Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits the southwestern Atlantic Ocean.

5.2 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits southeastern Iran.


Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 07b (Gaja), located approximately 1033 nm southeast of rah Island, Oman, is tracking westward at 12 knots.


India – Cyclone Gaja blew ashore Friday in a southern India coastal region, damaging homes after more than 80,000 residents were evacuated. Authorities reported the storm had killed 13 people. Gaja hit the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu state with heavy rains and winds of 55 miles per hour. The storm weakened after coming onshore.

Space Events

The 2018 Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

On Sunday morning (Nov. 18), the famous Leonid meteor shower will reach its peak, with lesser numbers expected on the preceding and following mornings. Earth will pass through the thickest part of the Leonid swarm at 7 p.m. EST (2300 GMT) on Nov. 17. But the best time to look will be during the after-midnight hours of Sunday morning, once the source the meteors appear to stream from, called the radiant, comes above the horizon for observers in North America. The meteors appear to fly away from a point located within the Sickle of Leo (hence the name “Leonids”).


Wildfires – California, USA

At least 66 people are dead and more than 600 missing after California’s Camp Fire destroyed the town of Paradise on Nov. 8. Now, a new satellite view shows the beginning of the horror.

Screen Shot 2018 11 17 at 12 01 45 PM

This satellite image, captured on Nov. 8, 2018, by Landsat 8, shows short-wave infrared (red), which gives the full extent of the actively burning area of the Camp Fire, just four hours after it started. The red patches are fires that leapfrogged in front of the primary burn front.

Screen Shot 2018 11 17 at 12 01 58 PM

A visible-light version of the Landsat-8 image from Nov. 8, providing a view of the gray smoke billowing from the Camp Fire.

Wildfires – Australia

Lives and homes remain in danger from a fast-moving and out-of-control bushfire heading towards a roadhouse in Western Australia’s north. A watch and act alert is in place for people at or near Pardoo Roadhouse and east of the De Grey River including De Grey Station, Pardoo Station, Goldsworthy, Shay Gap, Warralong Community and Yarrie Mine Camp in the Shire of East Pilbara.


World’s largest gathering creates perfect storm for infectious disease

A tent city is rising near Allahabad, India, at the confluence of three of the country’s holiest rivers: the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati. Complete with running water and sparkling LED lights, the city will accommodate 150 million pilgrims — a crowd equivalent to nearly half the population of the United States — next February for the Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest bathing event.

But some experts worry that the iconic religious festival poses a major health concern. The last major gathering in 2015 altered the bacterial population of the Godavari River, increased the risk of waterborne disease outbreak and introduced drug-resistant “superbugs” according to a study published in October in Microbial Ecology.

This is not the first time the festival spurs health concerns. Experts have long recognized it as a major cause of cholera epidemics during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Researchers saw a 130-fold increase in the total number of bacteria following the festival. They also discovered that most of the naturally occurring bacteria in the river were replaced by microbes usually found in human skin and feces. There were also elevated levels of pathogens that cause salmonella, whooping cough, staph infections and tuberculosis.

Water is an open system. If the water is not treated, it goes to different areas, which may lead to bacteria swapping genetic material with one another without reproducing — that process is known to speed the proliferation of drug-resistant strains of bacteria. This could lead to antibiotic resistance spreading downstream through the river.

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