Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

5.4 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits Colombia.

5.2 earthquake hits Myanmar.

5.1 earthquake hits eastern Turkey.

Turkish officials say dozens were slightly injured after the earthquake in southeastern Turkey. Of those injured, 35 were still receiving treatment. The regional governor said the injuries were caused as people fled their homes in panic.

5.0 earthquake hit the southern East Pacific rise.

Advertisements

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 20s (Fakir), located approximately 70 nm southeast of St Denis, Reunion, is tracking south-southeastward at 21 knots.

NewsBytes:

Ethiopia – Flash Floods – April 2018 – Reported flash flood incidences since the second week of April have left hundreds of thousands of people in need of immediate humanitarian support in Afar (Awsi), Oromia (Arsi, East Shewa, East and West Hararge zones) and Somali (7 zones) regions. Areas affected by recurring floods have been advocating for enhanced flood early warning, mitigation and preparedness mechanisms. In Somali region, more than 27,000 flood-affected households (165,000 persons) need urgent food, water, health services and NFI support. Overflow of Genale and Wabi Shebelle rivers and related tributaries due to recent heavy rains in the Somali region and the highlands of Oromia has affected more than 83 kebeles in 19 woredas (districts) of Afder, Fafan, Liben, Nogob, Siti, Shebele and warder Zones. Several Kebeles are submerged and farmlands are either flooded or washed away at flowering stage. Many people’s houses/shelters and livestock have reportedly been washed away, leaving people displaced and homeless.

Turkey – The heavy rains and flooding that have hit Turkey’s southern province of Hatay since April 20 have made their way to the historic Long Bazaar in Turkey’s south. The rain, which fell for about an hour on the night of April 21, also stopped daily life in Antakya. Traffic was blocked as cars were seen left halfway underwater. While many cars were damaged in construction sites when buildings collapsed, shops and residences were also severely hit by floods.

Wildlife

Climate change leaves birds hungry

Warmer springs due to climate change are leaving chicks in UK woodlands hungry, according to new research.

As springs get warmer earlier, caterpillar numbers spike too soon meaning by the time many birds’ eggs have hatched later in the season, there is not enough food to go around.

The study adds to mounting evidence that the changing climate is playing havoc with the seasons and causing problems for animals and plants whose actions are calibrated to annual rhythms.

“With spring coming earlier due to climate change, leaves and caterpillars emerge earlier and birds need to breed earlier to avoid being mismatched. We found that the earlier the spring, the less able birds are to do this.”

Screen Shot 2018 04 24 at 1 43 02 PM

Global Warming

Worrisome prediction about climate change coming true

Two years ago, former NASA climate scientist James Hansen and a number of colleagues laid out that possibility that gigantic pulses of fresh water from melting glaciers could upend the circulation of the oceans, leading to a world of fast-rising seas and even superstorms.

Hansen’s theory was based on a computer simulation, not hard data from the real world, and met with skepticism from a number of other climate scientists. But now, a new oceanographic study appears to have confirmed one aspect of this picture, in its early stages, at least.

The new research, based on ocean measurements off the coast of East Antarctica, shows that melting Antarctic glaciers are indeed freshening the ocean around them.

And this, in turn, is blocking a process in which cold and salty ocean water sinks below the sea surface in winter, forming ‘‘the densest water on the Earth,’’ in the words of study lead author Alessandro Silvano, a researcher with the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

NASA scientists flying over the Arctic earlier this month spotted strange shapes out the window, but they aren’t sure what caused them.

Three holes dot the sea ice, seen from the window of a NASA aircraft in the photo above, taken April 14. They’re clustered together, each surrounded by one or two radiating layers of ridged, textured ice, almost as if a batch of archery targets had melted and gone lopsided. All around them are bumpy formations that mean the ice is thin and relatively new.

It’s possible, NASA wrote, that some large mammal took advantage of that thin ice to poke holes through it to breathe.Ring sealsand harp seals are both known to poke holes through the ice that look somewhat similar to this.

Screen Shot 2018 04 24 at 1 15 56 PM

Disease

Cholera – Congo – Update

Since mid-March, the Congo Ministry of Health reported a suspected cholera outbreak in Likouala Department, located in the northern part of the country. In a related event, health authorities in Plateau Department reported increasing cases of acute watery diarrhea in Mpouya District in the central part of Congo. As of 19 April 2018, a total of 46 suspected cholera cases, including two deaths (case fatality rate 4.4%) were reported from two departments: Plateaux (34 cases and one death) and Likouala (12 cases and one death).

Cholera – Zimbabwe – Update

A cholera outbreak has been reported in the suburbs of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. Since the beginning of the outbreak on 23 March 2018, a total of 36 suspected/ confirmed cases with three deaths (case fatality rate 8.3%) have been reported, as of 20 April 2018.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.4 earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.3 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.1 earthquake hits Myanmar.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Somalia – April Floods Update – In Galgadud region, heavy rains resulted in flash floods that destroyed IDPs shelters in settlements in low lying land in Abudwaq town. Two children reportedly died due to flash flooding in Cadaado town. An estimated 9,300 displaced people in Danwadaag, Kulmiye and Wadajir settlements have been affected and an unknown number has moved to Cadaado town until flooding recedes. Some of the latrines built by humanitarian partners were also destroyed. In Jubaland, an estimated 28,200 people have been displaced by flash flooding. This includes 8,000 in Saakow; 6,000 in Bu’ale; 6,000 in Luuq; 6,000 in Afmadow; 1,200 in Ceel Waaq villages and some 7,000 people in Jilib and Jamaame riverine areas who have been temporarily displaced to nearby highland areas. One person is reported to have died as a result of flash floods in Ceel Waaq and another two in Ceel Cadde. In Afmadow, 1,000 latrines have been destroyed, raising fears of water-borne diseases.

Singapore – Heavy rain caused flash floods in several areas in Singapore on Monday afternoon, effectively closing several roads for some hours. All floods have since subsided.

Kenya – At least 15 people, including a mother and her five-year-old child, have been killed by floods and another 2,000 have been displaced by another wave of heavy rains in several parts of the country. The downpours have also washed away sections of roads and destroyed property across the 47 counties, leading to heavy losses and forcing motorists to seek alternative routes. Seven people died on Sunday morning after a car they were travelling in was swept by floods at Karati area in Kinangop constituency, Nakuru County. The flash floods occurred after rivers Kuja and Migori burst their banks.

Disease

Dengue epidemic on Reunion Island

Officials with Public Health France reported nearly 400 confirmed or probable dengue cases in the past week, bringing the outbreak total to 1388 indigenous cases reported since 1st January 2018.

Hepatitis A – Kentucky, USA

Health officials say three people have died in Kentucky from a hepatitis A outbreak. The Kentucky State Department of Health says it has seen more than 300 cases of hepatitis A in more than six counties. Officials have not released which six counties have been affected. Health officials say more than 200 people have been hospitalized from the outbreak.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.2 earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits Kepulauan Talaud, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Western Indian Antarctic Ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits the Bonin Islands, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Finland – The water level of the Kyrö river in Ostrobothnia rose past flood limits on Saturday afternoon. Flood hatches have been opened and excess water is being siphoned toward nearby embankments to lower the levels. Finnish national road 3 was closed in Jalasjärvi when the flood waters reached the highway asphalt.

Kauai, Hawaii – More rain has fallen on the island, adding to the flooding caused by last weekend’s deluge, but weather officials have downgraded the flash flood alerts. Cleanup crews have been working to clear landslides and flood damage.

Environment

Plastic Eaters

Mutant plastic-dissolving enzymes could help curb the increasing global plastic pollution that threatens marine life and even the humans who eat it.

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth were studying a bacterium discovered at a Japanese dump in 2016 that had naturally evolved to eat plastic.

While using ultra-intense beams of X-rays to examine the structure of the key enzyme produced by the bacterium, they accidentally improved the enzyme’s ability to break down the kind of plastic used to make beverage bottles.

Global Warming

Antarctic Melt

Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf now melts in the dead of winter when the average temperature on the adjacent Antarctic peninsula is only 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s been known for a while that Antarctic ice shelves are thinning and retreating, mainly because warmer currents below are melting them. But new remote sensors have found that downslope winds can also cause them to thin.

These “foehn winds” blowing off Antarctica’s mountains can cause air temperatures to rise several degrees, sometimes to above freezing. The phenomenon had earlier been observed in summer, but it’s now happening in the depth of winter.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Screen Shot 2018 04 21 at 11 55 50 AM

Kauai, Hawaii – Hundreds of people have been evacuated from homes and hiking trails as historic levels of rain pummeled the Hawaiian island of Kauai last weekend, causing multiple landslides and flooding.The rains have forced families and travelers to leave their flooded properties. Landslides triggered by the rain have wiped out homes and shut down the main highway leading to the island’s north shore, stranding residents who live in Kauai’s most remote neighborhoods, but no injuries have been reported. After last weekend’s rains, a significant number of homes “were severely damaged and there were several homes that were completely ripped from their foundation,” Blane said, adding that the county does not have an official tally on how many homes were damaged. At least 350 people have had to evacuate the island’s north shore, while flooding in other parts of the island has displaced families from about 20 homes. Even more heavy rain is expected across Hawaii as emergency officials and Kauai residents work on recovery efforts in their communities.

Namibia – Five schools in the Zambezi Region have temporarily closed due to heavy floods that have swamped schools in the low-lying areas following heavy rains.