Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Biak region, Indonesia.

5.4 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Biak region, Indonesia.

Environment

Heat Wave in India – Update

More than 1100 people have now died in a major heatwave sweeping India, authorities said Wednesday, as forecasters warned searing temperatures would continue.

Southern India has borne the brunt of the hot, dry conditions and many of the victims are construction workers, elderly or homeless people unable to heed official advice to stay indoors.

Roads have melted in New Delhi, where forecasters said they expected the high temperatures to continue into next week – adding to the misery of thousands living on the capital’s streets with little shelter from the hot sun.

Brahma Prakash Yadav, director of Indian Meteorological Department, said top temperatures in the capital would remain around 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) – the national benchmark for a heatwave.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Alberta, Canada

Around 7,000 people have been evacuated from the path of wildfires in Alberta, Canada.

More than 1,600 firefighters are battling more than 70 wildfires including 55 of which were sparked by lightning.

Nearly 2,000 workers have been evacuated from Cenovus and Canadian Natural Resources Limited oil facilities in the Cold Lake region. Around 4,700 residents of the Wabasca hamlet have been evacuated. Wildfire also forced evacuation of 67 people near Slave Lake.

At least 233,000 barrels per day of oil sands production, 9 percent of Alberta’s total oil sands output, have been suspended because of the fire risk.

Alberta wildfire

Disease

Tanzania Cholera – Update

U.N. aid agencies report better sanitation and clean drinking water is containing a cholera epidemic among Burundian refugees in Tanzania, but there are fears that the deadly disease could spread to the local Tanzanian population.

The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) reports measures to control cholera in western Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika area appear to be working. More than 4,000 cases of cholera have been reported among newly arrived Burundian refugees there, and the disease has killed 30 people.

The epidemic peaked in early May with 915 cases, but has since subsided to around 100 cases per day. UNHCR says this is due to improved hygiene standards, increased supplies of safe drinking water, and close cooperation by Tanzanian health authorities.

More than 64,000 Burundian refugees have fled to Tanzania this month, trying to escape political turmoil and a failed military coup in Burundi. They are living in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions — a perfect breeding ground for cholera.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Wolf (Galápagos Islands, Ecuador): As of yesterday evening, the eruption has decreased a lot in intensity. Lava fountaining at the 1 km fissure vent had essentially stopped. The lava flows, still far from the sea, were only weakly alimentated and advancing slowly.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Invest 90E has dissipated while 91E remains an area of disturbed weather in the eastern Pacific with potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Bulgaria – A state of emergency has been declared following torrential rainfall and floods in the northwestern Bulgarian town of Mezdra. The trains between Mezdra and Ruska Byala were temporarily suspended. The overflowing river Iskar has prompted evacuations in Vodenets.

USA, Mexico – At least 17 people have died in Mexico and the US after extreme weather lashed regions along the border over the weekend and into Monday. A tornado that struck Ciudad Acuña on the Mexican side of the border killed 13 as it destroyed more than 200 homes and flung cars against buildings. In the US at least four people were killed and 12 missing in flash floods. The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, on Monday expanded the emergency disaster zone in the state, adding 24 counties to a list of 13 affected by storms and flooding. Oklahoma was also hit hard.

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Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Update

Between 18 and 23 May, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 4 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death.

Spain and Italy hit by devastating ‘olive ebola’ outbreak

Spanish olive groves are at risk of being wiped out by a strain of “olive ebola” which has ravaged the crop in Italy.

The bacteria Xylella fastidiosa, believed to have originally come from the United States, has torn through southern Italy since it first appeared in late 2013.

Dubbed “olive ebola” by a Blanca Landa, a researcher at the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture, is threatening to wipe out decimate entire groves across southern Spain.

“It is unforgiving. The Italian farmers we met told us they had taken better care of their olive groves than their children and now they are irrevocably damaged. In barely a year it can wipe out an entire plantation.”

It is causing serious concern for Spanish officials as Spain is the biggest olive oil producer in the European Union.

There is no cure for the disease, which causes “olive quick decline syndrome”, and all affected trees must be felled.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Wolf (Galápagos Islands, Ecuador): A large eruption might have started at the largest volcano of the Galapagos Islands – Volcán Wolf on the northern end of the archipelago’s biggest island Isabela.

Starting this morning at 08:04 UTC, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) has issued several alerts of ash plumes reaching up to 35-50,000 ft from the volcano, based on GOES-EAST satellite imagery. The latest report< from 10:38 UTC (about an hour ago), i.e. mentions a high-altitude ash plume moving ENE at 50,000 ft at 30 knots, while a lower portion of the plume is moving south at 45,000 ft altitude. If the observed plume is in fact from an eruption, it should by now be extending more than 150 km distance and soon picked up by other satellite data.

As day breaks on the archipelago, the first images start to emerge and media pick up on the spectacular eruption. From images it seems that a large effusive-explosive eruption is occurring. Tall lava fountains produce an immense ash plume that rises to up to 45,000 ft (14 km) altitude, if the estimations by VAAC Washington are correct. At the same time, several lava flows descend from the vent(s), likely a fissure on the volcano.

The last eruption of Wolf volcano, a 1710 m tall shield volcano, was in 1982. That eruption, too, started with an explosive onset accompanied and followed by effusion of large lava flows from a 1 km long fissure.

Wolf 25may15

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.7 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.7 Earthquake hits the north Pacific Ocean,

5.4 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 Earthquake hits south of Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Sea of Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the central Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern Honshu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Invest 90E and 91E remain areas of disturbed weather in the eastern Pacific with potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Canada – A severe storm has brought hail and flash flooding in Cache Creek, British Columbia early Saturday evening. Flash flooding from the Bonaparte River swept away two mobile homes and several vehicles.

Texas, Oklahoma, USA – Heavy rainfall has triggered flash flooding in parts of Oklahoma city and Texas. Two people have been reported dead with hundreds of homes washed away or severely damaged by floodwaters. Officials in Elk City, Okla., and Wichita Falls, Texas have issued evacuation orders. The Weather Channel has reported major flooding on several major surface streets south of Highway 9 in Norman. Homes have been reported flooded in Anadarko, Brooksville and Cache areas of Oklahoma. The flash floods have forced the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to close at least 15 highways statewide. At least three tornadoes have been reported near Sulphur, Oklahoma. Another tornado has been reported in in Sasakwa. Tornado warnings have been issued for San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Tornadoes confirmed in Austin, Williamson and Harrison Counties and in southwest Houston.

Turkey – A landslide at a dam construction site in northwest Turkey has claimed the lives of two people and injured two others.

Bangladesh – A heavy storm has claimed the lives of at least four people and affected Dinajpur Sadar, Chirirbandar, Phulbarhi and Nababganj Upazilas. The storm damaged electric poles and caused power outages throughout the district.

Environment

Heat Wave in India

More than 430 people are reported to have died in a heat wave sweeping India, with temperatures reaching 48C (118F) in some areas.

Most deaths have taken place in the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, where more than 140 people have died since Saturday.

Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh recorded 48C while temperatures rose to above 44C (111F) in the capital, Delhi.

Authorities have urged people to stay indoors and drink plenty of fluids.

Heat wave conditions have been prevailing in the two worst-affected southern Indian states since mid-April, but most of the deaths have happened over the last week.

The worst-hit state has been Andhra Pradesh where 246 people have died from the high temperatures in the last week, most of them in the last few days.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Updates

On 18 May 2015, the IHR National Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates notified WHO of 1 additional case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

On 20 May 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of the Republic of Korea notified WHO of the first laboratory confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. On 21 May, two additional confirmed cases were reported.

On 21 May 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of Qatar notified WHO of 1 additional case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Between 11 and 13 May, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 12 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 2 deaths.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.4 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

6.1 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.8 Earthquake hits New britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile.

Two 5.0 Earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No further tropical storm development.

NewsBytes:

Philippines – A tornado in Banga town in South Cotabato province in the Philippines has destroyed at least eight houses. The tornado also caused power outage in the area.

China – The death toll in China’s latest round of flooding has risen to at least 57, including two schoolchildren aboard a bus carrying more than twice its authorized passenger load that plunged into a pond, authorities said Saturday. At least 13 other people are missing in floods that have ravaged mountain districts of six provinces and autonomous regions in central and southeastern China. More than a quarter-million people have been moved to temporary shelters, and major damage has been inflicted on buildings and crops. Among the dead were 16 people killed in the collapse of a nine-story building in the city of Guiyang following a landslide.

Nepal – A landslide in Suri VDC-2 in the Dolakha district in Nepal has claimed the life of an elderly man. The April 25 earthquake has weakened the land structure in the area, making it more prone to landslides.

Nepal – Another landslide at Ramche-9, Kafaldada has blocked the Kaligandaki riverblocking the water flow and creating a two kilometre long lake. Local residents have been placed on high alert. Thousands have fled the area.

Nepal – A sandstorm in Kathmandu, Nepal temporarily closed the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). Strong winds gusting with a maximum speed close to 80 km/hr hit Kathmandu valley Saturday evening. One person died in a wind related accident.