, before the Unusual Mortality Event in 2013… What’s scary is that we don’t know when this will end,” says Dr. Shawn Johnson, Director of Veterinary Science at The Marine Mammal Center. “This could be the new normal—a changed environment that we’re dealing with now.”




LA Daily News
, Mar 13, 2015:  By the end of January, we had as many as we did in (all of) 2013,” [Marine Mammal Care Center's David Bard] said… We’ve never seen anything like this with back-to-back events that are affecting the same part of the population,” Melin said.

Dr. Melin
: “Based on what we are seeing… we should be bracing for a lot more animals

CBS Los Angeles
, Mar 9, 2015: [California Wildlife Center’s Jeff Hall] says the event has escalated into a crisis. “I would personally consider this a crisis,” Hall said… The epidemic has prompted a number of volunteers to step forward, including… television personality Kat Von D [who said] “I think there’s a lack of awareness of what’s going on in the environment.”

TV broadcasts here: NBC | KTLA | ABC | ABC | CBS


- ENE News.


Hundreds of thousands of dead fish wash up in Santa Marta, Colombia

One of the hypotheses that the authorities handle is that fishing with explosives would be one of the causes of the tragedy. PHOTO COLPRENSA

Thousands
of fish dead in Puerto Luz, one of the beaches in the sector of El Rodadero, has generated an environmental emergency in the area.

Units of the Navy made a tour over a wide area of El Rodadero Beach and found the dead species. "This carnage begins at Puerto Luz and extends to the Aquarium El Rodadero, we don't know that it has happened, but this is extremely serious," said an official of the coast guard unit.

The emergence of the "massive" stain of dead fish alerted the residents of the area, who were reported and gave transfer as well as their concerns to environmental authorities without finding an answer to the problem in the latter.For the residents of the sector is location of dead fish is presenting three days ago and denied that there are versions of listening to explosives.

PHOTO COLPRENSA

Most troubling for the residents of the area of the spa and, especially for tour operators is the species began to decompose
Absence of environmental authority

But what most amazes residents, business owners and operators is the absence of environmental authorities, in these cases Corpamag and the Dadma.

"The companies before mentioned it has responded, only the National Navy coast guard unit paid attention to as reported by today newspaper of Magdalena, and came to realize this situation and there Yes the entities came to inquire", said one of the people who reported the fact.


Arrival of the coast guard

On Saturday at 6:00 in the morning, four men of the Navy, sailed in search of the alleged fishermen using dynamite for fishing, but the scene was another, found tons of fish floating and thousands of dead species.

Against the background of dead fish was to call Corpamag to have this presence in the scene, but until noon is failed if they ended up doing.

Causes

Some fishermen in the sector ensure that the mortality of fish is due to illegal fishing with dynamite that serves to catch bonito and the cachorretas, among others, these species being the most affected by the explosive wave.

According to the sector of Puerto Luz residents, is the first time that arises a fact as such, since for this time the fish pass through the Caribbean coast "but had never before seen so much carnage as these days, by the number that are thought to be due to a natural phenomenon". - El Colombiano. [Translated]


2,000 birds dead,  over 80,000 to be killed due to outbreak of avian flu in Minnesota, United States

Tens of thousands of turkeys in Minnesota have been infected with bird flu. Photograph: Alamy

An outbreak of a bird flu strain that’s deadly to poultry deepened Saturday when state and federal officials confirmed a third Minnesota turkey farm has been infected, this time in one of the state’s top poultry-producing counties.

The federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said a commercial flock of 39,000 turkeys in Stearns County of central Minnesota has been infected with the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian influenza, which also killed tens of thousands of turkeys at two other farms in Pope and Lac qui Parle counties of western Minnesota.

Saturday’s announcement came one day after officials announced the outbreak at the Lac qui Parle County farm, where the virus quickly killed 22,000 of the 12-week-old turkeys in one barn. That farm must kill 44,000 birds in two other barns as a precaution to prevent the disease from spreading.

The confirmation at the Pope County farm on March 5 marked the first detection of H5N2 in the Mississippi Flyway, a major bird migration route. H5N2 was also found within the next several days in commercial and backyard flocks in Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. The same strain also has turned up in several western states in the Pacific Flyway.

The Stearns County farm has been quarantined and the remaining turkeys there will be killed and kept out of the food supply, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, which said it planned to release further information Saturday afternoon.

More than 40 countries have banned poultry imports from Minnesota, the country’s top turkey producing state, since the virus was first detected in the state.

According to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Stearns County is the state’s no 2 turkey-producing county, behind only Kandiyohi County in western Minnesota, where the virus has not been reported. Stearns County is also one of the state’s top chicken and egg producers, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Scientists consider wild migratory waterfowl to be a natural reservoir for avian influenza. While they don’t generally get sick from flu viruses, they can spread them through their droppings. But top researchers say they don’t know how the virus got to Minnesota. - The Guardian.


Minnesota finds third bird flu infection in commercial poultry

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Saturday confirmed the third infection of a virulent strain of avian flu in a commercial poultry flock in Minnesota, the nation's top turkey-producing state.

A case of H5N2 flu was found in a flock of 39,000 turkeys in Stearns County, which is northwest of Minneapolis, according to a notice from USDA. State officials quarantined the infected farm, and birds there will be culled to prevent the spread of the disease.

Recent infections of avian flu in states stretching from Arkansas to Oregon have prompted overseas buyers to limit imports of U.S. poultry from companies such as Tyson Foods Inc, Pilgrim's Pride Corp and Sanderson Farms Inc.

The USDA is developing a vaccine to protect poultry from new strains of avian flu, including H5N2, but has no plans to distribute it yet. - Yahoo.






Marine mammals seen killing and eating sharks off the coast of South Africa

Scientists have reported multiple cases of cape fur seals attacking blue sharks and eating their guts off the coast of South Africa.  © Chris Fallows


It brings new meaning to the phrase 'shark attack'.

While most people will be familiar with images of seals being violently smashed out of the water snatched in the jaws of a shark, it appears some are exacting their revenge on the ocean predators.

Scientists have reported multiple cases of cape fur seals attacking blue sharks off the coast of South Africa.

The seals, which are normally prey for great white sharks, have been seen attacking and killing medium-sized blue sharks, devouring their guts before leaving the rest of the carcass.

Divers also report seeing the fur seals attacking other species of shark and rays.


The behaviour has left marine biologists baffled as to why the seals, which normally hunt smaller fish, have turned to attacking the torpedo-shaped sharks.


The blue sharks are around the same size as the seals and it is thought to be the first time a seal has been seen preying on such a large predator.

It was first observed by marine photographer Chris Fallows, who runs a dive boat operation from Cape Town in South Africa.

Dr Neil Hammerschlaf, a marine biologist at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Astmospheric Science who was involved in the study, said the seals appear to be eating the guts of the sharks as they contain the most energy.

He said this behaviour may have serious implications for blue sharks, as their numbers are already in decline due to over fishing.

'Seals are generally considered prey of larger sharks,and blue sharks have been observed pursuing juvenile and adult male Cape fur seals, though no kills have been witnessed,' he continued.

'There are relatively few reports of pinnipeds (seals) preying on sharks in general and in all cases these involved smaller sharks.

'The consumption of large sharks by a Cape fur seal is a departure from the prevalent view of this species' diet, which is generally reported to consist of a diverse diet of small fish species, cephalopods and birds.

'The prevalence of the behaviour reported here is unknown - it could reflect opportunistic predation by a generalist predator or it might be a common tactic.

'These observations are important not just for understanding the interactions between these two species but more broadly for their implications in understanding the trophic ecology of pinnipeds - many populations of which have increased while numerous shark populations have declined.'

Fur seals have been known to mob great white sharks in large numbers but this is thought to be a defensive tactic to scare them away from breeding colonies.

In this case the fur seals have been observed attacking the blue sharks, which are open ocean predators that can grow to be about 9ft long (2.82 metres), on their own.

Mr Fallows, who runs Apex Expeditions, first noticed the behaviour in 2004 while on a dive off Cape Town.

In 2012 he again saw a large Cape fur seal attack five blue sharks from a shoal of ten over a two hour period.

The sharks were estimated to measure between 3.6ft (1.1 metres) and 4.5ft (1.4 metres) in length.

Mr Fallows said: 'They swim up to them and grab them. There is no protracted chase.

'It is almost as though the sharks are not expecting this to happen and do not overly react to the seals advances.

'We have seen them feeding on three other small species of sharks. We have also observed them feeding on rays.

'I would think it is possibly a learned behaviour based on limited normal food availability.'

A study on the behaviour is now published in the African Journal of Marine Science.
Scientists believe the seals could be attacking the sharks partly to remove competition for the fish they normally eat.

Dominic Tollit, a marine mammal consultant with the Sea Mammal Research Unit in Canada, told New Scientist that attacking such a large and heavily armed predator is a high risk strategy if simply looking for food.

He said: 'Would you attack a lion if you're hungry, or would you go for something smaller?' - Daily Mail.


Elephant attacks 2 children and kills boy in Bangladesh

Charging elephant.


A minor boy was killed and a girl injured by a wild elephant at Kalachand village in Chakaria upazila of the district yesterday.

The deceased is Delwar Hossain, 4, son of Md Yousuf of the village.

Police quoted victim's father Yousuf as saying that a wild elephant from the adjacent hills entered the village around 12:00noon. It attacked the kids while they were playing in the yard beside their houses, leaving Delwar dead on the spot and Aysha injured.

Critically injured Aysha, 5, daughter of Abdul Khaleque, was admitted to a clinic in the upazila headquarters, said Probhash Chandra Dhar, officer-in-charge of Chokoria Police Station.  - The Daily Star.


Cougar kills 3 domestic animals in 2 weeks in Half Moon Bay, California, United States

A mountain lion.  © National Park Service


Three animals were killed by a mountain lion in San Mateo County where reported sightings of the big cat have increased in nearly two weeks, county officials said.

The most recent sighting was on Friday night around 7:30 p.m., when deputies responded to a report of multiple mountain lion sightings in the 900 block of Miramontes Street in Half Moon Bay, county emergency officials said.

On Thursday, emergency officials said that since March 9, three animals were killed by a mountain lion in the area of Ranch Road West and Cloverdale Road in Pescadero, according to emergency officials.

The public is advised to not approach a mountain lion, especially one that is feeding or in the company of its offspring, emergency officials said.

People are advised to not hike or jog during the dawn, dusk and night hours when mountain lions are most active.

Anyone who encounters a mountain lion should not run, but face the animal, make noise, throw rocks or other objects and appear larger by waving their arms. - CBS.



4 TONS of fish found dead in ponds in Xiangtan, China

Xia city streets, yuetang district peace village, farmers claimed losses of more than 100,000 yuan

The ponds and ditches in common; canals of suspected contaminated, the environmental protection departments have been involved in the investigation

Red Xiangtan station on March 29 NET (Xiangtan newspaper reporter Ouyang tiě qiáng) on March 27, yuetang district, the fish farmer Yuan Xiaoming Xia peace village city streets reflect to us: he's a show a large number of dead fish in the ponds, causing huge economic losses. He suspected to be with his family near the recycling shop (plastic factory) caused by the discharge of waste water.

4000 kg all the fish die off losses of more than 100,000 yuan

Yuan Xiaoming said that contracted his home village the two ponds is 10 years. On March 14 this year, an area of about 22 acres of fish ponds, suddenly there are a lot of fish, "white". Yuan Xiaoming and his family worried, but there's not much.

In the next few days, dead fish floated to the pond edge in succession, allowing a family is to be deplored, "this is what we all expect a year. ”

"In the past, have seen the phenomenon of dead fish ponds, that is generally between October and after April, due to the hot weather, fish of oxygen. It's March, not the season of dead fish. "Yuan Xiaoming said that he studied, a canal flowing across the pond where the water was black. Therefore, pointing the finger at him and his family to a nearby recycling shop.

27th, we see in the field, pond water is black and some dead fish rotting smell, big six or seven pounds heavier, less than one or two small.

"4000 kg of dead loss at more than 100,000 yuan. "Yuan Xiaoming sad to say.

Dead fish is not why they wish to over 5000 Yuan to avoid trouble

After the event, Yuan Xiaoming and his family find ways to local authorities to find a solution.

On March 23, at yuetang District Environmental Protection Bureau, Yuan Xiaoming mediation with the recycling shop owner. Sponsored cycle shop owner to 5000 Yuan, but do not think there are associated with the recycling shop. Yuan's family were recognized, but thinks this is not sponsored but compensation and low amounts, therefore does not accept the mediation.

27th, we came to the recycling shop for information. Here is for processing the waste plastic, currently underway to build a large pool of wastewater treatment.

Boss Mr long said, they were relocated this year, March 16 before we start production, which started on March 14 ponds and fish died, "I thought this is not the reason, there are many units and farms nearby. ”

As to why willing to sponsor the 5000 Yuan, Mr long said that they simply wanted to avoid trouble.

On that day, we contacted yuetang District Environmental Protection Bureau. Officials said they learned of the incident, immediately involved in the investigation, is now part of the water quality sampling, still waiting for the results. They will also coordinate with local government organizations. - Sina. [Translated]


100 Pelicans found dead 'due to avian flu' in the Danube Delta, Romania

More than 100 dead pelicans in Romania's Danube Delta were found to be infected with H5N1 bird flu virus, Romanian authorities were quoted as saying on Friday by state news agency Agerpres.

Bulgaria, Romania's southern neighbor also said it discovered the strain in two dead pelicans near the border.

Romanian officials imposed a 10 km (6 miles) monitoring zone around the outbreak. - Reuters.


Fish kills continue to wash ashore along the Derwent river in Tasmania, Australia

Extra sensor equipment has been placed in Hobart's River Derwent to try to find out why schools of dead fish have been washing up on shore.

There have been at least five fish kills this month, the most recent on Wednesday.

The Derwent Estuary Program believes saltwater barracouta are chasing bait fish upstream, and getting stranded in freshwater.

Director Christine Coughanowr said pathology samples had proven the fish are not diseased.

"The main thing we're looking at is low oxygen and low salinity," she said.

"We'd like to consult with some fish biologists, particularly marine fish biologists, just about whether there's reasons why there might be more couta up there than usual."

The latest fish kills were reported near New Norfolk.

"We have installed a backup sensor in the upper part of the river, that was actually in when the last fish kill happened," she said.

"So we'll hopefully have more information on what the salinity and oxygen levels were doing at the time of this last kill.

"We'll probably leave it in for a couple of weeks." - Yahoo.




INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Plane Crashes In Chester County, Pennsylvania - Two Persons Dead!

Officials say two people were killed after a small plane crashed Sunday afternoon near Brandywine Airport in Chester County, then caught fire.

March 29, 2015 - PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES
- Two people were killed when a small plane plummeted to the ground near a suburban Philadelphia airport Sunday afternoon, police said.

The plane -- a piper -- crashed into a wooded area near Saunders Lane and Andrews Drive in West Goshen, Chester County killing both people on board around 1:45 p.m., officials confirmed.



It had taken off a short time earlier from the Brandywine Airport, which is roughly two miles from the crash site, police said.

Witnesses on the ground heard the plane's engine stuttering moments after it was in the air and then the plane crashed and burst into flames, investigators said.

Fire crews rushed to the scene and extinguished the blaze.

Officials say the single-engine piper sputtered and went into a tailspin after takeoff, then crashed about 15-20 feet from Harrison Hill Apartments.

Fire crews are on the scene now.

The identities of the victims have not been released and it's unknown at this time what caused the plane to crash.

Local authorities are investigating and the National Transportation and Safety Board is expected to take part in the probe. - NBC.