Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Cape Town, South Africa – Roofs were blown off houses in parts of Cape Town, trees uprooted, roads forced to close and electricity to various areas cut off as the monster storm coming in off the Atlantic coast hit the Mother City overnight. The ocean swell remains a cause for concern, with huge swells expected this afternoon with a peak touching on 13 metres in some areas. This may cause damage to low-lying areas close to the ocean. The public is cautioned to stay away from Western Cape beaches throughout the day. Average wind speeds between 55 and 70 km/h and gusts of between 80 and 90km/h were recorded. Tugs were put on standby by Transnet Port Authority to provide assistance in towing and holding boats in position in and out of port should the need arise. More than a million Western Cape pupils remained at home across the province on Wednesday following a decision by authorities on Tuesday to suspend schooling for the day. No fatalities have been reported thus far.

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India – The first wave of floods has hit the Kaziranga National Park and over 13,000 people in Assam. Disclosing that over 30 per cent areas of 858 sq km area of the park has already been inundated by the floodwaters, the park authorities said that almost all the low-lying areas of the park are under water and animals have started moving towards the hills of Karbi Anglong district. The Brahmaputra river is flowing above the danger level in Nimatighat, prompting officials to suspend ferry services to the island district of Majuli from Jorhat. Assam Disaster Management Authority officials said the first wave of floods have affected 28 villages in Lakhimpur, Jorhat and Biswanath districts.

Georgia, USA – Roads in Raleigh and Fayette counties were closed Monday, as emergency crews worked to clear flooded roadways and restore power, but emergency officials reported no injuries around the region. Flooding was caused by rainfall which fell Sunday night and Monday.

Wildlife

One of Malaysia’s Last Sumatran Rhinos Dies

One of the last three Sumatran rhinoceroses in Malaysia has died, the Borneo Rhino Alliance has announced.

The rhino, named Puntung, was about 20 years old. Her keepers at Malaysia’s Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Sabah euthanized her on June 4, eight days after discovering that the critically endangered animal had squamous cell cancer. The cancer had spread rapidly, and intensive treatment would have bought Puntung only a few more months of life penned in an indoor enclosure, the Borneo Rhino Alliance reported on its Facebook page.

Sumatran rhinoceroses (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) are the smallest of all rhino species. They’re also the most endangered, according to the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). With Puntung’s death, there are only two individuals left in Malaysia: Tam, a middle-age male; and Iman, a female. Both are kept at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The Sumatran rhino is now extinct in the wild in Malaysia. In Indonesia, fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos survive in the wild. Poaching has sliced the population in half over the past 20 years, according to the IRF.

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Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar

Between 21 April and 29 May 2017, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 25 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection including six fatal cases. On 16 May 2017, the IHR NFP of the United Arab Emirates reported two (2) additional case of MERS-CoV. On 23 May 2017, the National IHR Focal Point of Qatar reported one additional case of MERS-CoV.

England: Syphilis

While the overall sexually transmitted infections (STI) reported last year in England saw a decrease, syphilis cases bucked this trend with a 12 percent increase in 2016 compared to 2015. There were 5,920 diagnoses of syphilis reported in 2016 in England, the most cases reported since 1949.

Bird Flu in Zimbabwe

Botswana has banned poultry products from neighbouring Zimbabwe after an outbreak of the H5N8 strain of bird flu was reported at the weekend.

Zimbabwean state media Tuesday identified the affected poultry farm as belonging to Irvine’s, a leading poultry and egg producer. Affected units had been put under quarantine. The paper confirmed that 7,000 of Irvine’s chickens had died from the virus, and another 140,000 had been slaughtered to curb the spread of the disease.