Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits off the coast of Michoacan, Mexico.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Auckland Islands, New Zealand.

5.0 Earthquake hits central California.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the southern east Pacific rise.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 11p (Winston), located approximately 121 nm northwest of Niue, is tracking eastward at 04 knots.

Tropical cyclone 13s (Uriah), located approximately 838 nm southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking westward at 11 knots.

NewsBytes:

Oman, UAE – Stormy weather lashed parts of UAE and Oman on Tuesday with Khorfakkan and Dibba having the highest rainfall. Heavy downpours have been recorded in parts of Khorfakkan, Sharjah, along with Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. A marine alert has been issued for fresh and strong winds over the Oman Sea. Heavy rainfall has been occurring in parts of Muscat.

Wildlife

Beavers control flash floods in Scotland

A population of beavers in Scotland that was blamed for flooding may actually be preventing it, a study has shown.

Dams built by beavers in eastern Scotland act like a sponge, experts say, and mitigate flooding by storing and then slowly releasing water.

The presence of the reintroduced animals also benefits the wider environment by improving biodiversity and lowering levels of agricultural pollutants, according to the study published in the journal Freshwater Biology this week.

The research comes after residents in Alyth blamed beavers for flash flooding in July last year, saying some of the debris washed through the village in Perthshire showed signs of being chewed by animals upstream. But in October, experts said beavers were not responsible and the flooding had been caused by heavy rain and a high flow in the river.

Naturalists confirmed last year that more than 150 beavers are living and breeding successfully in the wild in the southern Highlands after escaping from nearby private collections. Ecologists called a reintroduction scheme at Knapdale in Argyll an “outstanding success” after four pairs produced 14 young in five years.

Last year, Natural England agreed to allow wild beavers living in Devon to remain at large after a campaign by conservationists.

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Nature – Images

Interesting Images

A bizarre deep sea creature, which looks like a cross between a crocodile and a dolphin has washed ashore on the banks of an Australian lake. Australian Museum fish collector Mark McGrouther suspects it is a pike eel, native to deep waters on the east coast of Australia.

“I suspect it was caught and discarded by fisherman who got more than they bargained for when they tried to reel it in.” The pike eel is known to thrash around violently once hooked, damaging fishing equipment and forcing fishermen to cut their lines.

“They can grow up to 1.8 metres in length, but the angle of this photo makes it difficult to determine how large it is.” The pike eel has an elongated body and long slender jaws and large pointed teeth at the front of the lower jaw and on the roof of its mouth. They are nocturnal and known to travel as far as 100 metres deep in search of fish and crustaceans to feed on. The species is elusive as it typically resides in waters near the ocean floor at around 1,200 metres below sea level.

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Disease

Newcastle Disease in the Philippines

A Newcastle disease outbreak has been declared in seven towns in Ilocos Norte due to the increasing number of chicken deaths. The provincial veterinary office reported that more than 7,000 chickens have died due to the virus in the towns of Pagudpud, Burgos, Bangui, Adams, Dingras, Marcos and Banna.

It said that some dead chickens have been found on the streets. The veterinary office added that majority of those affected by the virus were native chickens and fighting cocks.

It said that vaccines have been distributed in other towns in Ilocos Norte to prevent the virus from spreading.