Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 earthquake hits north of Ascension Island.

5.5 earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.4 earthquake hits the North Atlantic Ocean.

5.3 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Britain – Freezing fog caused travel chaos across Britain on Tuesday as the UK braced itself for Storm Diana’s 80mph winds. Hundreds of flights serving London airports were cancelled or delayed amid the thick fog and by noon some 62 flights to or from London Heathrow on Tuesday were cancelled and a further 380 were delayed by more than 15 minutes. Storm Diana will bring gales of up to 80mph to Britain and Ireland amid warnings that homes and business could be flooded with heavy rain expected. Train services were also affected on Tuesday with drivers having to slow down because they couldn’t see through the fog.

Australia – Swathes of coastal New South Wales around Sydney have been deluged with more than a month’s worth of rainfall in less than a day, with the State Emergency Service preparing to mobilise thousands of volunteers and police warning commuters to stay off the roads. Two people have already died. The floods have been described as the worst rain event in 44 years.

Wildlife

Biggest coral reseeding project launches on Great Barrier Reef

Scientists have launched the largest-ever attempt to regenerate coral on the endangered Great Barrier Reef by harvesting millions of the creatures’ eggs and sperm during their annual spawning.

The researchers said Wednesday they plan to grow coral larvae from the harvested eggs and return these to areas of the reef which have been badly damaged by climate-related coral bleaching.

“Our team will be restoring hundreds of square meters with the goal of getting to square kilometres in the future, a scale not attempted previously,” the researchers said.

The “Larval Restoration Project” launch was timed to coincide with the annual coral spawn on the reef, which began earlier this week and will last only about 48 to 72 hours.

“Our approach to reef restoration aims to buy time for coral populations to survive and evolve until emissions are capped and our climate stabilises.”

The scientists hope that coral which have survived bleaching have a greater tolerance to rising temperatures so that a breeding population produced from this year’s spawn will grow into coral better able to survive future bleaching events.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – California

The two wildfires that scorched 250,000 acres in California, Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire, are 100% contained after raging for over two weeks. But the death toll from Northern California’s Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest fire on record, continues to climb, reaching 88 with over 200 people still missing. Firefighters continue to probe the remains of the fire for human remains.

Disease

Measles – Ukraine – Update

Ukrainian health officials reported an additional 2,138 measles cases in the past week, up 15 percent from the week prior. During the week ending Nov. 24, 729 adults and 1,409 children were positive for measles. Since the beginning of 2018, the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine has reported 42,040 measles cases.

Foot and Mouth Disease – China

China’s agriculture ministry on Tuesday reported an outbreak of O-type foot-and-mouth disease on a pig farm in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang region

The outbreak in Yining county, in Ili prefecture, infected 108 of 331 pigs on the farm, killing 46, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement. The other 285 pigs have been culled.

Ebola – DR Congo – Update

Last weekend, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported a further 33 cases of the highly contagious disease, bringing the total number to 419. The World Health Organisation (WHO) identified three major ebola “red zones” as Kalunguta, Katwa and Beni – all of which located in the north east of the Congo.