Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits the southeast Indian ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the South Georgia Island region.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits the west Chile rise.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Philippines – A boy was killed and three others injured in a landslide in Maguindanao, while the heavy rains also left many areas of Pagalungan town, also in Maguindanao, under water. The heavy rains, also submerged the low-lying Maguindanao towns of Sultan Kudarat, Kabuntalan, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Piang, Sultan sa Barongis, Rajah Buayan, Datu Hofer, Mamasapano and Pagalungan affecting more than 23 000 people.

Nepal – Nepal is facing its worst floods and landslides in a decade with at least 256 people killed and 255 remaining missing in floods and landslides over the past two months since the monsoon season began in June. According to the Home Ministry, 151,073 people were directly affected and 15,201 families displaced in the flooding disasters.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Bardarbunga (Iceland): A new eruptive phase has started at the same fissure that had been briefly active Friday morning. The new eruption seems to be bigger than the previous one and located slightly north of the Friday fissure vent. The active fissure was estimated to be 1.5 km long and is located approx. 9 km north of the Dyngjujökull glacier in the Holuhraun lava plain. At the same time, intense seismic activity continues. More than 200 earthquakes have been detected since midnight, both under the active intrusion under and north of the rim of the glacier NE of the volcano as well as under the caldera of Bárdarbunga itself. The stringest were 7 quakes with magnitudes between 3.0 and 3.8. According to IMO, “the new eruption started in Holuhraun shortly after 04 AM, on the same volcanic fissure, which erupted earlier this week. The fissure is estimated to be 1,5 km long. “…Fewer earthquakes seem to follow the event than in the previous eruption, but more lava is being extruded. At 07 AM the lava flow was around 1 km wide and 3 km long towards northeast. The thickness was estimated a few meters, the flow about 1000 m3 pr second. Approximately 500 earthquakes were detected in the area and smaller than before. The strongest earthquake, M3.8 was in the Bárðarbunga caldera. Poor weather conditions prevail in the area, which makes detection of smaller earthquakes difficult.

Disease

South Sudan Disease

South Sudan’s cholera crisis is waning but humanitarian workers are now battling increased cases of malaria and the parasitic disease kala azar, with children most affected.

Conflict between the government and rebels has displaced 1.7 million people, or one in seven of the population, since December, with famine on the horizon.

While a cholera outbreak appears to be under control, other diseases are plaguing South Sudan’s hungry, displaced people.

The latest emergency operations are focusing on malaria and kala azar, a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of a sandfly which is usually fatal without treatment. MSF treated about 200 people for kala azar in Upper Nile State, one of the areas worst hit by fighting, in July.

With the onset of the rains producing stagnant water for mosquitoes, there has also been a “spike” in malaria, MSF said.

MSF treated almost 700 malaria cases in Pamat and Aweil, the capital of northern Bahr el Ghazal State in July, mostly pregnant women and children. There are tens of thousands of displaced people in the area, which is to the west of the main oil-rich conflict zone.

The appalling conditions in which the 1.1 million internally displaced live increases their vulnerability.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California and Oregon

Two wildfires sparked by lightning nearly three weeks ago were still growing on Saturday while threatening as many as 250 homes in far Northern California.

Low humidity and warm weather helped the fires burning in the Klamath National Forest one mile east of the gold mining and logging town of Happy Camp continue its sweep through steep terrain packed with trees desiccated by the state’s extreme drought, Forest Service spokesman Marc Peebles said.

The two fires are the largest among about 20 that broke out in the forest when a thunderstorm moved through the area on Aug. 11. Originally located a few miles apart, they had merged by Saturday morning and together charred more than 90 square miles, about 21 square miles more than a day earlier.

Nearly 2,000 firefighters and 11 helicopters are assigned to the Happy Camp Complex blazes. As of Saturday, they remained just 15 percent contained.

Wildfires are still lighting up parts of Oregon.

The evacuation level has been lowered for areas affected by the Deception Creek Fire, the Willamette National Forest Service announced on Saturday afternoon.

The Deception Creek Mobile Home Park, Middle Fork Ranger Station and homes along La Duke Road are now under evacuation level 1. Area residents are advised to prepare for a potential evacuation but that there’s no immediate threat.

The fire is the largest in the Deception Complex — at 1,916 acres, it makes up the majority of the 2,196–acre affected area. The Oakridge airport is closed to civilian air traffic. It’s currently being used as a helicopter base for fire-fighting crews.

The fire is currently 55 percent contained. It was sparked by lightning in the area in mid-July.

Other fires throughout the state:

The 790 Fire northeast of Medford has charred 2,260 acres. The perimeter is 5 percent contained and the Pacific Crest Trail is still closed from its southern boundary at Crater Lake National Park down to Highway 140. The Forest Service estimates that it was started at approximately 2 p.m. on July 31. The

A fire sparked on Aug. 29 has nearly reached 3,000 acres in size just south of Monument. There’s no cause yet announced for the Lost Hubcap Fire, which burned between 1,200 and 1,500 acres soon after it was reported.

The South Fork Complex Fire is still approximately 96 percent contained. The expected containment date for the 66,179-acre fire is Sept. 1. The Murderer’s and Deer creek recreational facilities are closed as of 4:19 p.m. on Saturday.

The Bald Sisters Fire is also still burning east of Prairie City, which sits west of Baker City. the 1,238-acre blaze has the Beulah Unit bowhunting territory closed for the time being. The fire was sparked by lightning on Aug. 2

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits Iceland.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 Earthquake hits Iceland.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Northwest Territories, Canada.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Bangladesh – The flood situation in Munshiganj has worsened amid continuing rain and rising river levels. The Padma is eroding its bank at an alarming rate. According to the Water Development Board records at 9am Friday, Padma River was flowing at 20cm above the danger mark at the Bhaggyakul Point while new areas in the district were flooded in the last 24 hours.

Washington, USA – Following the severe wildfires last month, torrential rains have brought flash floods and mudslides which damaged a number of homes and road infrastructure.

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Wildlife

Norway Kills More Whales This Season Than Since 1993

Favorable weather during spring and most of this summer has allowed Norway’s commercial whaling ships to slaughter more of the marine mammals than they have since the country resumed its whale hunt during 1993, in violation of a worldwide moratorium.

While Japan kills whales under the guise of research, Norway and Iceland are the only two nations that conduct commercial hunts.

At least 729 whales have been harpooned by Norwegian ships so far this summer, up from the 590 rorqual whales slaughtered last year.

Greenpeace says Norway’s hunt will eventually end as demand for whale meat continues to wane.

The delicacy has already become less popular in Norway as well as in Japan, where storehouses are flooded with surplus meat from the country’s “research” whaling.

“The weather this summer has been very good, which favored significant whale meat demand for grilling in northern Norway, but also made hunting easier thanks to clear skies and calm waters,” said Truls Gulowsen, the head of Greenpeace in Norway.

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Global Warming

Global warming is about to turn Sweden’s highest mountain into its second highest

The snow-capped southern peak of Lapland’s Kebnekaise, in the Scandinavian Mountains, reaches 2,097.5 meters (6,881.6 feet) above sea level, making it the highest point in Sweden. But not for long.

The 40-meter-thick glacier on top of it has been shrinking, on average, a meter a year for the past two decades. In 1901, when the southern peak was first measured, its elevation was 2,121 meters.

By next year, scientists at the University of Stockholm predict, Kebnekaise’s northern peak—which is solid rock—will likely become the tallest spot in the country.

The culprit? Climate change. A recent research paper that tracked 47 years of air-temperature records in Tarfala Valley, below the Kebnekaise glacier, found a significant warming trend. The period from 1995 to 2011 was 1.08°C warmer than the period from 1965 to 1994. Eight of the ten warmest years covered by the study occurred since 1999.

Mean yearly temp c at tarfala station sweden 1965 2011 annual temperature chartbuilder

Disease

Ebola virus disease update – West Africa

Senegal confirms its first case of ebola.

Liberia says it will open up a slum in its capital where thousands of people were barricaded to contain the spread of Ebola. The slum of 50,000 people in Liberia’s capital was sealed off more than a week ago, sparking unrest and leaving many without access to food or safe water.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): The effusive eruption continues with little changes and no signs of ending soon. The effusion rate is fluctuating, but elevated and the vent feeds two flows that travel down the Sciara in two channels.

Bardarbunga (Iceland): The still intense earthquake swarm and deformation continues with little variation. No further eruptive activity has occurred since yesterday’s “blitz” eruption. The intrusion has not changed position and is focused on a 15 km long stretch both under and outside the Dyngjujökull glacier NE of Bardarbunga. Earthquake activity also continues under the volcano’s caldera with the strongest today so far being a magnitude 5.4 event this morning.

White Island (New Zealand): A swarm of small earthquakes was detected on Thursday near White Island, New Zealand scientists monitoring the volcano reported. The largest event is magnitude 3.3 and was located within 5km of the island. All of the earthquakes appear to be within 5 km of White Island. The size of the locatable events ranges from magnitude 2.5 to 3.3 and all are shallow (less than 10 km depth).

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical storm Marie is located about 920 mi…1480 km WSW of San Diego, California. Marie is still generating huge swells that will pound the coast of Southern California and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula through Friday.

Hurricane Cristobal strengthens a little while it races toward the North Atlantic located about 435 mi…700 km SSE of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Hurricane Cristobal continues to churn northeastwards over the Atlantic towards Iceland. Cristobal will merge with a frontal zone on Friday and transition to a powerful extratropical storm that will likely bring tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain to Iceland on Sunday night.

NewsBytes:

Philippines – Heavy rain fell over parts of Central Visayas, including Cebu and Bohol provinces on Thursday, causing floods that stranded commuters and slowed traffic.

Bangladesh – Severe flooding in northern Bangladesh has paralyzed 12 districts, leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded. Monsoon floods that have hit the region for the past month have deteriorated over the past 10 days. At least 75,000 people have been directly affected in the town of Bogra alone and at least 50 educational institutions have been shut down due to the flood.

Disease

Ebola virus disease update – West Africa

The total number of probable and confirmed cases in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the four affected countries as reported by the respective Ministries of Health of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone is 3069, with 1552 deaths.

The outbreak continues to accelerate. More than 40% of the total number of cases have occurred within the past 21 days. However, most cases are concentrated in only a few localities.

The overall case fatality rate is 52%. It ranges from 42% in Sierra Leone to 66% in Guinea.

A separate outbreak of Ebola virus disease, which is not related to the outbreak in West Africa, was laboratory-confirmed on 26 August by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

As Ebola Grips Liberia’s Capital, a Quarantine Sows Social Chaos


Screen Shot 2014 08 29 at 12 42 18 PM

Some people are swimming in and out of the Ebola quarantine zone in this seaside capital. One man slips out every day to reach his job at a Western embassy. Another has turned his living room into a tollbooth, charging others to escape through his apartment at the edge of the cordoned area. Countless others have used a different method: bribing their way out with fees that soldiers determine according to a person’s appearance, circumstances and even gender.

Dengue Fever Outbreak in Japan

Three students have contracted dengue fever in Japan, marking the first domestic outbreak of the disease in some 70 years.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118.9 degrees Fahrenheit (48.3 degrees Celsius) at Qaysumah, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 77.1 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60.6 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.