Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 33w (Usagi), located approximately 143 nm east-southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is tracking westward at 08 knots.

Typhoon 34w (Man-Yi), located approximately 508 nm southwest of Iwo To, Japan, is tracking north-northwestward at 03 knots.

NewsBytes:

Iraq – At least seven people, including children, have been killed and thousands have been forced to flee their homes after heavy rains triggered flash floods in northern Iraq. The seven people were killed when floods hit the al-Houreya village in Salahuddin province.

Saudi Arabia – Security Aviation helicopters in cooperation with the Civil Defense in Makkah have started rescuing motorists marooned by the floods in Makkah Province. Meanwhile, the Civil Defense closed four mountain passes to traffic as a precautionary measure due to the rainfall in the region.

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Egypt – Unstable weather is being witness across Egypt, with Cairo expected to witness heavy rainfall and a significant decline in temperature by 4-5 degrees Celsius until Saturday. Cairo and other governorates have seen heavy rainfall during the early hours of Friday, and the official forecast authority warned that some areas in North and South Sinai are expected to see floods.

Australia – Strong winds across Australia’s southeast coast also caused commuter chaos at Sydney and Melbourne airports, the country’s two busiest, with thousands of air travellers stranded after dozens of flights were cancelled. Winds gusting up to 70 kmph (44 mph) fanned major bushfires on Australia’s east coast on Friday (November 23), threatening homes and forcing evacuations.

Global Warming

US Government Report on Climate Change

Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities, according to a long-awaited report released Friday by the federal government. The National Climate Assessment warns that extreme weather and climate-related events in the U.S. are worsening, and it reveals the economic and health toll of climate change.

The report, which is mandated by law, “concludes that the evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans’ physical, social, and economic well-being are rising.”

The report’s authors, who represent more than a dozen federal agencies, detail expected economic impact.

“The continued warming that is projected to occur without substantial and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions is expected to cause substantial net damage to the U.S. economy throughout this century, especially in the absence of increased adaptation efforts,” the report says.

Climate change is expected to hurt the American economy by causing more damage to natural resources and infrastructure, including access to roads, the viability of bridges and the safety of pipelines.

The federal report says the last few years have smashed records for damaging weather in the U.S., costing nearly $400 billion since 2015.

When it comes to health, the report says increasing water and air temperatures and more intense extreme events are expected to heighten exposure “to waterborne and foodborne diseases, affecting food and water safety.”

Climate change is also projected to increase the frequency and severity of allergic illnesses, including asthma and hay fever. And it will alter the geographic range and distribution of disease-carrying insects and pests, exposing more people to ticks that carry Lyme disease and mosquitoes that transmit viruses such as Zika, West Nile, and dengue, with “varying impacts” across regions.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California – Update

Hundreds of people remain missing in the wake of a pair of deadly wildfires that have been burning across both ends of California.

The two monstrous blazes, which both ignited earlier this month, have claimed at least 87 lives while laying waste to a total area of nearly 400 square miles, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Officials said that the remains of at least 54 people have been positively identified so far.

The vast majority of the deaths — 84 in total — were due to the Camp Fire in Northern California’s Butte County, making it the deadliest and most destructive wildland fire in the state’s history.

The number of people missing or unaccounted for in Butte County was down to 475 on Friday evening after having reached 605 on Thursday, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. The number is expected to continue fluctuating as officials account for residents.

Disease

Epidemic disease detected on St. Maarten’s coral reefs

Nature Foundation St. Maarten has recently established the presence of tissue loss disease on several local coral reefs. The disease is relatively new and has been plaguing coral reefs in the Atlantic Basin for the last few months.

The coral reef disease manifests itself through the creation of white blotches on stony coral, eventually leading to the loss of tissue and death in the coral colony. The disease affects 20 different species of coral and is able to kill colonies within several weeks or months.

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