Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 Earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.6 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.6 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of northern Peru.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical depression 04w (Maysak), located approximately 768 nm east of Yap, is tracking westward at 10 knots.

NewsBytes:

Macedonia – Rains falling across Macedonia caused new flooding, with rivers overflowing in several parts of the country. In the city of Kavadarci, the Luda Mara river overflowed in the Glisic area and near the village of Marena. In Prilep, the Crna river, which was responsible for much of the earlier flooding, overflowed near the villages of Trojkrsti, Lozani and Topolcani.

Flood

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits Crete.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Rat Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Ecuador.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Andaman Islands off India.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical depression 04w (Maysak), located approximately 161 nm east of Chuuk, is tracking westward at 09 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Chile Update – Devastating floods in Chile have claimed the lives of at least six people and left 19 others missing. The heavy rainfall has affected areas in the regions of Antofagasta, Copiapo and Coquimbo. A health alert has been declared in these zones. The downpours in the usually arid region have been the heaviest in about 80 years. Flash floods in Chile’s Atacama desert, one of the driest regions in the world, have left thousands of people without electricity or water. Chile’s government has declared a state of emergency for the Atacama desert region.

Copiapo chile flood

Environment

Pollution Believed to Be Sickening Fish of the Deep

A groundbreaking study of the health of fish living in the depths of the continental slopes suggests that some species may have developed liver diseases, tumours and other health problems that could be linked to manmade pollution.

The research took place at depths between 2,000 feet and 1 mile in the Bay of Biscay, off the western coast of France, and revealed the first case of a deep-water intersex fish species.

Such conditions, in which the fish displays a blend of male and female reproductive organs, have also been found among fish in far more shallow and polluted waters from Europe to North America.

“In areas ranging from pristine, high mountain lakes of the United States to ocean waters off the coasts of France and Spain, we’ve now found evidence of possible human-caused pollution that’s bad enough to have pathological impacts on fish,” said fish disease expert and report co-author Michael Kent of Oregon State University.

While no clear evidence of a major pollution source was found near the deep-water diseased fish, the species there mature at a relatively old age.

Researchers believe they could have accumulated dangerous amounts of pollution during their lifetimes.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical depression 04w (Four), located approximately 48 nm west of Pohnpei, is tracking west-northwestward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Oklahoma, USA – An extremely dangerous tornado in Tulsa, Oklahoma has claimed the life of one person and injured several others. The death occurred inside a mobile home park near suburban Sand Springs on Wednesday.

Tulsa oklahoma tornado damage

Kazakhstan – Heavy rains and melting snow have caused severe flooding in the Qaraghandy region on the steppe in central Kazakhstan. The Central Asian nation’s Emergency Department said on March 26 that dozens of residents had been evacuated from three five-storied apartment blocks in the town of Qarazhal, where streets, highways and buildings have been damaged. It said dozens of apartment buildings and roads were threatened by flooding in the town of Atasu.

Saudi Arabia – The recent heavy rains that caused floods in various parts of the Kingdom have killed 11 people, left three missing and trapped 456 vehicles, the Directorate General of Civil Defence announced on Thursday. It said four people died in Makkah region, three in Asir, three in Najran and one in Riyadh.

Environment

Planet Heading Toward Acute Water Shortages

The United Nations says the world is on the brink of at least a 40 percent shortfall in water supplies due to climate change and an accelerated use of the precious commodity to feed a surging global population.

A report by the world body says that the demand for water will exceed its rate of replenishment by 40 percent in just the next 15 years.

“The fact is, there is enough water to meet the world’s needs, but not without dramatically changing the way water is used, managed and shared,” the report says.

It points to improvident use of rapidly disappearing groundwater sources, pollution and erratic weather patterns caused by manmade climate change as the major challenges for future water supplies.

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Wildfires

Chilean Wildfires Ravage Rare Species

Huge firestorms raging across parts of drought-stricken southern Chile have “wiped out” hundreds of rare plant species and threatened wildlife as well, according to environmental advocates.

“There have been whole species lost, such as the Araucaria araucana (monkey puzzle tree),” Accion Ecologica chief Luis Mariano Rendon told Agence France-Presse.

“They are trees that take hundreds of years to reach maturity. So this is a practically irreparable loss for current generations.”

Rendon bemoaned the lack of enough aerial firefighting equipment to protect the ecological heritage of Latin America’s most wealthy country, given how much it spends on fighter jets.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit (44.0 degrees Celsius) at Isisford, Queensland, Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 89.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 67.5 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 11 and 22 March 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 15 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 3 deaths.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): Mild activity (small explosions and light ash emissions) continues at the summit crater of the volcano from the Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 18-24 March 2015:

Medvezhia (Kurile Islands, Russia): Satellite images showed a weak thermal anomaly over Kudryavy, a stratovolcano of the Medvezhia volcanic complex, on 18 March.

Sinarka (Shiashkotan Island ): Satellite images showed steam-and-gas emissions from Sinarka on 16 March and a weak thermal anomaly on 21 March.

Chirinkotan (Northern Kuriles): SVERT reported that during 19-21 March a thermal anomaly over Chirinkotan was detected in satellite images. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow on 20 March.

Lewotobi (Flores): The alert level of the volcano was raised after a significant increase in seismic activity was detected recently. from the Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 18-24 March 2015:

Kilauea (Hawai’i): As the June 27th lava flow is no longer active in the vicinity of Pahoa town, HVO downgraded the volcano alert level for Kīlauea from WARNING to WATCH. HVO issued the following report: “The eruption of lava continues at both the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent on Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone and in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the volcano’s summit.

Semisopochnoi (United States, Aleutian Islands): The Alaska volcano observatory (AVO) detected significantly increased earthquake activity under the volcano and warns of a possible eruption: “Earthquake activity that began in January continues, and has increased in intensity over the past few days. In addition, we have detected brief periods of seismic tremor, which can indicate movement of magma or magmatic gases. Thus we are increasing the aviation color code to YELLOW and the volcano alert level to ADVISORY.” (AVO)

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Chile – Flash floods in Chile’s Atacama desert, one of the driest regions in the world, have left thousands of people without electricity or water. Chile’s government has declared a state of emergency for the Atacama desert region after heavy rainfall triggered flooding in the region. 2 deaths have been reported and at least 24 persons are missing.

Atacama desert peru flood

Peru – A state of emergency has been declared in Peruvian town of Chosica as a landslide claimed the lives of at least seven people and destroyed 65 houses. According to Reuters, six people are missing and 25 have been injured in the landslide.

Peru landslide picture

Global Warming

Global Warming Is Slowing Ocean Currents

Climate scientists Michael Mann and Stefan Rahmstorf announced the findings of their new study yesterday, which shows that the rapid melting of the polar ice has slowed down currents in the Atlantic Ocean, particularly since 1970. The scientists say “the slowdown in ocean currents will result in sea level rise in cities like New York and Boston, and temperature changes on both sides of the Atlantic,”.

Mann explains the consequences of the Gulf Stream shutting down and how it would drastically alter the climate in Europe and North America. The last time this happened, about 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, North America and Europe went back into a mini-ice age, Mann says. Not only would North America and Europe experience colder temperatures, but “If those current systems shut down, then suddenly the North Atlantic [fisheries] would no longer be productive,” says Mann.

Mann says a shutdown of the Gulf Stream might happen a lot sooner than the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report predicts. “Our studies suggest we are much closer to that than the current model suggests. A full shutdown … could be decades from now.”