Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits Coquimbo, Chile.

5.3 Earthquake hits Reykjanes Ridge.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Guatemala.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Bouvet Islands.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Australia – Flooded rivers were still rising Saturday in two Australian states with two women dead and four people missing after torrential rains in the wake of a powerful tropical cyclone Debbie. Queensland police warned that the Logan River, which runs through Beenleigh south of Brisbane, would only hit peak flood levels during the afternoon while further north the city of Rockhampton was also facing a serious threat. Rockhampton, with a population of over 80,000 on the Fitzroy River, was expected to suffer flood levels not seen for a century and Stewart urged residents in low-lying areas to leave.

Wildlife

Manatee No Longer Listed as Endangered

Florida’s growing manatee population is a “dramatic turnaround” from the 1970s, the federal government said as it officially removed the aquatic creatures from the endangered list.

The West Indian manatee will now be considered threatened — a marker of progress in the species’ recovery.

Environmental and animal groups decried Thursday’s announcement from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, saying it is premature and comes without a firm long-term recovery plan.

Officials have said that the “downlisting” does not change federal and state protections for the animals, which were put on the endangered list in March 1967. They say the move shows various partners have worked to increase the population numbers and protect habitat.

The action came about a month after Florida officials said that for the third straight year, spotters counted more than 6,000 manatees.

By contrast, just a few hundred manatees were counted in the 1970s, officials said.