Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.3 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Gulf of California.

5.1 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits offshore Bio-Bio, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Comores.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

Wildlife

Elephants Rescued from Mud-Filled Bomb Crater

A rescue in Cambodia saved 11 Asian elephants from a muddy death after they fell into an old bomb crater.

The herd — three adult females and eight juveniles — was discovered in the large crater in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary on March 24, covered in mud and unable to escape, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Local farmers notified the Cambodian Department of Environment, which called in the WCS to save the unfortunate pachyderms.

After building a ramp, the elephants could be seen pushing each other up the slippery ramp with their heads and trunks. The last elephant remaining in the crater, with no herd members to push it out, got a little help from people at the scene, who pulled the animal out with ropes. The elephants, which had been trapped for days, were freed within a few hours.

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Disease

Philippines: Rabies outbreak

Two people have died from rabies in the town of Cauayan, Negros Occidental province prompting the declaration of an outbreak. The victims, men in their 60s from different villages, died in the past week from rabies post-dog bites.

To make matters worse, the family of one of the victims killed the dog, cooked it and served it to at least 10 people. Some of the ten have received rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and the provincial veterinarian has launched a massive anti-rabies vaccination and information dissemination campaign.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 22 March-28 March 2017

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that an explosion at Minamidake summit crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) detected at 1803 on 25 March generated a pyroclastic flow that traveled 1.1 km down the S flank. An explosion at 2228 produced an ash plume that rose 1.4 km above the crater rim. Ash fell in the vicinity of the volcano and as far as 4.5 km E. Based on JMA notices and satellite-image analyses, the Tokyo VAAC reported that ash plumes drifted SE and E that same day.

Bezymianny | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that during 17-24 March lava continued to advance down the NW flank of Bezymianny’s lava dome. A thermal anomaly was visible in satellite images on 17, 19, and 22 March. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange.

Cerro Azul | Isla Isabela (Ecuador) : IG reported that increased seismicity at Cerro Azul began on 15 February and was characterized by the presence of volcano-tectonic events. A 1-hour-long swarm occurred the next day, and then afterwards only sporadic events were detected, some of which were located in the Sierra Negra volcano region. Sporadic events located at Sierra Negra continued to be detected during 8-13 March. A 30-minute-long swarm was recorded on 18 March. Earthquakes became more frequent and intense on 19 March, and another swarm occurred during 0700-1800 on 20 March; earthquake locations migrated SW, to the SE part of Cerro Azul during 19-20 March. Another swarm was detected during 1915-2200 on 21 March, with most magnitudes between 2.4 and 3, though the highest was 3.6. Deformation during 8-20 March was detected in satellite data, characterized by 14 cm of inflation at the SE flank and 11.2 cm of deflation at the summit. Deformation and seismic data suggested the emplacement of a sill 3.5-6.3 km below the SE flank.

Chirinkotan | Kuril Islands (Russia) : SVERT noted that no further activity at Chirinkotan was visible after the ash emission on 21 March. The Aviation Colour Code was lowered to Green (on a four-colour scale).

Manam | Papua New Guinea : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 24 March a steam plume from Manam, possibly with a minor ash content, drifted 75 km SE.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : On 24 March OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that during an overflight of Nevados de Chillán scientists observed a single 100-m-diameter crater, the result of two active craters merging together sometime between 7 and 15 March. In addition there were five explosions in the period of about an hour, ejecting tephra 900 m high which dispersed SE. The pattern of activity changed on 17 March with increased frequency and magnitude of the explosions. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the middle level on a three-colour scale, and the public was reminded not to approach the craters within a 3-km radius.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.6 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Moluccan Sea.

5.3 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Ceram Sea, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka.

5.2 Earthquake hits south of the Mariana Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Panama.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka.

5.0 Earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Azores Islands, Portugal.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Alaska peninsula.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie has dissipated over northern Queensland, Australia, after dumping more than 1 000mm of rain in some areas and causing substantial damage to affected areas, especially the Barrier Reef islands. A 1,300km (800 miles) stretch of Australia’s north-east coast is at dangerous risk of flooding after a powerful cyclone, authorities warn. Most central Queensland mines and railways are at a standstill as driving rain from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie threatens to halt coal production for some time.

NewsBytes:

Peru – The extreme floods wreaking havoc in Peru are also threatening the South American country’s rich archeological heritage and the tourism that thrives on it, a Peruvian archaeologist said on Tuesday. At least 50 archaeological sites in Peru have been damaged by the intense rains that are battering northern Peru, resulting in a drastic drop in related tourism.

Malaysia – Twenty-three victims from five families were evacuated after floods occurred in Simpang Ampat, Alor Gajah near here late Tuesday night. Several areas on the mainland were hit by flash floods including Taman Bagan where residents described it as the worst deluge in the last 10 years. About 250 houses in Taman Cantik, 100 houses in Taman Bagan and 70 more in Taman Kerapu were inundated yesterday.

Environment

Trump Ditches Clean Power Plan

President Donald Trump signed an executive order March 28 that dismantles the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation that would have set limits on emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from power plants.

The executive order is aimed, in part, at reviving the coal industry, according to Trump. But it’s doubtful that this measure is more than a stopgap, as natural gas and renewable energies, including wind and solar, are already making strides toward supplying electricity on a large scale.

Disease

Yellow fever – Suriname

On 9 March 2017, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands reported a case of yellow fever to WHO. The patient is a Dutch adult female traveller who visited Suriname from the middle of February until early March 2017. She was not vaccinated against yellow fever.

Meningitis – Nigeria – Update

Nearly 270 people, most of them children, have died in the past five months during the latest meningitis outbreak to hit Nigeria, public health officials said Wednesday. Presently there are 1,828 suspected cases with 269 deaths in about 15 states.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Kambalny, Russia: The Russian volcano erupted after 250 years of sleep. The last time Kambalny volcano erupted, the United States was not yet a country. But the Russian volcano awoke last week, after a nearly 250-year snooze, with a violent eruption. Kambalny is the southernmost volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, an area about the size of California that is home to more than 300 volcanoes. In fact, the peninsula hosts the world’s highest concentration of active volcanoes, and so eruptions are common. But Kambalny surprised scientists when it shook awake on March 24 and began to erupt.

The volcano’s eruption and 60-mile-long ash plume were seen from space:

Screen Shot 2017 03 29 at 12 34 55 PM

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic Ocean: Invest 90L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that may have potential for further tropical development.

In the South Pacific Ocean: Tropical Cyclone Debbie located approximately 108 nm southeast of Townsville, Australia, is tracking southwestward at 05 knots.

Monster cyclone Debbie smashed into northeast Australia Tuesday, cutting power, damaging buildings and uprooting trees, with coastal residents battling lashing rain and howling winds. Great Barrier Reef islands popular with foreign tourists were battered by the category four storm which slammed into the coast of Queensland state with destructive wind gusts of up to 270 kph (167 miles) near its broad core. By late evening it had been downgraded to category two and was expected to weaken further.

NewsBytes:

Indonesia – Floods claimed four lives and rendered one missing in Padang Sidimpuan, North Sumatra, on Sunday evening. Five residents were swept away by the flooding, of which four were found dead, while another is still missing. Several homes were flooded in the sub-districts of Padang Sidimpuan Angkola Julu, Padang Sidimpuan Batunadua, South Padang Sidimpuan, and North Padang Sidimpuan. Also at least 2,500 people in five sub-districts in Bima, East Nusa Tenggara, have fled their homes to escape flash floods, following heavy rain on Sunday.

Kenya – Floods cause traffic jam on Kampala roads. Floods caused heavy traffic jams on all major city roads following a heavy Monday afternoon downpour. Along the Kampala-Jinja Road, floods cut off the road at Kyambogo junction.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Ireland

The current dry spell in Ireland has brought with is a host of wild fires across the country. Since Friday the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) says it has recorded 15 wild fires from counties Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Galway, Donegal, Louth and Mayo.

It says eight of these were in areas protected for nature conservation – all are illegal as setting fire to vegetation is prohibited between March 1and August 31 each year.

Disease

New cholera outbreak flares up in Malawi

Malawi health officials reported a new cholera outbreak in Nsanje district, located in the southern region of Malawi. The outbreak began on Mar. 11 and laboratory testing revealed that the agent was Vibrio cholerae Ogawa O1. As of 24 March 2017, a total of 14 cases with no deaths have been reported.

Lassa fever in West Africa: Outbreaks confirmed in 5 countries

Lassa fever outbreaks have been confirmed across five West African countries, including Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Burkina Faso.

Nigeria – In Nigeria, the index case emerged on 16 December 2016 in Ogun state. Since then, the outbreak has remained active. During the week ending 19 March 2017), 15 suspected cases were reported, with two testing positive for Lassa fever. Between 16 December 2016 and 19 March 2017, a total of 283 suspected cases including 56 deaths (case fatality rate of 19.8%) have been reported. Of the suspected cases, 99 were confirmed by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Lassa laboratory in Nigeria. The cases have been distributed across 13 states: Ogun, Bauchi, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ondo, Edo, Taraba, Nasarawa, Rivers, Kaduna, Gombe, Cross-River and Borno.

Benin – The outbreak of Lassa fever in Benin started on 12 February 2017 from Tchaourou district, Borgou province, close to the border with Nigeria. It was established that this case had epidemiological link with the ongoing Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria. On 23 February 2017, another suspected case from L’Atacora province was reported. Samples obtained from the two cases tested positive for Lassa fever in the laboratory in Cotonou, Benin and in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Lassa laboratory. Both cases died, giving a case fatality of 100%.

Togo – In Togo, Lassa fever was confirmed on 23 February 2017, with the case having established epidemiological linkage to Benin. A total of 12 suspected were subsequently reported, seven of them were confirmed at the Institut National d’Hygiène in Lomé, Togo. Four of the confirmed cases died, giving a case fatality rate of 57%. The cases originated from Oti and Kpendjal districts.

Burkina Faso – On 26 February 2017, the Ministry of Health of Burkina Faso notified WHO of a confirmed Lassa fever case admitted in a hospital in the northern part of Togo. The case originated from Ouargaye district, central eastern part of Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso has not had any other case.

Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone has been reporting sporadic suspected cases of Lassa fever since 28 December 2016. However, the outbreak situation escalated in the months of February and March 2017 when a cluster of 24 cases were reported and investigated. Out of these, four cases were laboratory confirmed and all of them died, thus giving case fatality rate of 100% among the confirmed. The outbreak has since subsided.

Measles in Damascus, Syria

A “major outbreak” of measles is hitting the encircled, rebel-controlled Damascus suburbs of East Ghouta, with doctors telling Syria Direct that vaccine shortages are to blame for more than 350 cases of the easily preventable disease in under two months. As a result, hundreds of East Ghouta children now suffer from dangerously high fevers, severe respiratory issues and, in at least two instances, death.

In patients with access to quality health care, measles can be managed. But for populations with malnutrition and inadequate health care, “mortality can be as high as 10 percent,” the France-based Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) reported earlier this month. Children affected by measles within East Ghouta face an added risk of serious health complications given the dire food and medical shortages resulting from the opposition-held area’s five-year encirclement.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 Earthquake hits the Near Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits Maule, Chile.

5.2 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits east of the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Yunnan, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic Ocean: Invest 90L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that may have potential for further tropical development.

In the South Pacific Ocean: Tropical Cyclone Debbie located approximately 295 nm east- southeast of Cairns, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 04 knots.

In the South Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 12s (Caleb), located approximately 200nm south of Cocos Island, is tracking westward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Japan – Eight teenagers from a high school mountaineering club were killed Monday during an avalanche in an area of northeastern Japan that had been blanketed by unusually heavy spring snows, the authorities and the Japanese news media said. The students were climbing in an area in Tochigi Prefecture, about 100 miles north of Tokyo. The weather bureau in Tochigi had issued an avalanche warning on Sunday.

Middle East – Freak weather has caused carnage across the Middle East, after a series of flash floods, dust storms, hail and lightning shocked the region. This week, schools were shut down in Oman, while several accidents were reported when drivers lost control of their vehicles. In the UAE, thunderstorms and lightning lit up the night sky, following flash floods on the roads. Saudi Arabia suffered dust storms, which put several densely-packed cities on alert, and prompted a medical warning for those who venture outside. Earlier, in February, a bizarre blizzard snowstorm blanketed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).