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End Time News – Updated 1 Jan 2017 - 4 stories
see End Time News Headline Archive      see End Time News Sources       see Are We in the End Time?
 

Earthquakes

earthquake headlines             6.0 quakes            7.0 quakes            quakes in diverse places          quake map

Magnitude 7.7 earthquake hits off Chilean coast
by Sima Shelbayah, CNN

(CNN)A magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred off the coast of southern Chile Sunday, 40 km (about 25 miles) southwest of Puerto Quellon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had issued a tsunami threat message for parts of the Pacific Ocean close to the earthquake; by 10:30 a.m. ET the center said the threat had passed.

A "state of precaution" that had been issued for the region of Los Lagos has been lifted, according to the Chilean Navy Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service.

And Chile's Ministry of the Interior and Public Security canceled the tsunami evacuation for the beach areas near the quake zone.

Shortly after the quake hit, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet posted a tweet expressing support to the people of her country.

"Much strength and mood to the compatriots affected by the earthquake in Chile and other areas of the south! Emergency protocols are already operating," Bachelet tweeted.

Chile sits on an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Ocean known as the "Ring of Fire."

The area experiences frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Since 1973, Chile has had more than a dozen quakes of magnitude 7.0 and above.

In February 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 700 people and affected more than 2 million others, according to Chilean officials.

That quake struck off the Pacific coast about 60 miles northwest of Chillan, Chile, at a depth of nearly 22 miles, the USGS said.

The city of Concepcion, Chile, and the Maule and Bio Bio regions were devastated, with buildings in ruins and roads left impassable.

In the quake's immediate aftermath, more than 1.5 million people were without power in and around Santiago.

Source

 
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Pestilence
 

Deadly disease outbreak in Wisconsin baffles public health officials
by Keren Landman

A mysterious cluster of deadly bloodstream infections in Wisconsin has set state and federal disease detectives scrambling to understand why a common and generally harmless microbe is suddenly wreaking such havoc.

The outbreak has killed 15 people and sickened 33 others in a cluster of counties surrounding Milwaukee.

Public health authorities know what’s causing the illnesses: a species of bacteria named Elizabethkingia anophelis.

But they don’t know how it’s infecting so many people, or why it’s proving so deadly. The microbe can resist common first-line antibiotic treatments, though it’s not a true “superbug” as it is susceptible to other medicines.

While most of the patients in Wisconsin are elderly, and all have a history of serious illness, many have not had any recent contact with hospitals, suggesting they are becoming infected in the community, which is unheard of for this type of bacteria. The outbreak started last November and the case count continues to grow, with four new cases identified last week. Symptoms include fever, chills, and shortness of breath.

State and federal investigators are testing tap water, skin care products, and other products patients may have ingested or come in contact with as a possible source of contamination. The vast majority of specimens share a matching genetic fingerprint, indicating a common source for the outbreak.

“The fact that we don’t know what it is yet is tremendously frustrating,” said Dr. Michael Bell, deputy director of the division of healthcare quality promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most states see fewer than a dozen cases of Elizabethkingia infection each year, Bell said. It is highly unusual for nearly 50 cases to be identified in such a small geographic area.

The outbreak poses a particular challenge to investigators because scientists know little about Elizabethkingia, which is named for the CDC scientist who discovered the species.

The organisms are known to be ubiquitous in soil and in the guts of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, and they thrive in moist biofilms — clumps of bacteria and sticky substances that adhere to environmental surfaces and medical devices. Even strong disinfectants, like hydrogen peroxide, don’t wipe them out.

But Elizabethkingia species have only recently been identified as a cause of human disease, with the first published description of an outbreak reported in 2010.

Since then, a handful of other clusters have been described, all in hospital intensive care units and neonatal wards. In a recent outbreak in a British hospital, for instance, the infections were traced to contaminated taps in sinks near patient beds.

The cluster of cases in Wisconsin is the first reported outbreak of this particular species of Elizabethkingia bacteria. State health officials report that most victims are older than 65.

Milwaukee was the site of another cluster of mysterious fatalities back in 1993, when 69 residents died and tens of thousands fell ill with gastrointestinal symptoms. The outbreak was ultimately traced to an intestinal parasite, Cryptosporidium, that contaminated the city’s water supply.

Milwaukee has since made improvements to its water processing plants, including changes to filtration systems and disinfection procedures. State and federal officials say it’s unlikely that the current outbreak comes from contaminated tap or groundwater, but neither has been ruled out.

Source

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Wars and Rumors of Wars

Iraq: Nearly 115,000 people displaced, 50,000 children affected by Mosul military operation
UN News

28 December 2016 – Since operations began to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) two months ago, some 114,042 people have been displaced and as many as one million are out of reach of humanitarian assistance.

According to the latest report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the ongoing conflict has rendered it is impossible to state a definitive estimate on the number of people who are still living in ISIL-controlled areas.

However, the humanitarian community is concerned that conditions for these communities are deteriorating, as basic goods have not been replaced in western parts of the city since the city’s supply routes were closed last month.

Of particular concern is the safety and security of children, as more than 50,000 have been affected due to the Mosul military operation and surrounding conflict. Hamida Lasseko, Deputy Representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Iraq, told UN News that the agency is working with the Iraqi Government to provide basic services, psychosocial support, and education to children.

“This is going to be our main area of focus – to advocate for the education of children. This will also help to keep the children safe: they will be protected from being recruited, affected from the armed conflict, and they will also be able to access their basic rights,” she said.

“We continue to ask all those who are involved in the conflict to leave children to grow as children so that they have a normal life,” Ms. Lasseko said, emphasizing that “they should stop using children for the benefit of the war.”

For those who are now living at camps, humanitarian assistance includes basic services such as clean drinking water, latrines, medical assistance. OCHA emphasized that providing new plots to accommodate people who have recently fled is an urgent priority: just last week, an additional 10,170 people were displaced.

However, security incidents have threatened aid operations in eastern Mosul. On 22 December, three suicide car bombs exploded in Gogchali, an area on the eastern outskirts of the city adjacent to the main access route. These explosions were in addition to mortar fire that killed aid workers and beneficiaries. just a few days earlier, as well as a significant uptick in trauma injuries over the past month.

Meanwhile, flooding due to ongoing rains has threatened water safety, and the arrival of winter brings dropping temperatures and harsher conditions. UN agencies and stakeholders are working to ensure that civilians have adequate protection from the cold, and one NGO is building a field hospital to shorten ambulance journeys and reduce pressure on Erbil hospitals.

Source

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Famines

50,000 children face death by starvation in northern Nigeria
by Con Coughlin

An estimated 50,000 children are facing death by starvation in northern Nigeria this summer as a result of the Nigerian government’s faltering campaign to defeat Boko Haram Islamist militants, aid agencies are warning.

Aid experts say the humanitarian crisis caused by the seven-year conflict between the Nigerian military and Boko Haram militants has left an estimated 500,000 people homeless in northern Nigeria, the majority of whom are in urgent need of food, shelter and medical care.

Of these, 244,000 are children, and the French charity Doctors Without Borders, which has set up a network of emergency camps in the region, warns that one in five will die in the coming weeks if they do not receive urgent treatment and food supplies.

Western aid officials have also raised concerns about the Nigerian government’s handling of the crisis, with accusations that President Muhammadu Buhari, the country’s Muslim president, is not doing enough to confront the threat posed by Boko Haram’s Islamist militants.

Britain’s Department for International Development contributes an estimated £870 million to Nigeria to support the government’s ability to fight Boko Haram, which has been responsible for a number of terrorist outrages, including the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls.

But Western officials are worried that Mr Buhari is exploiting some of the aid to persecute Christian political rivals instead of tackling Islamist militants.

Mr Buhari was involved in an embarrassing diplomatic row with Downing Street earlier this year after David Cameron was overheard remarking to the Queen that Nigeria was one “of the most corrupt countries in the world” ahead of an anti-corruption summit in London.

But while Mr Buhari denied his government was involved in corruption, aid officials are becoming increasingly concerned about his handling of the campaign against Boko Haram, which could now create Nigeria’s worst humanitarian disaster since the Biafra conflict in the 1960s.

The latest refugee crisis is centred on Borno state is north-eastern Nigeria, and aid officials say around 244,000 children are suffering from acute malnutrition. “Some 134 children on average will die every day from causes linked to acute malnutrition,” said a spokesman for the children’s charity Unicef.

Last month aid workers reported that more than 1,200 people had died from starvation and illness at one refugee camp in northeast Nigeria - of these 480 were children.

Yesterday (Friday) the UN said it was suspending aid to dangerous areas of Borno state after Boko Haram ambushed a humanitarian convoy on Thursday.

But while Western governments are keen for Nigeria to continue the military campaign against Boko Haram, which claims to have close links with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil), there are growing concerns that Mr Buhari’s determination to crush his political opponents is diverting vital resources away from the military effort.

In recent months Mr Buhari, a former military dictator, has intensified his efforts to give key government appointments to Muslim political allies at the expense of Christian officials. This has resulted in increased tensions between the government and southern Nigeria, which is predominantly Christian, where in May the military killed 15 people during a peaceful Biafran protest.

But while Mr Buhari has been concentrating his efforts on tackling political unrest in southern Nigeria, U.S. military officials involved in the campaign against Boko Haram report there has been a sharp increase in terrorist attacks carried out by the group in recent weeks.

“One of the reasons we have this humanitarian crisis in northern Nigeria is that Mr Buhari is diverting vital resources away from the campaign to pursue his own political agenda,” explained a senior Western official. “The Nigerian government, which is receiving significant amounts of foreign aid, needs to understand that its main priority is to deal with Boko Haram, and also to make sure Nigeria does not suffer the worst humanitarian disaster in its history.”

Source

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