Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits offshore Sucre, Venezuela.

5.3 earthquake hits the island of Hawaii, Hawaii.

5.2 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits off the coast of Aisen, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the Java Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Sumbawa, Indonesia.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

USA – Helicopters rescued people stranded by flooding in Montana, including 140 children and counselors stuck in a mountain bible camp for two days, as severe storms swept the Rockies and the Midwest. Montana was just drying out from spring flooding caused by near-record snowfall over the winter when a storm unleashed heavy rains last weekend. Flooding in Minnesota and South Dakota caused some road closures. In northwest Iowa, several roads were inundated and basements swamped by heavy rain. Flooding in Virginia forced Richmond International Airport and parts of nearby Interstate 64 to close Friday morning. Meanwhile, great swaths of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado were experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, forcing recent closures of national forests and other public lands because of fire danger.

Ivory Coast – Update – The cleanup is continuing in Ivory Coast’s southern city of Abidjan after torrential rain caused deadly flash flooding. According to the country’s interior minister, 18 people died on Monday as flash floods raged through parts of the city, reaching a depth of 2.5 metres in some places. Two other people were reported killed in the provinces. On Thursday, the government called for the evacuation of all people living in flood-prone zones. Many parts of the city are vulnerable to flooding, from the up-market Cocody neighbourhood to the densely populated Yopougon area due mainly to lack of infrastructure, including drainage and sewerage.

Global Warming

Climate change drives spread of toxic algae in USA water supplies

Across the U.S., reservoirs that supply drinking water and lakes used for recreation are experiencing algae blooms which release toxins into the water with growing frequency. The trend represents another impact of global warming and raises looming questions about the effects on human health, researchers say.

Technically called cyanobacteria, the ancient class of organisms that create the blooms are present nearly everywhere water is found but thrive in warm, still bodies like lakes and ponds. They also create a unique class of toxins, the impact of which on humans is only partly understood.

Long linked to animal deaths, high doses of the toxins in humans can cause liver damage and attack the nervous system. In the largest outbreaks, hundreds have been sickened by blooms in reservoirs and lakes, and officials in some areas now routinely close water bodies used for recreation and post warnings when blooms occur.

In Lake Erie, a major bloom in 2014 caused authorities to warn against drinking tap water in Toledo, Ohio, for more than two days, cutting off the main water source for more than 400,000 people. Now blooms happen every year in Utah and Ohio. Other blooms, including flare-ups affecting drinking water, have been logged in recent years in New York, Florida and California. In Oregon, officials lifted Salem’s drinking water advisory after several days, but then had to reissue the warning. Testing for the blooms isn’t required by either federal or state law.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Oregon, USA

Some residents have been evacuated and others are on standby as the Graham and Boxcar wildfires burn in central Oregon.

About 2,000 acres are in flames after the Graham Fire spreads near Culver. The fire was first reported on Thursday. Some damage to structures was reported but it was not yet clear what type of buildings burned.

The Boxcar Fire, which started three miles south of Maupin in Central Oregon, closed part of U.S. Highway 197 and is expected to grow. A level 1 evacuation — meaning “get ready” — has been issued for East Maupin. The largest wildfire of the young season grew to 18,000 acres Friday afternoon.

Disease

Hepatitis A outbreak spreads to Ohio, USA

The hepatitis A outbreak associated with hundreds of cases in Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia has spread to Ohio, according to a news release from the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio’s numbers are not as high as those in surrounding states — Kentucky reported a whopping 761 cases over an eight-month period — but its 79 cases are “almost double the number of cases reported during all of last year,” according to the release. Community health departments across the state will receive thousands of doses of the vaccine to help curb the disease’s spread.