The much-anticipated date for the end of the world is finally coming, as predicted by the Mayans, and we’ve got the latest updates on how the globe is dealing with ‘Armageddon.’
05:01 GMT: The US East Coast has officially entered ‘doomsday’ – hundreds of excited Twitter users are posting messages that nothing is happening.
04:55 GMT: China has marked ‘doomsday’ with mass arrests throughout the country. Around 100 members of a Christian sect were detained in central China for spreading rumors about December 21. Members of ‘Almighty God’ predicted three days of darkness starting Friday. Another 17 people have been arrested in Beijing for predicting that tsunamis and earthquakes would usher in the Armageddon. The total number of those detained in China for apocalyptic rumors has reportedly neared 1,000. Meanwhile, unusually cold weather across the country has resulted in further speculation, though officials deny the extreme cold is related to the ‘Mayan Apocalypse.’
04:35 GMT: Bolivian president Evo Morales said that December 21 is not the end of the world, but a ‘new beginning.’ President Morales will spend the day on the Island of the Sun on Lake Titicaca, celebrating the start of a ‘new era of peace and love.’
Evo Morales (Reuters / Gaston Brito)
03:35 GMT: Chickens: the key to salvation? A widespread rumor in Malaysia has cost a man to lose his chicken farm as the hoax said that placing cockerels and hens in one coop might prevent them from being engulfed by a huge tidal wave on doomsday. Those who believed the recipe for salvation stole the farmer’s 13 chickens. The rumor was part of a series of text messages that also told people to stock up on food and candles ahead of the end of the Mayan calendar today.
03:18 GMT: #EndOfTheWorldConfession hashtag is trending on Twitter as millions make their final funny, romantic and occasionally frightening confessions.
02:41 GMT: Several Michigan schools have closed, giving thousands of students a few extra vacation days, amid rumors of violence related to the Mayan “doomsday.”“We are not taking the chance, and we are not willing to be dismissive about student safety – especially in the wake of Connecticut. It was an easy decision,” said Matt Wandrie, superintendent of Lapeer Community Schools. Due to the recent massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors of possible “gun violence” circulating in the district.
01:53 GMT: With three hours until doomsday hits the East Coast of the US, many Americans are searching online for end of the world sex. “Looking for some fun tonight with a good looking girl before the world ends! :),” wrote one man in New York City. “Feeling adventurous? We can try things you always wanted to try but never had,” writes another. Women are also searching dates and hookups on Craigslist and the online dating site OkCupid, the New York Post reported.
00:20 GMT: “Smile, you are being abducted,” reads a sign on a mock UFO carrying alien dolls in Alto Paraiso de Goias, central Brazil. Locals are in humorous spirits ahead of the looming end of the world. Alto Paraiso de Goias is considered a mystical city, and has attracted many Brazilians and foreigners seeking refuge from the upcoming events.
AFP Photo / Evaristo SA
23:59 GMT: Big Ben to strike end of days?
23:55 GMT: Iceland freezes in anticipation of the Armageddon.
23:40 GMT: Houston, is there a problem? International Space Station crew prepares for doomsday.
23:37 GMT: Police in France have blocked doomsday believers from a ‘mystical mountain’ in the tiny village of Bugarach, southern France, where they believe a garage for UFOs is located. The mayor of the village, home to just 189, has declared the zone a no-go area and appealed to the world not to come to Bugarach. “This is no laughing matter,” he said. “If 10,000 people turn up on December 21, our village will not be able to cope.”
23:00 GMT: ‘Armageddon’ hits Spain: a surprise block to Catalonia’s independence bid?
22:10 GMT: Dutchman Pieter Frank van der Meer has prepared a lifeboat in his garden in the central Netherlands village of Kootwijkerbroek, which lies around 20 kilometers from the sea. The boat is capable of saving 50 people during floods brought on by the Mayan-foretold doomsday. He bought the totally enclosed lifeboat for €13,000 and installed a toilet, a sink and a child’s car seat inside. Some 35 people have reserved seats in the boat.
AFP Photo / Robin Van Lonkhuijsen
AFP Photo / Robin Van Lonkhuijsen
21:20 GMT: Smart tip to bypass the apocalypse: Fly from Los Angeles to Australia on Thursday night, skipping Friday and landing on Saturday.
20:00 GMT: Red square welcomes the winds of doom
Screenshot from facebook.com user BuzzFeed
18:20 GMT: The Canadian Red Cross has urged people to review their readiness for a disaster in light of the looming end of the world. “The Red Cross urges Canadians to be ready to take care of themselves and their families for 72 hours in any emergency,” said Denis Dion, the national director of disaster management.
Canada’s Red Cross also recommended an emergency survival kit for every household, which includes – in addition to food and water – some cash in small bills, extra car and house keys and a manual can opener.
16:40 GMT: Meanwhile, across the globe, people have come up with a variety of ideas of how to survive in the event of Armageddon. For instance, a Chinese villager has created giant, reportedly tsunami-proof survival pods, made using a fiberglass casing over a steel frame. The cost is $48,000 each, and the pods are equipped with oxygen tanks, food and water supplies. They also come with seat belts, which is essential for riding out storms.
Farmer Liu Qiyuan posing with survival pods that he created and dubbed ‘Noah’s Arc’, in the village of Qiantun, Hebei province, south of Beijing (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
Farmer Liu Qiyuan sits inside one of seven survival pods that he has also dubbed ‘Noah’s Arc’, in a yard at his home in the village of Qiantun, Hebei province, south of Beijing on December 11, 2012 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
Another Chinese man built a copy of Noah’s Ark, spending all his life savings to protect from the ‘apocalypse.’ More