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Be Alert!

Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Be Alert! Communiqué: Birth Pangs 24 December 2006

*This Blog Is updated daily as a running weekly tally. Alert Focus: Creation Groans / Pestilence / Birth Pangs Indonesia floods recede, at least 100 dead REUTERS - December 26, 2006 -- JAKARTA -- Floodwaters that killed scores of people in northwestern Indonesia have begun to recede, authorities said on Tuesday, as rescuers search remote areas for up to 200 people still missing. State news agency Antara said one district official reported 500 bodies found in a remote village in Aceh province, but senior government and Red Cross officials said they had no information to confirm that. Officials contacted by Reuters said the floods and subsequent landslides have killed at least 100 people in Aceh and neighbouring North Sumatra province, with tens of thousands forced to flee their homes for higher ground, officials said. In Aceh, still reeling from the devastating tsunami two years ago that left about 170,000 dead or missing in the impoverished province, the death toll rose to 69, the officials said. Another 31 have died in neighbouring North Sumatra, including 22 people killed in a landslide in Muara Sipongi district after getting approval to return home following an earthquake last week. "Today we are continuing to search for victims. There are 200 people reported missing," Syahbuddin Usman, head of Aceh's hard-hit Tamiang district, said by telephone. Washed out bridges, impassable roads, and no communications in some areas meant it was impossible to know whether the missing were dead or simply unable to alert family or the authorities that they had survived.... Authorities have blamed heavy rains and the effects of deforestation for the destruction. Lack of adequate forest cover leaves the ground less able to absorb excess water. Victims of floods starving THE AUSTRALIAN - By Stephen Fitzpatrick, Jakarta correspondent - December 27, 2006 -- HUNDREDS of thousands of Indonesians forced to flee their homes are threatened by starvation and disease after heavy floods in the nation's west. As Aceh marked the grim anniversary yesterday of the 2004 tsunami that wiped out much of its coastal society, it was the turn of those further inland on Sumatra island to face having lost everything. The death toll stood at more than 80 yesterday across west and north Sumatra and on nearby Riau island, with more than 200,000 people made homeless, four days after wild storms brought flooding, believed to have been made worse by the effects of illegal logging. Several more people were dead and tens of thousands homeless in neighbouring southern Malaysia. At least 21 central Sumatrans were killed by landslides hours after they returned to their homes on Monday, having fled when an earthquake measuring 5.7 rocked Mandailing Natal district last week. "From morning to afternoon on Monday we used military vehicles to collect refugees of the earthquake who wanted to return to their homes, and shortly afterwards in the evening the landslide hit," Mandailing Natal police spokesman Syarbani Harahap said.... Acehnese governor-elect Irwandi Yusuf, a former rebel leader who has been elected to represent his people in the restive province, warned that the illegal logging responsible for frequent landslides during the annual rainy season must be dealt with. "This activity must be halted so this kind of disaster does not keep happening," Mr Yusuf warned yesterday. At least 14 bridges were knocked out by the floods, and the Indonesian air force was airlifting food, blankets, tents, mattresses and clothing by helicopter and Hercules transports.,20867,20977279-2703,00.html Violent Storms Hit Florida on Christmas ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Brent Kallestad - December 25, 2006 -- TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Powerful storms damaged at least three dozen homes as heavy rain and strong wind swept across the Southeast on Monday. The worst damage was in Florida, between Tampa and the Georgia border, where three people were injured and three homes were destroyed.... The Tallahassee area was also swamped by rain as the storms moved through, with more than 5 1/2 inches falling at the regional airport, the most there on a Christmas Day since 1897, weather service meteorologist Ron Block said. Fears of Tsunami Ease After Taiwan Quake ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Annie Huang - December 26, 2006 -- A powerful earthquake struck off southwestern Taiwan on Tuesday, briefly prompting fears of a tsunami on the second anniversary of the quake and deadly waves that killed thousands in south Asia. Taiwanese media reported one person died and three were injured when their home collapsed in the southern city of Pintung. Other reports said city streets had cracked and a major bridge was damaged. They said fires were burning out in the area, apparently caused by downed power cables. The quake was felt throughout Taiwan. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated its magnitude at 7.1, while Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau measured it at 6.7. It was followed eight minutes later by 7.0 magnitude aftershock, the USGS said. Two hours later, an official at Japan's Meteorological Agency said there was no longer any danger of a destructive tsunami headed for the Philippines, as had been predicted.... Phone lines were cut in the southern cities of Kaohsiung and Pingtung, possibly hindering reports of damage by residents, the CTI Cable News reported. Several high-rise hotels swayed violently in Kaohsiung, it said.... The initial tremor was centered at sea about 13 miles southwest of Hengchun on the southern tip of Taiwan, the bureau said. Hengchun is about 260 miles south of Taipei.... A 9.1-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia on Dec. 26, 2004 caused a tsunami that killed at least 230,000 people in 11 countries. Those waves reached as high as 33 feet. Taiwan earthquake triggers false alarm -- in Switzerland DRUDGE REPORT NEWS FLASH - December 26, 2006 -- A Swiss official said an earthquake alarm reported in Switzerland on Tuesday was a mistake, triggered by the powerful quake that struck off southwestern Taiwan. Nicolas Deichmann, an official at the Swiss Seismological Service, said machines falsely interpreted the Taiwan earthquake in registering a separate 3.1 magnitude quake with an epicenter near the town of Ilanz, in the mountainous Swiss canton, or state, of Graubuenden. There was no evidence of an earthquake in Switzerland on Tuesday, he said. Bird Flu Kills Woman in Egypt, Infects Family Members BLOOMBERG - By Jason Gale - December 26, 2006 -- Bird flu killed a woman in northern Egypt as authorities attempt to eradicate the lethal virus that infected two other members of the woman's family. The infection killed a teenage girl in Cairo, Agence France-Presse reported. The woman from Zifta, in the northern province of Gharbia, had been in contact with infected poultry, Egypt's Ministry of Health said in a statement on its Web site today. Fowl kept by the family and neighbors have been culled, and people in contact with the birds are being tested, the ministry said in a separate statement on Dec. 24. A 15-year-old girl died from the H5N1 strain of avian flu in a Cairo hospital, AFP reported yesterday. She was transferred from a hospital in the Nile delta province of Garbiya, where she was admitted Dec. 20, AFP said. World health experts are trying to control the H5N1 virus, which risks infecting humans and mutating to become more contagious. A virus that spreads among people as easily as seasonal flu could spark a deadly pandemic capable of killing millions of people, health authorities have said. The H5N1 strain is known to have infected 258 people in 10 countries during the past three years, killing 154 of them, the World Health Organization said on Nov. 29, when it reported the last fatality. Avian flu has infected 19 people in Egypt -- including the four cases recorded during the past week -- killing nine of them. Infections in Egyptian poultry were reported for the first time in February. ... Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island THE INDEPENDENT - By Environment Editor Geoffrey Lean - December 24, 2006 -- Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true. As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities. Eight years ago, as exclusively reported in The Independent on Sunday, the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented. It has been officially recorded in a six-year study of the Sunderbans by researchers at Calcutta's Jadavpur University. So remote is the island that the researchers first learned of its submergence, and that of an uninhabited neighbouring island, Suparibhanga, when they saw they had vanished from satellite pictures. Two-thirds of nearby populated island Ghoramara has also been permanently inundated. Dr Sugata Hazra, director of the university's School of Oceanographic Studies, says "it is only a matter of some years" before it is swallowed up too. Dr Hazra says there are now a dozen "vanishing islands" in India's part of the delta. The area's 400 tigers are also in danger. Until now the Carteret Islands off Papua New Guinea were expected to be the first populated ones to disappear, in about eight years' time, but Lohachara has beaten them to the dubious distinction. Human cost of global warming: Rising seas will soon make 70,000 people homeless Refugees from the vanished Lohachara island and the disappearing Ghoramara island have fled to Sagar, but this island has already lost 7,500 acres of land to the sea. In all, a dozen islands, home to 70,000 people, are in danger of being submerged by the rising seas. In Shirt-Sleeve Holiday Season, Overcoats Linger on the Racks NEW YORK TIMES - By Michael Barbaro - December 23, 2006 -- NEW YORK CITY -- Retailers are calling it the Coat Crisis of 2006, a fashion fiasco measured in racks of unsold fur-lined shearlings at Saks Fifth Avenue and down puffer jackets at Bloomingdale’s. Balmy temperatures on the East Coast, with average highs this holiday season 15 degrees warmer than last year, have been disastrous for sales of all kinds of cold-weather clothing, from cashmere caps to wool scarves. What seemed like a meteorological aberration — the coatless, hatless, gloveless morning commute in Washington, New York and Boston — is starting to feel like the new normal, encouraging consumers to splurge on a flat-screen television instead of a peacoat. The glut of winter wear has sent a chill through the executive suites of major retailers, who count on big profits from coats in the crucial holiday shopping season. They are even starting to grumble about the first “global warming Christmas.” So like farmers praying for rain, merchants have begun scanning weather forecasts, hoping for a sudden drop in temperature to lift their sales. “At first, you start to chuckle in the morning when it’s 50 degrees, then you start to snicker and then you start to curse,” said Rick Weinstein, director of sales and marketing at Searle, a Manhattan retailer that supplies coats to high-end department stores. A few days before Christmas, temperatures remained in the mid-40s from Maryland to Maine. Alex Grossman, a 33-year-old New York City resident, buys a new winter coat every holiday season, waiting until the first cold snap. This year, it did not come. “Now it’s so late in the season I won’t even buy one,” he said, standing sans coat in Midtown Manhattan Thursday afternoon as temperatures reached 45 degrees. The NPD Group, a retail research firm, predicts that sales of outerwear will plunge at least 20 percent this holiday season, compared with last year, with the not-winter-like weather to blame. Retailers will not report holiday sales figures until January, but there are clear signs of trouble. Even apparel executives, generally an optimistic group, are acknowledging there is a problem. ... [more] Egypt reports two new human cases of bird flu AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - December 23, 2006 -- Two Egyptians were taken to hospital after testing positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in the central Nile delta region, the health ministry said. The latest cases brings to 17 the total number of Egyptians infected, including seven who were killed by the virus. The two Egyptians from the village of Hanut in the Gharbiya governorate contracted the disease after coming into contact with infected ducks they had been rearing in their homes, according to a ministry statement carried by the official MENA agency.... The H5N1 strain of bird flu was first diagnosed in birds in Egypt in February, and the first case in humans was announced on March 18. In its most aggressive form, the H5N1 strain has killed 154 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Storm Cuts Power to Thousands in Wisconsin ASSOCIATED PRESS - By James A. Carlson - December 23, 2006 -- MILWAUKEE -- A winter storm dumped 7 inches of wet, heavy snow on central Wisconsin, leaving thousands of people without electricity and disrupting holiday preparations. Wisconsin Public Service Corp. reported fewer than 17,000 customers without electricity Saturday night. About half of the outages were in the towns of Wausau and Stevens Point.... The snow began falling Friday night and did not let up until Saturday morning. The weight of the snow snapped power lines and tree limbs, causing the outages, she said. Nearly 30,000 customers initially had service interrupted. ... [more] Denver Airport Operating Near Capacity ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Judith Kohler - December 23, 2006 -- DENVER -- Denver's airport was operating at close to capacity Saturday after being snowed in for two days, but for many travelers jammed in its terminals it was not expected to be enough to rescue their hopes of joining their families for Christmas. Thousands of travelers whose flights were canceled by a blizzard that backed up air traffic nationwide were stuck on standby, trying to grab a rare empty seat on planes that were mostly booked.... The jam in Denver backed up flights around the country heading into one of the busiest travel times of the year, and low visibility in Atlanta and wind in Philadelphia on Friday added to delays. About 9 million Americans planned to take to the air during the nine-day Christmas-to-New Year's period, the AAA estimates.... Overseas, fog had grounded flights for most of the week at London's Heathrow Airport, stalling tens of thousands of people who had planned on taking flights at Europe's busiest airport. The fog finally started to lift Saturday, and British Airways pledged to operate 95 percent of its scheduled flights. In South America, flight cancellations and hours-long delays caused by overbooking and equipment problems had haunted Christmas travelers across Brazil since Tuesday. Even the Brazilian air force was called in to help move passengers with its fleet of eight passenger jets. At Denver, more than 3,000 incoming flights alone were canceled or diverted during the 45-hour shutdown that began Wednesday. ... [more] Christmas travel chaos continues BBC NEWS - December 22, 2006 -- Christmas travellers have endured a third day of misery as thick fog caused flight cancellations and delays, but the weather should improve on Saturday. More than 300 flights were cancelled at Heathrow on Friday, including all British Airways domestic flights. BA plans to start domestic flights to and from Heathrow from midday on Saturday, and hopes to operate 95% of its Heathrow services through the day. Train firms provided extra services and the roads generally flowed on Friday. BA hopes to operate 87% of short-haul flights on Saturday, and plans a full Heathrow service on Sunday, including resuming services to Paris and Brussels. ... Giant squid caught on video by Japanese scientists REUTERS - December 22, 2006 -- TOKYO -- Its mass of reddish tentacles flailing, a giant squid fought a losing battle to evade capture in a video unveiled by Japanese scientists on Friday. Images of the squid -- a relatively small female about 3.5 meters (11 ft 6 in) long and weighing 50 kg (110 lb) -- were the ultimate prize for zoologists at the National Science Museum, who have been pursuing one of the ocean's most mysterious creatures for years. "Nobody has ever seen a live giant squid except fishermen," team leader Tsunemi Kubodera of the museum's zoology department said in an interview on Friday. "We believe these are the first ever moving pictures of a giant squid." Little was known until recently about the creature thought to have inspired the myth of the "kraken", a tentacled monster that was blamed by sailors for sinking ships off Norway in the 18th century. ... [more] Hurricanes hardly happened, so it's a good year for the insurers LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH - By Caroline Muspratt - December 22, 2006 -- Fewer storms and natural disasters have made 2006 the least expensive year for insurers in almost a decade and the third-cheapest in the past 20 years. Natural and man-made catastrophes have triggered total economic losses of about $40bn (£20bn) and cost property insurers $15bn this year, according to estimates from insurer Swiss Re's Sigma report. An estimated 30,000 people lost their lives in catastrophes including earthquakes, windstorms and shipping disasters. "After years of record losses, property insurers appear to be getting off lightly in 2006," Swiss Re said. "Catastrophe losses of only $15bn will allow them to replenish their risk capital, depleted by record payments for hurricane damage in 2005 and 2004." ... [more]