Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.2 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits northern Algeria.

5.1 Earthquake hits western Australia.

5.0 Earthquake hits East Timor.

5.0 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits western Australia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical Storm Bonnie is located about 60 mi…95 km se of Charleston South Carolina and about 115 mi…185 km SSW of Myrtle Beach South Carolina with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…N or 360 degrees at 8 mph…13 km/h.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for east of Edisto Beach to Little River Inlet South Carolina.

Newsbytes:

Lightning Strikes – Eight children and three adults were struck by lightning Saturday in a Paris park after a sudden spring storm sent a bolt crashing down upon a children’s birthday party. Another group of people at a children’s soccer match in western Germany were also hit by lightning Saturday afternoon, leaving three adults seriously injured.

Texas, USA – Torrential rain over the past weeks in Texas and Kansas have left at least four people dead and five others missing. The threat of severe weather has now lessened in Texas but more flooding could happen as rivers and waterways keep rising slowly. Other parts of the US got drenched Friday, including Kansas, and a tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean brought rain and wind to the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.

34B47EEB00000578 3613819 image a 54 1464468640327

Disease

Leishmaniasis in the Middle East

A disfiguring tropical disease that had been contained to Syria has now spread across the Middle East as millions are displaced from the war-torn region.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease spread by bites from infected sand flies.

It can lead to severe scarring, often on the face, and regularly goes undiagnosed and untreated.

The disease had been contained to Syria, particularly to regions under ISIS control such as Raqqa, Deir al-Zour and Hasakah.

The civil war has devastated the country’s medical facilities, seen thousands of health workers killed and hospitals destroyed.

Along with the chronic lack of water and bombed out buildings, this created a ripe breeding ground for the sand flies and allowed the disease to thrive.

It had previously been claimed by the Kurdish Red Crescent that the spread of the disease had also been caused by ISIS dumping rotting corpses on the streets.

As more than four million Syrians have fled the region, the disease has now moved into its neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Cholera in Kenya – Update

The death toll from cholera in Mandera has risen to 13 after two more people died yesterday.

89 patients are still admitted at the county’s referral hospital.

“There is a massive outbreak of the disease in the town. We are receiving patients in the final stages of the disease making it difficult to manage them.” according to Medecins sans Frontieres.

The outbreak was confirmed on April 29th after severe cases of diarrhoea were reported in Mandera town.

At the same time, an outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease, Chikungunya is placing further pressure on already stretched health services in the county. Over 500 patients have been admitted in public hospitals.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical Depression Two is located about 265 mi…430 km SE of Charleston South Carolina and about 280 mi…455 km SSE of Cape Fear North Carolina with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…NW or 315 degrees at 14 mph…22 km/h.

A tropical storm warning is in effect of South Carolina from the Savannah River to Little River Inlet.

Gl sst mm

Wildfires

Wildfires – Arizona, USA

The 2,400-acre Juniper Fire near Young is being managed to actually benefit the ecosystem. Other lightning-caused fires being monitored in the region include the 2,170-acre Cowboy Fire eight miles south of Flagstaff just off Interstate 17, the 1,200-acre Mormon Fire six miles east of Munds Park and the 1,000-acre Pivot Fire eight miles northeast of Strawberry.

Wildfires – Alberta Canada – Update

Fire conditions are high to extreme in northeastern Alberta.

The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 576,781 hectares in Alberta and about 3,200 hectares in Saskatchewan.

As of 7 a.m., there were 20 active wildfires in Alberta, with one out of control.

The fire in the Peace River area is now under control.

There are 2,309 firefighters, 104 helicopters, 261 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 air tankers currently battling the fires across Alberta.

Wildfire crews from across the world are currently supporting – or en route to support – the efforts in Alberta, including:

298 firefighters from South Africa

198 firefighters from the United States

111 firefighters from British Columbia

85 firefighters from Ontario

30 firefighters from Northwest Territories

28 firefighters from Parks Canada

Seven firefighters from New Brunswick

Eight firefighters from Saskatchewan

Two firefighters from Manitoba

Three firefighters from Newfoundland/Prince Edward Island

Three firefighters from Nova Scotia

With higher humidity in the forecast and the potential for showers, it is expected that firefighting conditions will improve through the weekend.

Drought

Drought in Central America

Around 2.8 million people in three Central American countries need food aid after two consecutive years of severe drought decimated crops and exacerbated hunger among the poor, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

Prolonged dry spells since mid-2014, linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon, have battered subsistence farmers in Central America’s “dry corridor” running through Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Poor rainfall has left parched, cracked soil, fields of withered maize and bean crops, and empty water wells in these areas.

Some 3.5 million people are struggling to feed themselves in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, and of that number 2.8 million rely on food aid to survive, the FAO said.

Drought in Central India

Some 400 farmers have killed themselves so far this year in the parched Marathwada region, which is home to about 19 million people. It’s located in the otherwise prosperous Maharashtra state, a central Indian region devastated by two successive failed monsoons and a crippling drought.

The dry wells, shrivelled stubble of sugarcane fields and withered fruit trees across the region reflect the suffering of hundreds of millions of Indians across at least a dozen other states that are under the grips of a severe drought.

Monsoon showers, which normally run from June to September, are crucial in a country where 60 percent of the population works in agriculture and less than half the farmland is irrigated.

For the average farmer, who lives and earns from season to season, a poor monsoon means food must be carefully rationed because he has little money to spend.

The situation was so dire in that in April the Maharashtra state government began sending millions of litres (hundreds of thousands of gallons) of water to Marathwada’s worst-hit Latur district on a “water train.”

Small farmers have been pushed into poverty. Poor farm labourers, hired by middlemen to work on large farms, have been forced to work for little or no money. Cattle farmers forced to bring their herds close to water supplies live in lean-tos and cook over open fires.

In every village in the region there are several locked and abandoned homes. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to abandon their villages and head to slums in bigger cities to earn a living.

Disease

Lassa Fever – Nigeria

Between August 2015 and 17 May 2016, WHO has been notified of 273 cases of Lassa fever, including 149 deaths in Nigeria. Of these, 165 cases and 89 deaths have been confirmed through laboratory testing (CFR: 53.9%). The cases were reported from 23 states in Nigeria.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.4 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.8 Earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits central Peru.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Timor Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Invest 91L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

Newsbytes:

Philippines – The start of the rainy season was marked by floods in several streets in the cities of Mandaue and Cebu after a downpour that started at 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Authorities warned of more flooding in July when the La Niña phenomenon, characterized by heavy rains, starts to make its full impact felt.

Texas, USA – Severe weather rolled through the Brazos Valley on Thursday leaving a path of destruction across several counties. A tornado touched down in Brazos County during the noon hour and caused significant damage to homes in the Wheeler Ridge and Miramont neighbourhoods near Highway 6 and FM 1179. No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported.

Wildlife

Tentacle Dominance

Human activities that have caused ocean temperatures to rise and more fish from the sea to wind up on dinner tables have also given octopuses and similar creatures a tentacle up in the oceanic food chain.

Researchers from Australia’s University of Adelaide found that the new maritime realm has benefited cephalopods because the disappearing fish result in reduced numbers of predators and competitors for food.

Warmer oceans may also be accelerating the life cycles of the tentacled creatures, making it easier for them to adapt to a changing environment, as long as waters don’t warm beyond their tolerance.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 123.0 degrees Fahrenheit (50.6 degrees Celsius) in Jocobabad, Pakistan.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus -99.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 72.7 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

Bird Flu Outbreak in Cameroon

A bird flu outbreak has killed 15,000 fowls at a neighbourhood in Yaounde, capital of Cameroon.

The deaths, linked to the Avian Influenza, were confirmed by Cameroon’s national veterinary laboratory. The 15,000 dead fowls represent 50 per cent of birds in the facility, one of the largest in the country.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Etna (Sicily, Italy): The violent strombolian activity from the Voragine summit crater continued all though Wednesday (25 May) and the following night, but gradually decreased and ceased yesterday. At the moment, no significant eruptive activity is going on. To see images and videos of this recent activity, you could visit the facebook page of the mountain guides from Etna Nord. At the moment, tremor is still elevated and seems to be increasing slowly again – maybe some new pulse of activity is in the making?

Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): The first eruption of the volcano in 2016 seems to have ended already – or at least paused – after little more than 24 hours. The volcano observatory reported that eruption tremor and other signs of ongoing activity stopped at 11:40 this morning. During brief windows of clear weather, it was possible to observe the eruption yesterday. A curtain of lava fountains, up to approx. 50 m high, was erupting a branching lava flow from a fissure vent in a flat area 1850 m above sea level about 1 km-1.5 km southeast of Château Fort crater, and built up an elongated cinder cone above the vents. Such short eruptions (few days only) are not unusual for Piton de la Fournaise volcano. Often, they have been occurring in relatively rapid succession (few weeks intervals), or preceding larger and long-lasting ones.