Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits offshore Tarapaca, Chile.

5.4 Earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

5.3 Earthquake hits central Peru.

5.1 Earthquake hits Pakistan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Atacama, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Xinjiang, China.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical Storm Halola is located about 110 nm east-northeast of Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan and is tracking north-northwestward at 11 knots.

Tropical Depression 12w (twelve), located approximately 383 nm northeast of Manila, Philippines, is tracking north-northeastward at 05 knots.

Post-Tropical Cyclone Felicia is located about 660 mi…1065 km W of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…30 mph…45 km/h. Present movement…NW or 305 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Canada – A state of emergency has been declared after a damaging hailstorm ripped through the central Saskatchewan town of Kerrobert in Canada.

Kazakhstan – Glacial melt has triggered flooding in Almaty, Kazakhstan leading to the evacuation of about 950 people. Glacial melt sent an unusually high amount of water mixed with boulders down into the town from the morainic lake Bezymyannoye at the Kargaly glacier.

China – Chinas has been beaten by unbelievable rainstorms for the last three days. The continuous rainstorms have affected 360,700 people in 14 counties, districts and cities in central China’s Hubei province since Wednesday. In Wuhan, capital of Hubei, more than 10cm fell on Thursday, while outside of the city, as about 36,950 hectares of cropland had been damaged and 145 houses had collapsed. In Hunan province, the local government has relocated more than 9,000 people with rural areas being hit by rain of 25cm plus, causing chaos for 361,000 residents and damaging 19,800 hectares of farmland. Four people died and another five are missing after downpours hit Liancheng County in eastern Fujian Province early on Wednesday morning, inundating streets and cutting off power supply.

Floods

Wildlife

250 pilot whales killed in annual slaughter in Faroe Islands

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Footage of the annual bloody slaughter of more than 200 pilot whales in the the Faroe Islands in the north Atlantic has horrified the world.

The yearly event, called the grindadráp, sees locals luring the dolphins into the shore before jumping into the water and slaughtering them.

The event took place in the Danish-owned Faroe Islands yesterday.

Locals used various weapons such as harpoons and knives to kill the dolphins across two beaches, Bøur and Torshav.

They killed as many as 250 pilot whales.

Whaling is illegal in the European Union and Denmark. Despite being subject to the same laws, Denmark protects the activity in the Faroe Islands.

Locals could be seen smiling and laughing in the bloody water.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Israel

An extensive forest fire which broke out Friday afternoon in the Beit Shemesh area poses threat to the communities of Tarum, Ta’oz and Kfar Uriya. The forest fire in Ya’ar Ha’Nasi (“President’s Forest”) grew at a tremendous rate due to strong winds.

A dozen firefighting planes and 40 ground crews are struggling to control the blaze. Surrounding roads have been closed.

Wildfires – Croatia

Hundreds of Croatian firefighters struggled Friday to contain raging wildfires on the Adriatic coast and islands at the height of tourist season.

Two huge fires have swept through the Peljesac peninsula this week, forcing evacuation of villages and destroying large areas of olive groves, pine forests and vineyards.

The blaze has occasionally cut off the main road and power supplies since it erupted early this week. Hot winds, often changing directions, have hindered efforts to contain the wildfires.

Winds on Friday reignited some of the blazes that firefighters had managed to curb after an all-night battle, authorities said. Fires also have swept through the islands of Korcula and Brac and on several other spots amid extremely high summer temperatures.

Disease

West Africa Bird Flu Outbreak Threatens Human Crisis

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that a highly contagious strain of avian influenza is wiping out poultry populations in farms across West Africa, and has the potential to cause a human health crisis.

The outbreak has already affected millions of birds in markets and farms in Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger and Ivory Coast, according to a statement issued by the agency.

It also cautions that the virus could spread to the human population in a region still recovering from a deadly Ebola outbreak.

“Urgent action is needed to strengthen veterinary investigation and reporting systems … to tackle the disease at the root, before there is a spillover to humans,” Juan Lubroth, head of the FAO’s animal health division, said in a statement.

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza first infected humans shortly after emerging in Hong Kong during 1997.

Migrating birds and other factors have since spread the disease across Asia and into Europe and Africa.

The virus has been responsible for the deaths of many millions of birds and several hundred humans.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): A moderately large pyroclastic flow occurred yesterday morning, reaching 3 km length on the SE side and producing a 1.5 km ash plume.

Kick ’em Jenny (West Indies, Grenada): The submarine volcano 8 km north of Grenada might be heading towards an eruption. Increasing signs of unrest have been recorded during the past 24 hours, and the Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies has raised its alert level to the second highest level, “orange”.

Elevated seismic activity had been noted since 11 July and a stronger seismic swarm was recorded yesterday (23 July) between 01:25 and 03:00 local time. According to a news article, more than 200 small earthquakes had been detected since 11 July and divers had observed increased degassing from the Moliniere Sculpture Park area.