Welcome to the Willis University. This is a site dedicated mostly to the world's natural disasters. Also some random inserts of global news from credible sources and also a mixture of opinion. Some of the opinions are not suitable for all. Please remember this is my opinion only. Thanks to all for the guidance I've been given.

September 23, 2006

Where can I find the UW?

If your looking to find the UW on the TV well that will take some time. But if you'd like to hear from the UW on the radio I have an easy fix for you.

On Saturday evening from 8PM-10PM EST the UW (aka The Coach) will be on Big Dawg Radio. This station does it's best to play censored music. This music is suitable for the office worker's enviroment. This will be two hours of continuous rock and alternative music.

September 19, 2006

Hurricane warning issued for Azores

MIAMI — A hurricane warning was issued for the Azores as hurricane Gordon moved rapidly toward the sparsely populated group of islands Tuesday, while hurricane Helene remained a large Category 3 storm, but was expected to miss Bermuda, forecasters said.

The islands off the Atlantic Coast of Africa should feel the effects of Gordon by Tuesday night, said Dan Brown a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

As of 5 a.m., Gordon was in the open Atlantic, centred about 1,010 kilometres west of Terceira in the Azores and moving east near 45 kilometres an hour. This motion was expected to continue throughout the next day, with some increase in speed.

Gordon had maximum sustained winds near 160 km/h and was expected to slowly weaken by Wednesday. If it does become an extratropical storm that gets energy from colliding weather fronts, it could still have tropical storm force winds.

Read More

September 18, 2006

Hurricane Lane leaves mess on Mexican coast

MAZATLAN, Mexico -- Residents hauled bags of mud out of their homes and tourists tried to resume their vacations Sunday after Hurricane Lane battered this popular resort town.

A day after the Category 3 storm swept away cars, toppled trees and crumpled billboards, some tourists sat in Jacuzzis and pools under a light drizzle or walked in ankle-deep water to shops and restaurants, which opened their previously boarded-up doors.

Others, however, were trying desperately to get out of the mud-covered resort.

Helene Becomes 2nd Major Hurricane

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Helene became the second major hurricane of the 2006 season after strengthening over the Atlantic Ocean on a course toward Bermuda, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Helene had maximum sustained winds of 120 miles (195 kilometers) an hour at 5 a.m. Miami time, after late yesterday strengthening beyond the 111 mph threshold for a Category 3, or major hurricane, the forecaster said in an online advisory. The storm was predicted to strengthen further over the next day.
``As far as making U.S. landfall, it's too early to tell,'' Greg Romano, a spokesman for the center, said late yesterday in a telephone interview. The center's forecast shows Helene tracking northwest over the next five days on a path toward Bermuda.

September 15, 2006

E. coli outbreak traced to bagged spinach in eight U.S. states

WASHINGTON -- An outbreak of E. coli in eight states has left at least one person dead and 50 others sick, federal health officials said Thursday in warning consumers not to eat bagged fresh spinach. The death occurred in Wisconsin, where 20 others were also sickened, said Dr. David Acheson of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The outbreak has sickened others - eight of them seriously - in Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah. outbreak

Tropical Storm Lane nears Baja California

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Tropical Storm Lane roared northward toward the hurricane-battered tip of the Baja California Peninsula early Friday, lashing Mexico's Pacific coast with winds and rain.
The storm was continuing to slowly strengthen and the government issued a hurricane warning for Islas Marias, and a hurricane watch remained in effect along the Pacific coast from Manzanillo to Cabo Corrientes, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.

September 14, 2006

Tropical storm 'Helene' forms over Atlantic

Miami, Sept. 14 (AP): Tropical Storm Helene developed from a tropical depression in the open Atlantic late Wednesday, while Hurricane Gordon strengthened into a powerful 'Category 3' hurricane and the remnants of Hurricane 'Florence' brought high winds and heavy rain to Newfoundland in Canada, forecasters said.
'Helene' had top sustained winds near 40 mph (64 kph), just above the 39-mph (63-kph) threshold for a tropical storm. It is the eighth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
At 11 p.m. EDT (03:00 GMT), it was located 565 miles (909 kilometers) west of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and moving west-northwest over warm Atlantic waters at 22 mph (35 kph), forecasters said.

Helene Forms as Gordon Becomes Category 3 Hurricane

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Helene was moving quickly in the open Atlantic on Thursday, while Hurricane Gordon gained strength but posed no threat, forecasters said. Hurricane Florence, meanwhile, brought high winds and heavy rain to Newfoundland in Canada.
Helene had top sustained winds near 40 mph, just above the 39-mph threshold for a tropical storm. The eighth-named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season formed late Wednesday night.,2933,213749,00.html

September 13, 2006

New Tattoos

Here are my new Tattoos both completed on Tuesday 12 Sept 2006.

Tropical storm Gordon upgraded to hurricane

MIAMI (AP) - Tropical storm Gordon strengthened into a hurricane over the open Atlantic and a new tropical depression formed off the coast of Africa on Tuesday, while hurricane Florence sped toward its demise into the cooler waters off Canada's maritime provinces, forecasters said.
Hurricane Gordon, with top sustained winds of 120 kilometres an hour, is destined to remain over open waters and will not threaten land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
At 11 p.m. EDT, Gordon was centred about 910 kilometres north-northeast of the Leeward Islands and moving north near 15 km/h, forecasters said.
"At this point, it looks like it will recurve out into the Atlantic," said Jamie Rhome, a hurricane specialist.
"However, people should be reminded that we are at the peak of hurricane season and they should be updated on hurricane supplies and have a hurricane plan."
The National Hurricane Center discontinued issuing advisories about Florence, which is expected to pass just southeast of Newfoundland in the next day or so. The season's second hurricane blew out windows, peeled off roofs and knocked out power to thousands in Bermuda on Monday as it sideswiped the British island chain before heading out over the Atlantic.
The eighth tropical depression of the Atlantic season developed Tuesday off the coast of West Africa.
It had top sustained winds at 56 km/h and was building to tropical storm strength, forecasters said. Helene is the next name on the list.
The depression was centred 314 kilometres south of the southernmost Cape Verde islands and moving west near 24 km/h, the hurricane centre said.
The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. The National Hurricane Center's latest forecast for the season expects between seven and nine hurricanes.

Indonesia records 49th death from bird flu

JAKARTA, Sept 13 (Reuters) - A five-year-old Indonesian boy who died in March had bird flu, a health official said on Wednesday, raising the country's death toll from the virus to 49.
The boy died at Jakarta's Sulianti Saroso Hospital, the country's main bird flu treatment centre. He was from Bekasi on the eastern outskirts of the capital Jakarta.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week recognised three more cases of bird flu in Indonesia, one from June and two dating to 2005.,br>

September 12, 2006

Typhoon Shanshan

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Typhoon Shanshan strengthened from a tropical storm overnight and is forecast to gain more strength as it heads in the general direction of Japan's Okinawa and northern Taiwan, a U.S. weather agency said.
Shanshan, with maximum sustained winds of 129 kilometers per hour (81 miles an hour), was located 925 kilometers southeast of Naha in Okinawa at 3 a.m. today Japan time, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said in the latest advisory on its Web site. The storm's winds are gusting to as high as 157 kilometers per hour.
The 14th-named storm of the Pacific cyclone season is moving north-northwest at 7.4 kilometers per hour and is forecast to turn to the north and move closer to Okinawa later this week. Shanshan may strengthen to a Category 3 storm with winds of 193 kilometers per hour, the typhoon center said.
Tropical storms and typhoons regularly hit Japan and scores of people were killed in 2004 when a record number of storms made landfall. Tropical Storm Wukong reached land on Aug. 18 this year near Miyazaki city on the western island of Kyushu, bringing heavy rains and thunderstorms and causing flight cancellations and a halt to oil shipments.
Shanshan is a name often given to pets by young girls in Hong Kong, according to the Web site of the city's observatory.
At least 20 people died in September last year when Typhoon Nabi hit southwestern Japan. A record 10 typhoons and tropical storms hit Japan in 2004, killing more than 60 people and causing billions of dollars of damage.
To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo at .

Tropical Storm Gordon Forms in Atlantic

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Tropical Storm Gordon has formed in the central Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center said today.
The center of the storm was located about 425 miles (690 kilometers) north of the Leeward Islands as of 5 p.m. Miami time today, the weather service said. It was moving northwest at about 9 miles an hour, a speed expected to continue for the next day. Gordon had maximum sustained winds of about 45 mph and is expected to strengthen during the next day.
``Right now, it's expected to remain out to sea, but it could be a hurricane in the next couple of days,'' hurricane center meteorologist Eric Blake said.
Gordon, the seventh named storm of the Atlantic storm season, isn't currently forecast to become a threat to land, Blake said. It would become the season's third hurricane if its maximum sustained winds reach at least 74 mph.
Gordon Tropical-storm-force winds of 39 to 73 mph extended out as far as 45 miles from the center of the storm.
To contact the reporter on this story: Margot Habiby in Dallas at .

September 11, 2006

New Warning: U.S. Gulf Coast Faces High Tsunami Risk

Scientists issued a fresh warning today: The northern Caribbean may be at a high risk for a major tsunami, based on historical records that date back to Columbus’ arrival in 1492.
A tsunami in this region could affect more than 35 million people on the islands of the Greater and Lesser Antilles and along the east and Gulf coasts of the United States. The danger has been highlighted in previous research.
The major source for past tsunamis in the northern Caribbean has been movement along the boundary between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates. This fault line stretches 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) from Central America to the Lesser Antilles, brushing up against the north coast of Hispaniola (the island of Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
Nancy Grindlay and Meghan Hearne of the University of North Carolina and Paul Mann of the University of Texas identified 10 significant tsunamis that have resulted from movement along this plate boundary. Six of these caused loss of life.
In 1692, a tsunami destroyed Port Royal, Jamaica; another killed at least 10 Jamaicans on the island's south coast in 1780. The most recent tsunami in 1946 was triggered by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in the Dominican Republic. It killed around 1,800 people.

6.0 Earthquake off Florida Coast

No hurricanes. No tornadoes. No sweeping wildfires. It was a pretty nice weekend in Florida. Except, you know, for the 6.0 magnitude earthquake.
A rare and unusually strong quake in the Gulf of Mexico rocked southwest Florida on Sunday, provoking worried calls from more than 3,000 people in the state and elsewhere in the Southeast.
No damage or injuries were reported, though many Floridians experienced dishes that rattled all by themselves, swimming pools that suddenly developed waves, and terra firma that wasn't quite as firm as they thought.
''It's always something,'' said Mike Stone, a spokesman for the state's Division of Emergency Management.
The quake, believed to be the strongest in the area in 30 years, struck at 10:56 a.m. and was centered 259 miles west of Bradenton and 397 miles from Miami. The most common comment Sunday along Florida's Gulf Coast: ``Hey, I did feel something.''
Sally Mayse of Bradenton was riding her bike on a causeway when she sensed a vibration and her two-wheeler wobbled. She thought it was a tractor-trailer but none was in sight. Then, she figured it was her imagination.
''I didn't give it a lot of thought,'' Mayse, 46, said later as she relaxed by the bay. ``Then I heard people talking and I put it together.''

We will never forget...

...what you terrorist bastards did.

September 09, 2006

Strong quake rocks Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia - A strong undersea earthquake rocked parts of eastern Indonesia on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of damage, and a tsunami alert was not issued.
The 6.2 magnitude quake struck deep under the Flores Sea, 205 kilometres northeast of Sumbawa island, the survey said in a statement.
Callers to el-Shinta radio station from Bali and Flores islands said they felt the quake, but they had not seen any damage as a result of it.,,2-13-1443_1995930,00.html

Florence threatens to become a hurricane

HAMILTON, Bermuda - Residents of Bermuda installed storm shutters and hauled their yachts onto beaches in preparation for Tropical Storm Florence, which intensified Saturday and was expected to become a hurricane as it approaches the North Atlantic island.
Florence, which could become a hurricane as it moves over the open Atlantic on Sunday, was expected to reach the tiny British territory Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center National Hurricane Center in Miami. But it was too early to tell whether it will make a direct hit.
"It's probably not going to become a hurricane tonight, but it could become a hurricane tomorrow," said Stacy Stewart, a senior hurricane specialist at the center. It could be a Category 2 hurricane, which has winds of 96 to 110 mph, he said.
Read More

September 08, 2006

S. Sulawesi site of 48th bird flu death...

The government confirmed Thursday another person had died of bird flu, as the nation hardest hit by H5N1 continues to battle a disease that is feared could one day spark a global pandemic.
The 48th fatality from the virus was a woman from South Sulawesi province who died in June, said Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, adding that infected birds were found dead in the same area.
"This we know from the results of the (tests by the) Health Ministry's Research and Development Board last night (Wednesday)," Siti said as quoted by AFP.

Tropical storm Florence to veer

Canadian Press HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) - Islanders crowded stores Friday to buy generators, bottled water and other emergency supplies as tropical storm Florence chugged through the open Atlantic on a path toward Bermuda.
Forecasters said Florence posed no danger to the United States, but could create high surf and rip currents along parts of the East Coast. Bermuda issued a hurricane watch, and the government urged the territory's 65,000 residents to take precautions. Florence is expected to reach hurricane strength by the time it reaches the tiny British territory on Monday, according to forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
"Even if the centre misses Bermuda by a couple hundred miles, this is a very large storm so there's likely to be some effect," said Mark Willis, a meteorologist at the centre. "If not the strong winds, there will definitely be some rough surf."
Tropical storm force wind extended up to 650 kilometres from Florence's centre.
Read More Here

September 07, 2006

Indonesia reports 47th death from bird flu

JAKARTA, Sept 7 (Reuters) - A 14-year-old Indonesian girl who died in June was infected with bird flu, health officials said on Thursday.
The case took a long time to identify because it was from blood samples taken during routine surveillance of people with mild influenza symptoms.
Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said tests on the girl's blood sample were completed late on Wednesday.
"It turned out positive," Supari told reporters, adding chickens had died in the neighbourhood where she lived in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province. Makassar is 1,400 km (870 miles) northeast of the capital Jakarta.
The fatality takes Indonesia's confirmed death toll from bird flu to 47, the highest in the world.

Florence Swirls in the Open Atlantic

MIAMI Sep 7, 2006 (AP)— Tropical Storm Florence was steaming over the open Atlantic early Thursday and forecasters said it could become a hurricane within the next day.
Florence had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph after strengthening Wednesday. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said it could strengthen into a hurricane, with winds of at least 74 mph, as early as Thursday.
At 5 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered 660 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands, about 1,105 miles southeast of Bermuda. It was moving west-northwest near 10 mph.
At 5 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered 660 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands, about 1,105 miles southeast of Bermuda. It was moving west-northwest near 10 mph.
It posed no immediate threat to land, though its large size tropical storm force winds extended 290 miles from its center could be a concern later in the week.
At least nine deaths in the United States and two in Haiti were blamed on Ernesto.

September 05, 2006

New bird flu outbreak hits Cambodian ducks

Sep 5, 2006 — PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - A new bird flu outbreak has been found in ducks in eastern Cambodia where the virus re-emerged last month, officials said on Tuesday.
Tests confirmed the deadly H5N1 virus in live and dead ducks in the Bateay district of the eastern province of Kampong Cham where 700 birds died last week, they said. "We sent our vets to cull the rest of the live ducks after the result was confirmed on Saturday," senior agriculture official Yim Voeunthan told Reuters.
The virus could have spread from a nearby village where a bird flu outbreak killed nearly 2,000 ducks last month, said Ku Chanthan, a veterinarian in Kampong Cham.
In early August, the virus was also found among 1,300 ducks that died in the province of Prey Veng, 70 km (45 miles) southeast of Phnom Penh.

Caption contest winner

Looks like he's done it again. This man comes up w/ some very humerous thoughts. Keep it up Scooter!! 250 Credits have been sent. You should receive the other 250 in 7 days. "Bob's friends decided to take drastic measures for an intervention when he admitted that he actually bought the new Paris Hilton album."

Tropical Storm Florence christened

The WillisU could not pass up a chance to post a headline with the word "christened" (my apologies with my mind in the gutter) in it!! It was perfect!! A hurricane (the basis of my blogging beginning) and a little christining!!

Tropical Storm Florence christened

Florence tracker

Tropical Storm Florence (former T. D. Six) has been christened in the central Atlantic. Florence (40 mph) is expected to continue strengthening for the next several days as it moves on a WNW track.
It's forecast to reach minimal hurricane intensity (75 mph) early Friday a couple of hundred miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands. By early Sunday, it could be a category two hurricane--some models suggest a category three--with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph about 850 miles southeast of the Carolina coast... and moving toward the northwest.
Farther out in the Atlantic, a disturbance trailing Florence by several hundred miles has some potential for further development over the next day or two. A third disturbance, with a low pressure area, has moved off the African coast far to the SSE of the Cape Verde Islands at around 10 degrees north latitude.
In the eastern Pacific, tenacious Kristy (40 mph) has been upgraded to a tropical storm again and may remain a minimal storm for the next several days as it churns westward far away from any land masses.

The Biggest Carnivore: Dinosaur History Rewritten

The next several decades could prove a golden age for dinosaur hunters looking to discover new species of the ancient reptiles.
A new statistical analysis predicts that more than 1,300 unique dinosaur genera await discovery by paleontologists. In biology, a genus is an organizational group made up of one or more separate species; the plural of genus is genera.
"It's a safe bet that a child born today could expect a very fruitful career in dinosaur paleontology," said study co-author Peter Dodson of the University of Pennsylvania.

Since dinosaur research began in earnest in the 19th century, 527 genera have been found; that number is increasing by about 15 percent each year. The majority of dinosaur species are known based on a single fossil specimen.
The researchers predict that 75 percent of all discoverable genera will be found within the next 100 years, and 90 percent within the next 140 years. Dodson predicts that 1,850 dinosaur genera will eventually be known.
The new study, which Dodson co-authored with statistician Steve Wang of Swarthmore College, is detailed online in the journal for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Learn more

September 04, 2006

Ebay gone Mad
Isn't it weird how when tragic things go wrong that is when the most money is spent? Take for instance the death of the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's shocking death. Out of all the movies he's made with all kinds of animals items with his name become so damn expensive. Like this figure I found here currenlty at $208.50. What the hell are you gonna do with it? Hang it up for what? He'll be forgotten and someone else will come along. Yes he was great and I loved watching his shows but holy shit $200 for a damn plastic figure. Does that mean I can get $90.00 for his VHS tape?
A signed poster going for $1,500???

An autographed baseball??? WTF?
And yes one more thing. Make a note to run by Wal-mart or nearest department store and pick up a few "STEVE IRWIN CROCODILE HUNTER FIGURE" throw them on Ebay and make a couple of hundred extra bucks.
Check it out.

Tropical Depression Brewing in Atlantic

A tropical depression brewing over the open Atlantic was nearing tropical storm strength Monday morning, forecasters said.
At 5 p.m. EDT, the depression had sustained winds near 35 mph, 4 mph shy of becoming a tropical storm and the sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
It was centered about 1,165 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and moving northwest at near 12 mph, a path forecasters said they expected to continue for the next day, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The depression would be named Florence if it reaches tropical storm strength. Forecasters said it could become a tropical storm later Tuesday.
It comes on the heels of Tropical Storm Ernesto, which was briefly the season's first Atlantic hurricane.
Ernesto hit the U.S. mainland at tropical storm strength, first moving over Florida, then swinging out to sea before hitting the Carolinas just short of hurricane strength last week. The storm and its remnants wreaked havoc along the East Coast, tearing down tree limbs and power lines and flooding low-lying areas and roads.
About 9,000 homes and business in Connecticut were still without power Monday morning because of the storm. In New York's Westchester County, just north of New York City, 19,000 customers were without power, and residents of Yonkers were advised to boil water because of a power outage at a reservoir.
Last year's Atlantic storm season set a record with 28 named storms and 15 hurricanes, including Katrina, which devastated the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.
The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season hasn't been as rough as many forecasters initially feared. Forecaster William Gray downgraded his expectations for the season on Friday to five hurricanes, a slightly below-average season. The National Hurricane Center lowered its Atlantic storms forecast in August to between seven and nine hurricanes.

Stingray Kills "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin

CAIRNS, Australia Sep 4, 2006 (AP)— Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44. Irwin was at Batt Reef, off the remote coast of northeastern Queensland state, shooting a segment for a series called "Ocean's Deadliest" when he swam too close to one of the animals, which have a poisonous bard on their tails, his friend and colleague John Stainton said.

"He came on top of the stingray and the stingray's barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart," said Stainton, who was on board Irwin's boat at the time.
Crew members aboard the boat, Croc One, called emergency services in the nearest city, Cairns, and administered CPR as they rushed the boat to nearby Low Isle to meet a rescue helicopter. Medical staff pronounced Irwin dead when they arrived a short time later, Stainton said.
Irwin was famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchword "Crikey!" in his television program "Crocodile Hunter." First broadcast in Australia in 1992, the program was picked up by the Discovery network, catapulting Irwin to international celebrity.

September 03, 2006

Mayan Elders Give Urgent Warning

by Mitch Battros ECTV
I have just received an urgent notice from Adam Rubel of Saq Be'. Adam states he has just received word from Carlos Barrios (Mayan Elder), that earth changing events are in motionto escalate. No, not next year, not next month, but next week or next day.
The first thing Adam reminds us "not" to do is hit the panic button. What is unfolding is in perfect order and the Earth has seen this many times before. However, it is suggested, and I am personally suggesting to you, that our collective influence can make a difference. I believe this is what our ancestors have told us all along. It says so in the Bible, in the Mayan Calendar, in Tibetan Sanskrit, Hopi Petroglyphs, Egyptian Hieroglyphs and the list is endless. No, this is not woo-woo, it is science. More on this below.
Mayan elders have specifically given warning to five continents. Three of which are named. 1) North America 2) Europe 3) Central America .
Through the ancient techniques of divination and tools of prophecy, the Mayan elders are calling forth to pay close attention to messages being set forth by ongoing earth changing events. The recent destruction that manifested in Indonesia is predicted to now occur rapidly upon five continents of the earth. This message is not meant to induce fear, but to give warning of preparation and remain aware of your surroundings. The elders are concerned about what has been presented in their recent divinations and they call to all humanity to warn their leaders and to work very hard at a spiritual level to prevent the impending destruction.
Adam reports this message has been verified and brought forth by various Mayan elders in Guatemala, and is meant for distribution to all humanity. Last years record breaking hurricanes and the 9.0 mag. earthquake with following tsunami in Indonesia have been warnings of possible coming floods in Europe and the US West Coast.
Prayer/Meditation Not Woo-Woo But Scientifically Grounded

Low-risk H5N1 bird flu found in Pennsylvania ducks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mallard ducks in Pennsylvania have tested positive for a low-pathogenic strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus, the U.S. Agriculture and Interior departments said on Saturday, adding to cases detected recently in Maryland and Michigan.
A strain of the H5N1 avian influenza virus was found in wild ducks sampled August 28 in Crawford County in northwestern Pennsylvania.
"Testing has ruled out the possibility of this being the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe and Africa," USDA and Interior said in a statement. "Test results thus far indicate this is low pathogenic avian influenza, which poses no risk to human health."
The government said it was conducting additional tests to determine, in part, if the ducks had H5N1 or two separate strains with one virus contributing H5 and the other N1. A second round of tests could take five to 10 more days to confirm whether it was the low-pathogenic H5N1 bird flu.
The virus also has been found during the last month in Michigan and on Friday in Maryland. The Maryland mallards did not appear sick so the samples, collected on August 2 as part of a research project, were not given high priority when sent to USDA labs for testing.
Read More Here

Snow in Sept: Freak weather continues

SRINAGAR/DEHRA DUN: If floods in Barmer were a freak case, there's more. Unprecedented rain in the Himalayas has led to heavy snowfall in large parts of Uttaranchal and Kashmir.
While the Chenab and Jhelum were in spate because of record showers since Thursday, many parts of Jammu and Kashmir were blanketed by a cover of snow on Saturday.
A flood alert was sounded as the Srinagar-Jammu highway was blocked off, leaving hundreds of trucks and buses stranded.
While the snow in Gulmarg and Pahalgam, would have cheered tourists, it disrupted life and movement in many other parts, including Kargil.
In the Uttaranchal Himalayas, which usually gets snowfall in late October, the hills turned white after two days of snow, the first such white weekend in a decade.
"The western disturbance is quite active at the moment and is causing rain and snow in the hills," said Sharma. "In the next 36 hours, more snow is expected."

September 02, 2006

Severe floods ravaging northern region

PHITSANULOK, Sept 2 (TNA) - Heavy rainfall in Thailand's North for several days has forced thousands of residents to evacuate to higher ground due to severe flooding and landslides.
Road access to some villages near Nam Tok Chart Trakan National Park in Chart Trakan District of Phitsanulok Province are under floodwaters 1 to 1.50 metres deep, making it impossible for cars to pass through for the second day on Saturday.
More than 700 families in a village in Chart Trakan District are now cut off from the outside world as floodwaters keep on rising.
Rescue officials have sent three flat-bottomed boats to assist the villagers in taking valuable effects to higher ground.
In Tak's Sam Ngao District, rising waters in the Wang River are about to rise over the riverbanks and it is feared that the water will overflow and inundate farmland and homes in three villages by Sunday afternoon.
Officials have warned resident to evacuate belongings and harvested crops to higher ground as they believe that runoff from Lampang Province will reach Sam Ngao Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, officials in Phitsanulok reported Saturday that rescuers had already recovered the body of the engine driver of a northern passenger train which ploughed into a landslide covering the tracks and plunged into the Yom River Thursday night.
Continuing heavy rainfall had led to the rain-soaked mountainside above the railway line giving way and the slide covered the railline right-of-way, leading to the accident, in which the engineer and a technician were missing.
The body of the technician has not yet been discovered; so rescue operations are continuing, local officials said.
Two passenger cars were also carried into the rain-swollen Yom River in the accident.

Ernesto Cuts Into Labor Day Weekend for Many

If anyone reading this post or checking out WillisU that has been affected in some way to Tropical Storm Ernesto can you please email me any pictures or stories. I would like to post them.
RICHMOND, Va. — The remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto put a sloppy wet damper on the last big tourism weekend of the summer for many people, making a mess of some oceanfront hotels and leaving beaches and boardwalks less crowded than usual.
Ernesto was reduced to an area of rain over western New York state and the lower Great Lakes by Saturday afternoon, after drenching Virginia and North Carolina with up to a foot on its run up the East Coast.
It had caused flooding that forced hundreds of people out of their homes, and more than a half-million homes and businesses still had no electricity Saturday in the mid-Atlantic states. At least four deaths were blamed on the storm in Virginia, plus one in North Carolina.
Hotels in Virginia Beach reported some last-minute cancelations Saturday as the storm apparently led many people to change their plans. Some who decided to tough it out faced oceanfront rooms with carpets soaked by wind-driven rain.
"I've never seen it this severe in all my years here," said Jimmy Capps, manager of the Breakers Resort Inn. "Probably every oceanfront hotel in Virginia Beach has some wet carpet.",2933,211955,00.html

September 01, 2006

Earthquake hits near Papua New Guinea

CANBERRA, Australia -- A powerful earthquake struck Friday under the Pacific Ocean near Papua New Guinea, but there were no reports of damage on land and there was no major tsunami threat, authorities said.

The magnitude 6.7 quake struck 38 miles south of the island province of Bougainville and 33 miles beneath the seabed at 6:19 a.m. EDT, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake did not pose a major tsunami threat, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Hurricane Footage

Here is a new link I aquired this morning from an anonomyous person. Great link but not quite sure if it's "Ernesto". I'm thinking more like Hurricane "Katrina". It's only about 10 minutes long but it's great up close personal footage. Thanks for the footage. Click Here

Caption Contest for 500 credits.

Time for another Caption Contest. Oh yes I was at this particular event. Please leave any comment I'm sure He would love to hear it. This contest will be for 500 credits. The credits will be sent 250 at a time, and it will take a week to complete the transfer but it will be done. Also don't forget I will be on Big Dawg Radio this evening starting at 9 pm est.