Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

Yellowstone Swarm

A swarm of more than 200 earthquakes struck Yellowstone National Park over the past two weeks. The 200 temblors began on Feb. 8 and ramped up on Feb. 15 in an area about 8 miles (13 kilometers) northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In reality, many more tiny quakes hit the region but were simply too small for seismometers to pick them up, according to the USGS.

These swarms occur when stress levels shift along smaller faults in an earthquake region, according to the USGS. Swarms typically have two ultimate causes: shifting at major tectonic plates; or movements of water, gas or magma under the surface.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

New Zealand – New Zealand has begun cleaning up after being hit by the remnants of Cyclone Gita, which damaged buildings and left thousands without power. Four regions across the country remain in a state of emergency, though the status has been lifted for the city of Christchurch. Up to 1,000 people are still stranded in Golden Bay on the South Island due to flooding. Authorities say they may send ferries to pick them up. Numerous roads still remain closed across the country as repair efforts begin.

Mozambique – Humanitarian organisations are making frantic efforts to assist thousands of Mozambicans recently displaced by floods that killed at least 14 people. The northern provinces were hit by a tropical depression which brought heavy rains. A total of 80 000 people were affected in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa. In Nampula, following a government request, the World Food Programme (WFP) is providing food support to 37 000 people.

Wisconsin, USA – Several busy roads are closed Tuesday due to flooding across Rock County, Wisconsin. People in areas with flooding are encouraged to drive carefully and slowly on Wednesday, and until the icy roads are cleared up. The cold weather may freeze the flooded areas creating dangerous conditions.

Disease

Saudi Arabia – MERS

The World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO-EMRO) issued their Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) situation update for January 2018, which reveals 25 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS, including 8 associated deaths in the Kingdom.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits near the south coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits the central mid-Atlantic Ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits offshore Antofagasta, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 09p (Gita), located approximately 501 nm northwest of Wellington, New Zealand, is tracking southwestward at 28 knots.

Newsbytes:

Hawaii – Flash flood watches have been issued for the entire state as Hawaii continues to be drenched by a Pacific storm front. Heavy rainfall – in some cases record-setting for the date – fell across much of the state Saturday. Vehicles were reportedly stranded in two to three feet of water with a current moving at about 17 mph.

Global Warming

Carbon Dioxide Turns Oceans Acidic

Sea creatures are literally being eaten away and ‘dissolved’ by pollution, scientists have discovered.

It’s feared that high levels of carbon dioxide in the water could cause irreparable damage to marine ecosystems after tests found acute levels of the gas cause starfish to dissolve.

A team of marine scientists conducted a four-day experiment at Loch Sween on Scotland’s west coast to measure the response to short-term carbon dioxide exposure.

Previously, tests had focused on the effect high levels of the gas had on individual plants or animals, leaving a gap in knowledge about how whole marine ecosystems respond to sudden influxes of carbon dioxide.

When high levels of carbon dioxide enters the oceans it causes them to become more acidic.

The experiment revealed acute exposure led to net dissolution, meaning calcified organisms such as the coralline algae and starfish were dissolving.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

A wind-driven wildfire in rural central California threatened hundreds of buildings Monday, including a historic railroad station, but officials said they made some gains after the flames exploded in size.

The blaze scorched 3½ square miles of chaparral bush and shrub oak in the small town of Bishop on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada that is popular for hiking, fishing, climbing and hunting.

Officials ended most evacuations that were ordered near the town but warned that strong winds were expected in the area and urged residents to remain vigilant.

Disease

Cholera – Mozambique

On 27 October 2017, the Ministry of Health in Mozambique notified WHO of an outbreak of cholera. From 14 August 2017 through 11 February 2018, 1799 cases and one death (case fatality rate = 0.06%) of cholera were reported from the two provinces; Nampula (1580 cases) and Cabo Delgado (219 cases). Underreporting of the number of cases and deaths is likely.

Fiji: Dengue Fever

Fiji health officials have declared a dengue fever outbreak in the subdivisions of Nadi and Ba in the Western Division, according to local media reports. A total of 312 confirmed cases have been recorded and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services says the confirmed cases continue to rise.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.5 earthquake hits Iceland.

5.0 earthquake hit Java, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Panama.

5.0 earthquake hit North Island, New Zealand.

5.0 earthquake hits south-west of Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Shikoku, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 09p (Gita), located approximately 331 nm southwest of Kingston Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 18 knots.

Newsbytes:

Turkey – Two soldiers were saved and two were killed after an armored military personnel vehicle got caught in a flooded river in the Akçakale district of the southeastern Turkish province of Şanlıurfa. The incident took place amid strong winds in the province, which is on the border with Syria.

Wildlife

African penguins succumb to avian flu in the Cape

African penguins have succumbed to the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu along the coastline of the Western Cape.

The department of agriculture confirmed on Monday that seven cases from six different sites across the province had tested positive in penguins. Of the seven cases‚ one has survived.

Infected birds are being treated‚ as African penguins are an endangered species. Treatment protocols are similar to those for flu in humans. They include nutrition‚ hydration‚ vitamins and administration of anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics for secondary infections‚ if necessary.

Unnamed

Disease

Malawi – Cholera

Cholera cases in Malawi have tripled and four more people have died, the Ministry of Health said on Monday, a month after the spread of the disease from Zambia was thought to have been contained.

Ministry of Health spokesman Joshua Malango said the number of cases had increased to 527 from 157 recorded in January, and that deaths had doubled from four to eight. He said new cases continued to emerge in Central and Northern Malawi districts, including the administrative capital, Lilongwe where 10 new cases were recorded at the weekend.

Australia – acute post streptococcal glomerulonephritis

WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Kimberley public health staff are advising Kimberley communities that there is currently an outbreak of Acute Post Streptococcal Glomerulonephritis (APSGN) in the Kimberley region primarily affecting Aboriginal children aged between two and 13 years. Younger children, adolescents and adults can also be affected.

APSGN is a kidney disease that can develop after certain skin and throat infections. You cannot give APSGN to other people, however, the bacteria that cause the skin infections and sore throats can be passed from person to person.

Michigan, USA – hepatitis A

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported last week they continue to see an elevated number of hepatitis A cases in the state.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2016 through February 14, 751 cases, including 609 hospitalizations have been reported. This includes 25 fatalities.

Hong Kong – Parrot fever

Hong Kong health officials have reported investigating two linked cases of psittacosis, or parrot fever, a bird-borne disease. Preliminary investigation revealed that the pair had no recent travel history. However, they reported having visited the Bird Garden in Yuen Po Street, Mong Kok, twice last month and had purchased a parrot from a bird shop there.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.5 earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.1 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.0 earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 09p (Gita), located approximately 371 nm south-southwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking west-southwestward at 09 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 10s (Kelvin), located approximately 85 nm south-southwest of Broome, Australia, is tracking eastward at 06 knots. This is the final warning for this system.

Newsbytes:

Cyprus – Overnight torrential rain in Limassol caused thousands of euros in damage, as dwellings flooded and motorists were stranded on deluged roads and parking lots along the coast. Dozens of crews worked to restore the damage caused by the floods, which affected almost all areas of Limassol with emergency services pumping water out of flooded homes and buildings.

Zambia – Kabwe has been hit by floods following heavy rains. Numerous houses in Luangwa Extension and New Kawama in Kabwe, Central province, have been flooded following heavy rains.

Maldives – The streets of Rathafandhoo island in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll have been severely flooded due to the ongoing heavy rain in the southern atolls.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.3 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

A powerful earthquake that rattled south and central Mexico caused little apparent destruction but rekindled fears in a population that still sees daily reminders of deadly earthquakes five months ago which killed more than 300 people.

5.8 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.1 earthquake hit North of Severnaya Zemlya, Russia.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Africa.

5.0 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.