Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits the Bonin Islands off Japan.

5.2 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 05p (Owen), located approximately 106 nm west-southwest of Cairns, Australia, is tracking east-southeastward at 16 knots.

In the Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 08b (Eight), located approximately 800 nm south-southwest of Kolkata, India, is tracking northwestward at 09 knots.

NewsBytes:

South Carolina, USA – Heavy storms on Friday dumped several inches of rain on the Charleston area, inundating low-lying spots with floodwaters and jamming traffic during the morning rush hour.

Melbourne, Australia – After Friday’s freak storm, the forecast for Saturday wasn’t looking good either: more heavy rain, thunderstorms and flash flooding.

Global Warming

Mountain of Evidence Confirms: Climate Change Is Really, Really Bad for Human Health and Well-Being

It’s now beyond official: Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, pose a danger to public health and welfare, according to an exhaustive review that looked at 275 scientific studies published over the past nine years.

Researchers did the report to investigate whether the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2009 Endangerment Finding, which found that greenhouse gases pose a risk to human health, still held up. The new study showed that there is now even more evidence that greenhouse gases are harming human health and welfare. The investigation also found an additional four areas, not listed in the original report, in which greenhouse gases threaten people.

“There’s absolutely no scientific basis for questioning the Endangerment Finding,” review lead researcher Philip Duffy, president and executive director of the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts said. “The case for endangerment is stronger than ever.”

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) – Saudi Arabia

In a follow-up on the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reports a second case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) for the month of December.

Zika Virus – Rajastan

An outbreak of Zika virus infection in Rajasthan, India and surrounding states has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for the region.

Zika is endemic (regularly found) in India. However, there is an unusual increase in the number of Zika cases in Rajasthan and surrounding states. Over 280 cases of Zika virus infection, including two deaths, were reported from three states from September to November.