Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 Earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15s (Emeraude), located approximately 734 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking eastward at 03 knots.

NewsBytes:

Texas, USA – Golf ball-sized hail damaged cars in Tarrant County and grounded flights at DFW Airport. Earlier, more than 20 severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued in North Texas.

Indonesia – A heavy downpour caused the overflow of the Citarum River leaving two dead and three others missing. It was the worst flood in 10 years to lash the Bandung District in West Java Province.

Durban, South Africa – Residents of Durban dealt with a deluge on Wednesday night, with many areas reporting cases of flash flooding. Roads across the city remain closed by downed trees and other debris that is obstructing thoroughfares.

Environment

Sea Levels Seesaw

Duelling climate cycles such as El Niño and La Niña are causing sea levels to wobble back and forth across the Pacific with increasing magnitude in conjunction with climate change, according to a new NASA study.

Variations in sea levels in the Pacific basin are now three times greater than those observed on average during the previous 30 years.

Asia is currently on the high side of the sea level sway, while coastlines in the Americas as far north as California are experiencing a lower sea level.

For communities threatened by rising tides, predicting when the seesaw will swing the other way is becoming more crucial. The NASA findings may help improve those predictions.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 111.0 degrees Fahrenheit (43.9 degrees Celsius) at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus -89.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 67.2 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.

Wildlife

Penguin Mate

A starving and oil-covered Magellanic penguin saved by a Rio de Janeiro retiree in 2011 has returned to its rescuer each year after spending more than four months at sea in the South Atlantic.

Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, says “Dindim” stayed with him for 11 months after being cleaned up and fed fish to help it regain strength.

But the male penguin came back a few months later and has since come to visit de Souza annually from late June until mid-February.

“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” de Souza told Brazil’s Globo TV.

Experts say that since Dindim is with its human companion during the typical penguin mating period, it probably considers de Souza its mate. De Souza says Dindim appears to become more affectionate each year when it returns.

Penguins live to about 25 and typically stay loyal to the same partner until they die.

Earthweek

Space Events

Large Meteor over Britain

A bright meteor has been spotted over Britain at about at 03:16 GMT. A green flash was observed moving south to north for a few seconds, leaving a magnesium-white trail. The meteor was clearly observed from London, Hampshire, Stafford and the east coast of England. It is reportedly the biggest meteor sighting recorded Britain.

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Disease

New Ebola Cases in Guinea

Two people tested positive for Ebola in Guinea on Thursday and have been taken to a treatment centre, according to the nation’s government.

The news comes after the deadly two-year outbreak in West Africa had been officially declared over. The two people infected with the virus are from the village of Korokpara, where three members of one family died in recent weeks from diarrhoea and vomiting, Reuters reported, citing a government agency spokesman.