Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.8 Earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.9 Earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.8 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.7 Earthquake hits central Peru.

Two 5.2 Earthquakes hit the Sumbawa region, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

Earthquake Swarm hits the French Alps

The French Alps have been rocked by 140 mini-quakes in just 40 days – sparking fears a huge earthquake could strike at any time. There are also fears the tremors could lead to a deadly avalanche hitting dozens of popular ski resorts in the Alps mountain. The strongest tremor registered was 3.8 on the Richter scale. Residents in the region have describe how they have been getting used to being shaken awake at night in recent weeks.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Atlantic Ocean: Invest 94L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic Ocean that has the potential for further tropical development.

Newsbytes:

Europe – Strong winds battered northern and central Europe on Sunday, killing at least six people in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, with authorities watching for oil leaks from a huge freighter that ran aground in the North Sea. Four victims in Poland and the Czech Republic were killed by falling trees. The storm also knocked out power to thousands of Czechs and Poles, and rail traffic in large parts of northern Germany remained suspended after heavy damage from fallen trees. Winds reached more than 100km/h (60 miles per hour) in several parts of the Czech Republic and topped out at 180km/h on Snezka, at 1,602 metres, the country’s highest mountain. The two victims in Germany included a 63-year-old German man who drowned at a campsite in Lower Saxony as a result of a storm surge, and a woman whose motorboat overturned in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, German media reported.

Malaysia – A Monday afternoon downpour resulted in flash floods in several parts of Kuala Lumpur. Numerous streets and highways were flooded creating huge traffic jams that lasted for hours.

Canada – Record-breaking rainfall in Ottawa on Monday flooded homes and forced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take an ATV for part of his commute. At least 175 homes were flooded, according to the city. More than 50 mm of rain fell in just six hours Monday morning, setting a new one-day record, Environment Canada reports.

Wildlife

Octopuses crawl to shore en masse

Screen Shot 2017 10 31 at 12 41 22 PM

More than two dozen octopuses were spotted slogging along a shoreline in West Wales, worrying beachgoers, who spent some time picking up the critters and plopping them back into the ocean.

It is uncertain why the octopuses were engaged in what has been described by scientists as “odd” behaviour. There could be several reasons that they moved on to the beach, including spawning, weather and water temperatures. As the areas where they are exhibiting this odd behavior coincides with the two areas hit by the two recent low-pressure depressions and associated storms of Ophelia and Brian, it could be supposed that these have affected them. Or it could simply be injuries sustained by the rough weather itself or there could be a sensitivity to a change in atmospheric pressure.

Octlantis – Octopus Community off Australia

n the briny waters of Jervis Bay on Australia’s east coast, where three rocky outcrops jut out from piles of broken scallop shells, beer bottles and lead fishing lures, a clutch of gambol among a warren of nearly two dozen dens..

The bustling community belies conventionally held notions of the cephalopods, once thought to be solitary and asocial. Scientists have discovered the normally gloomy and reclusive octopuses living at high densities in Jervis Bay, Australia, where they are interacting with one another, signaling, mating and throwing one another out of their dens.

Screen Shot 2017 10 31 at 12 48 46 PM

Global Warming

Pollution Fuelling Climate Change

Climate change is already affecting the health of populations around the world, but things are set to get worse if adequate changes aren’t made, according to an international consortium of climate experts.

Fueling the impact is the fact that more than 2,100 cities globally exceed recommended levels of atmospheric particulate matter — particles emitted when fuels, such as coal or diesel, are burned and are small enough to get into the lungs — says a report published Monday in the medical journal The Lancet. In the UK alone, 44 cities exceeded levels recommended by the World Health Organization.

More than 803,000 deaths across 21 Asian countries in 2015 were attributable to pollution from coal power, transport and the use of fossil fuels at home, the report states.

Disease

Madagascar plague situation improving

While plague cases continue to be reported in Madagascar, health officials say the situation is improving as evidenced by 16 previously affected districts reported no new confirmed or probable cases of pulmonary plague during the past two weeks, which is creating some optimism.