Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Australia – The Queensland city of Bundaberg has endured its biggest one-day downpour in more than half-a-century, causing flash flooding and leaving thousands without power. A Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman said the Wide Bay city had received more than 340mm of rain yesterday — including 75mm in a single hour — breaking a 64-year record by more than 60mm. Residents described cyclonic-like winds which downed trees and powerlines and sent debris flying.

Wildlife

Marine Invaders

The devastating 2011 tsunami in Japan dragged several thousand tons of debris out to sea. Empty ships, splintered docks, wooden beams from homes, TV sets, refrigerators, buoys, buckets and plastic bottles crossed the Pacific Ocean in the months and years following the disaster.

The wreckage was a ghostly sight as it washed up on beaches from Hawaii to Alaska. But a new study claims the tsunami debris was actually teeming with life.

Scientists counted nearly 300 species from Japan that hitched rides across the ocean aboard debris.

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Environment

Ancient bristlecone pine forests are being overwhelmed by climate change

For thousands of years, wind-whipped, twisted bristlecone pines have been clinging to existence on the arid, stony crests of eastern California’s White Mountains, in conditions inhospitable to most other life.

Their growth rings provide a year-by-year account of the struggle to survive: It’s a tortuous cycle of dying off almost entirely, leaving only a few strips of bark that then continue to grow diagonally skyward or sideways along the ground.

But the world’s oldest trees may never have experienced temperature increases as rapid as those of recent decades. The climatic changes have triggered a struggle for dominance, in very slow motion, between the ancient bristlecones and the younger limber pines that have been able to charge up-slope as conditions become warmer and wetter. Will they cope with the intrusion of limber pines competing for sunlight, moisture, nutrients and room to grow?

Bristlecone pines — named for their bottlebrush-like branches with short needles — are found in other parts of the semiarid Great Basin, which extends from California’s Sierra Nevada east to the Rockies. But the ones found in the White Mountains are the oldest. The slow growers are only about 25 feet tall and expand about 1 inch in diameter every 100 years.

One of the oldest of the bunch is Methuselah, at about 4,768 years old. Its precise location is carefully guarded to avert vandalism.

According to Smithers, who led a study of ancient bristlecone pines published in the journal Global Change Biology, forests of limber pines have been steadily pushing up-slope over the past 50 years throughout the Great Basin.

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Disease

Cape Verde: Malaria

In a follow-up on the locally transmitted malaria increases reported on Cabo Verde this year, 254 indigenous cases were reported through Sep. 24. Most cases (75%) have not sought treatment until 48-96 hours after illness onset. Despite this, case fatality rates have remained low (0.4%), with one death reported in an indigenous case to date.

Liberia: measles

The Liberia Ministry of Health has reported a measles outbreak in Bong County in north-central Liberia. As of 27 Sep 2017, a total of 16 cases (4 confirmed and 12 epidemiologically linked) were reported in the community.

Italy: Measles

As of 26 September, 183 cases have been notified to the Lazio Region of Italy, which includes the coastal areas of Anzio and Latina as well as the city of Rome. Of the notified cases, 109 are confirmed and 74 additional cases are being investigated (all with an epidemiological link to the Lazio Region). Three more confirmed cases have also been notified from other areas with a travel history to Anzio.