Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kashmir-India border.

5.0 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kamchatka, Russia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

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Global Warming

Climate change causes huge Canadian river to vanish in four days

Slims River in Canada is no more as the water that once fed it now flows south, not north.

A river disappeared in just four days after a melting glacier retreated so much that it opened up an alternative route to the sea.

Such dramatic changes are known in the geological record but this is believed to be the first time in 350 years that an entire river has vanished.

The Kaskawulsh glacier in Canada has retreated about a mile up its valley over the past 100 years, researchers reported in the journal Nature Geoscience. Until last spring, it sent meltwater into the Slims River, which eventually flowed north to the Bering Sea.

However the glacier shrank back so much that the water was able to join the Kaskawulsh River, which flows south into the Gulf of Alaska. And that saw the Slims River turn into a long thin lake and gradually start to dry up.

Slimsriver

Space Events

Lyrid meteor shower 2017

From now until 25 April, stargazers who observe the night sky may be able to get a good view of the Lyrid meteor shower. The best time to spot the dusty comet trail however will be on April 22, just before dawn.

The Lyrid meteor shower is among the oldest to have been recorded. Lyrids have been observed for more than 2,600 years. They are pieces of debris from the periodic Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher which can be seen from Earth each year from mid-April, as the planet runs into the stream of debris from the comet.

Comet Thatcher orbits the sun about once every 415 years. Its most recent closest approach to the sun was in 1861 and it won’t be back until 2276.

A typical Lyrid meteor shower produces 15 to 20 meteors per hour but in some years, the shower intensifies. Up to 100 meteors an hour can then be seen. This is called an “outburst” and astronomers usually struggle to predict when they occur.

Disease

Niger – hepatitis E outbreak

Officials with the Niger Ministry of Health notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of a hepatitis E outbreak in the eastern part of the country.

Dengue deaths top 1000 in the Philippines in 2016

For the second year in a row, the Philippines reported more than 200,000 dengue fever cases, according to the Department of Health, National Epidemiology Centre, Philippines.|

After reporting 200,415 suspected cases of dengue, including 598 deaths in 2015, health officials on the archipelago report 211,108 suspected cases of dengue reported in 2016, including 1019 deaths.

Measles prompts travel advisory for Belgium, Italy and Germany

Measles has been reported in increased numbers in several European counties, most notably Romania. In addition to Romania, Belgium, Italy and Germany has been affected by measles into 2017. This has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue new travel notices for the above countries.

In Belgium, through Mar. 31, Wallonia reported 266 measles cases. The outbreak affects all provinces of Wallonia, with the exception of the province of Luxembourg. All age groups are affected and 53% of cases are over 15 years. Most of the cases were not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status. Nearly 40% were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

In Italy, since the beginning of 2017 and as of 4 April 2017, Italy reported 1,333 cases of measles, with 131 cases among healthcare workers. The cases are reported from 19 of the 21 regions in Italy. A majority of the cases (93%) are from Piedmont, Lazio, Lombardy, Tuscany, Abruzzi and Sicily. Most of the cases are above 15 years and 88% of the cases were not vaccinated.

According to the German National Public Health Institute, since the beginning of 2017 and as of 12 March 2017, Germany reported 272 cases. In the same period in 2016, Germany reported 18 cases.

Nigeria – Meningitis – Update

In a follow-up on the meningococcal meningitis outbreak in several Nigerian states, the number of suspected cases has increased by another 1000 and the death tally has topped 600, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Health officials put the officials numbers at a total of 5,695 suspected cases.

Leprosy in Florida, USA – Update

In a follow-up to the number of leprosy, or Hansen’s disease cases in Florida in 2017, Florida state health officials have reported five additional confirmed cases since late February, bringing the total to seven.