Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the Mayotte region.

5.2 earthquake hits near the East Coast of Kamchatka.

5.2 earthquake hits Guerrero, Mexico.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Sri Lanka – Three people were killed and more than 8,000 affected as heavy rains and strong winds lashed out across Sri Lanka. Flood warnings have been issued to several areas of Sri Lanka as a result of the heavy downpour.

Environment

Biodiversity Under Pressure

In what’s being called a “stunning reality check,” a new study published in the journal Science reveals that despite global efforts to safeguard biodiversity by establishing nature reserves, nearly a third of the world’s “protected land is under intense human pressure.”

While more than 90 percent of protected land worldwide has been degraded to some degree due to human activity, 32.8 percent—more than 2.3 million square miles—has been significantly impacted by human activity, according to the report.

“What we found was massive amounts of high-level human infrastructure, for example mining activity, industrial logging activity, industrial agriculture, townships, roads, and energy,” lead author James Watson, a conservation scientist at the University of Queensland in Australia, told the Guardian.

“These are the places that nations have said they are setting aside for nature’s needs not human needs,” he added. “So for us to find such a significant amount of human infrastructure in places governments have set aside for safeguarding biodiversity is staggering.”

Although the damage was most common in densely populated parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe, researchers emphasized that it is a global issue. Their findings bolster concerns generated from other recent reports that have shown that human activity—most notably, anthropogenic climate change—is causing “a major biodiversity crisis.”

One example of a protected area that has been degraded by human activity is Barrow Island in Western Australia.

Barrowisland 3

Global Warming

German Cities to Ban Diesel Cars

German cities are entitled to ban older diesel vehicles from streets with immediate effect to bring air pollution levels in line with European Union rules, Germany’s top administrative court confirmed on Friday.

Germany opened the door to diesel bans in February when it allowed environmental groups to sue cities which fail to enforce Europe’s clean air rules, despite fierce lobbying to oppose bans from carmakers.

Disease

Newcastle Disease – USA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has detected virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Los Angeles County. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease, previously referred to as exotic Newcastle disease, in the U.S. since 2003.

Anthrax – Uganda

Outbreaks of human and animal anthrax have been reported in the Arua, Kween and Kiruhura districts of Uganda. Goats, sheep and cattle have been affected by the outbreaks. The UN Children’s Fund says ten animal and twelve human cases had been reported.

Ebola – DRC – Update

Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry says there is one new death from Ebola, bringing to 26 the number of deaths from the deadly outbreak in Equateur province in the country’s northwest.

Four new cases have been confirmed as Ebola, said the health ministry in a statement released early on Sunday. A total of 46 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been reported in the current outbreak, including 21 confirmed cases of Ebola, 21 probable and four suspected.

Volcanos

Hawaiian lava eruptions continue

Hawaii residents coping with Kilauea’s volcanic eruption faced a potentially deadly new hazard on Sunday as authorities warned that lava flows reaching the Pacific Ocean could produce noxious clouds of acid fumes, steam and tiny, glass-like particles.

The civil defense notices cautioned motorists, boaters and beachgoers to beware of caustic plumes of “laze” formed from two streams of hot lava pouring into the sea after cutting across Highway 137 on the south coast of Hawaii’s Big Island late on Saturday and early Sunday.

The bulletins also warned that reports of toxic sulfur dioxide gas being vented from various points around the volcano had tripled, urging residents to “take action necessary to limit further exposure.”

Laze – a term combining the words “lava” and haze” – is a mix of hydrochloric acid fumes, steam and fine volcanic glass specks created when erupting lava, which can reach 2 000 degrees Fahrenheit (1 093 degrees Celsius), reacts with sea water, Hawaii County Civil Defense said in a statement.

The lava also started a number of wildfires, which were contained by local authorities.

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Lava on road 1349912

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits the Mayotte region.

5.0 earthquake hits new Britain, Papua and New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits the island of Hawaii, Hawaii.

5.0 earthquake hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits southern Sumatra Indonesia.

Earthquake Swarm – El Salvador

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources reported a seismic swarm in the area located between the municipalities of Chirilagua in San Miguel Department, and in Intipucá and El Carmen department in La Union Department since 5 May 2018. Some 733 seismic events occurred between 5 and 9 May, as reported by the National Seismic Network. The epicentre area was located between the municipalities mentioned above. Ninety-five of these earthquakes, whose magnitude range between 2.4 and 5.6, were felt by the population. The strongest of these earthquakes (magnitude 5.6 and intensity VII) was recorded on 6 May at 1:02 p.m. in Chirilagua and Intipucá. It caused severe damage to homes made of mud, adobe, or wattle and daub.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 01a (Sagar), located approximately 88 nm south-southeast of Djibouti City, Djibouti, is tracking southwestward at 07 knots. This is the final warning for this system.

The tropical cyclone formed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and northern Somalia on 16 May 2018. The cyclone system caused heavy rains along the coast of Puntland on 17 May. Flash flooding was reported in the Bari region, which were not limited to seasonal riverbeds. The road linking Bossaso and points south has reportedly been affected. There are also reports of some fishing boats having been washed away by waves off the coast of Sanaag region, which along with Sool are disputed between Somaliland and Puntland. The two authorities have been engaged in an armed standoff in Sool that had displaced almost 10,000 people prior to the storms arrival, further complicating an already complex humanitarian picture. By 18 May, the cyclone had gained strength, reaching tropical storm-wind levels and assigned the name Tropical Cyclone Sagar. Heavy rains are projected for the escarpment and plateau of Somaliland. Tropical Storm SAGAR will likely have transformed into a Tropical Depression when it reaches Ethiopia – expected for Sunday early afternoon. Wind speeds will reach up to 56 km/h. SAGAR is expected to cause increased rainfall when it hits.

NewsBytes:

New Orleans, USA – Heavy rainstorms pounded the metropolitan area late Friday afternoon, thrashing tents at Bayou Boogaloo and flooding streets in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. The storm pelted parts of Metairie and Lakeview with hail, cut power to more than 11,000 residents and snarled traffic in Mid-City, where at least a couple of cars drove into a large hole where the standing water had obscured road construction.

Kenya – The floods in Kenya continue as more than 500 families have been displaced from their homes after River Sondu Miriu broke its banks. There are fears of disease outbreaks since most pit latrines too have been washed away. Several houses, farms were destroyed following the flash floods as a result of the heavy rains upstream.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits south of Panama.

5.3 earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits south of Panama.

5.2 earthquake hits near the north coast of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits Valparaiso, Chile.

5.1 earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 01a (Sagar), located approximately 85 nm southeast of Djibouti City, Djibouti, is tracking west-southwestward at 05 knots.

The northern part of Sagar brought heavy rain and some minor flooding to coastal towns in Yemen’s Hadramawt and Mahra provinces and Socotra Island.

NewsBytes:

South Carolina, USA – The National Weather Service says 2.75 inches of rain fell in Orangeburg in two hours. A flash flood warning was issued for the area during that time. 34 children had to be rescued from an Orangeburg daycare Friday after the building was overcoming by flash flood waters.

Virginia, USA – Downpours punctuating the workweek caused multiple water rescues and school closures Friday as the threat of flash flooding loomed over a weekend packed with scheduled outdoor events in the Richmond region. Rainfall totals ranged from less than 1 inch for some areas to more than 6 inches in some spots on the northwest side of the metro region. Totals topping 4 inches fell across a zone that extends from Midlothian to Tuckahoe to just north of Ashland, which triggered the flash flooding overnight Thursday.

Global Warming

Warming Waters Push Fish To Cooler Climes

The oceans are getting warmer and fish are noticing. Many that live along U.S. coastlines are moving to cooler water. New research predicts that will continue, with potentially serious consequences for the fishing industry.

As a warming climate is heating up their coastal habitats, fish and other marine animals are shifting their habitats further north quite rapidly.

The study considered 686 marine species ranging from bass and flounder to crab and lobster. It projected how much warmer oceans would get over the next 80 years, using various scenarios for emissions of greenhouse gases and the rate of global warming.

Some would move just a few miles. Others, like the Alaskan snow crab that gained fame on the television show Deadliest Catch, a lot more. They are projected to move up to 900 miles farther north, really dramatic changes for a species that’s very important.

But even a shift of a couple hundred miles can put fish or lobster out of range for small boats with limited fuel and time to get to a new fish habitat. And it’s a serious problem for organizations that manage fish stocks.

Disease

Measles in Europe: Significant outbreaks continue

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported Friday that Romania and France lead EU/EEA countries this year in measles.

The highest number of cases to date in 2018 were in Romania (2,712), France (2,173), Greece (1,948) and Italy (805) respectively. Twenty two deaths have also been reported by these countries in 2018. Additionally, there is an ongoing outbreak in England, UK with 440 confirmed measles cases reported this year.

Cameroon reports human monkeypox infections

On Thursday, Cameroon’s Public Health Minister issued a press statement saying human monkeypox cases have been reported in Njikwa, Momo Division, in the North West Region and Akwaya, Manyu, in the South West Region. The number of cases was not disclosed.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits east of North Island, New Zealand.

5.8 earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.7 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.5 earthquake hits Guam.

5.3 earthquake hit the southern mid-Atlantic Ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits Samoa.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

5.0 earthquake hits the loyalty Islands.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 01a (Sagar), located approximately 89 nm southeast of Aden, Yemen, is tracking west-southwestward at 06 knots.

Screen Shot 2018 05 18 at 2 04 36 PM

El Niño Outlook

 

The recent La Niña ocean cooling across the tropical Pacific may be replaced toward the end of this year by an El Niño warming, which could bring its own set of weather disruptions. The U.S. agency NOAA predicts there is a 50 percent chance El Niño will return by the 2018-19 Northern Hemisphere winter. The last El Niño was linked to crop damage, deadly wildfires and flash floods during 2016.