Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the northern easy Pacific rise.

5.1 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.1 Earthquake hits east of the Kuril Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Indonesia – A landslide struck a hotel in the Cianjur district in West Java, Indonesia claiming the lives of three people and injuring several others. Earlier, landslide in Sukaremi sub-district of Cianjur killed two people, bringing the death toll to five.

UAE – Heavy rainfall lashed most areas of the UAE on Wednesday causing severe flooding in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Dubai Police has recorded at least 253 traffic accidents and received 3,200 calls in a span of seven hours from 6 am to 1 pm. Floods in Hatta swept away a car, claiming life of a 7-year-old boy. His other two brothers managed to escape. Flights at Abu Dhabi airport were suspended for several hours on Wednesday. A hailstorm also lashed Abu Dhabi. Schools have been closed since Wednesday. Heavy rain associated with thunder and strong winds swept across Jebel Ali, Fujairah, Sharjah and Al Ain. The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology recorded 294 millimetres of rainfall on Wednesday near Al-Ain.

USA – Heavy rains slammed parts of the Southeast for a second straight day Thursday, part of a series of storms that has killed four people, flooded homes and wrecked highways. Flash-flood watches were in effect from eastern Texas through Louisiana and up into the Mississippi River Valley — including Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and southern Illinois. Some bayous and creeks near Shreveport are expected to crest at levels not seen since 1991. In Mississippi, officials warned of flash flooding. Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency.

Global Warming

Record leap in carbon dioxide seen in 2015

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at a record pace last year, US government scientists reported, raising new concern about one of the top greenhouse gases and the effects of global warming.

The measurement came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

“The annual growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide… jumped by 3.05 parts per million during 2015, the largest year-to-year increase in 56 years of research,” said a NOAA statement.

Last year also marked the fourth consecutive year that CO2 grew more than two parts per million.

As of February, the average global atmospheric CO2 level was 402.59 parts per million. This is a significant rise over pre-industrial times. Prior to 1800, atmospheric CO2 averaged about 280 ppm.

Animal Cruelty

Animal Cruelty

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The SPCA in Bloemfontein, South Africa reported that an abused and emaciated pitbull suffering from distemper and severe injuries was thrown over the wall into their property, most likely as it was no longer considered ‘fit’ to fight.

The animal was visibly emaciated and starving, with numerous wounds all over its body.

The dog’s head was swollen to twice the size of its body and staff at the SPCA suspect it had either been bitten by another dog or had suffered a severe beating.

The abrasions found on the dog were typical of those that occur when dogs fight, and the aggressor or stronger dog holds the other in a grip on the ground.

To make matters worse, both of the pitbull’s ears had been cut off – another sign that he was used in dog fights.

The dog was also found to be suffering from distemper.

He had also suffered injuries to his testicles, which point to a possible botched attempt to castrate him.

They believe the dog was no longer fit for dog fighting, which made its owner abuse and neglect the animal.

Reinet Meyer, spokesperson for the Bloemfontein SPCA, said that sadly the pitbull had to be euthanised because of the distemper and its extensive injuries.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110.0 degrees Fahrenheit (43.9 degrees Celsius) at Skukuza. South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus -78.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 61.1 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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – New Zealand

One house and outbuildings were destroyed in wild fire west of Christchurch. Five homes – three in Coalgate in the Malvern Hills west of Christchurch and two near Mt Somers – were saved by firefighters on Thursday after wind-fuelled fires ripped across rural Canterbury.

Firefighting resources were spread thin as fire crews were fighting more than 30 separate fires in the area.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 17 and 25 February 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 7 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Qatar

On 21 February 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Qatar notified WHO of 1 additional case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Dengue Fever – Uruguay

On 1 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Uruguay provided PAHO/WHO with an update on the country’s ongoing dengue outbreak.

Since the confirmation of the first autochthonous case (see DON published on 25 February), Uruguay has been experiencing a sustained increase in the number of notifications of suspected and confirmed cases (570 and 17, respectively). The majority of cases have occurred in three departments: Montevideo (59%), Canelones (17%) and Salto (4%).