Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.3 earthquake hits southeast of Easter Island.

5.1 earthquake hits offshore Honduras.

5.1 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits Ganshu, China.

5.1 earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

5.0 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere – Tropical cyclone (tc) 25s (Lorna), located approximately 500 nm southwest of Cocos Island, is tracking south-southeastward at 11 knots.

In the Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 01b (Fani), located approximately 508 nm southeast of Chennai, India, is tracking northwestward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

Mozambique – TS Kenneth – which has now receded into a tropical depression – has damaged or destroyed 3,300 homes while about 18,000 people were housed in emergency shelters. The death toll meanwhile has risen to five amidst widespread flooding.

Jakarta – Floodwaters have inundated 37 areas across Jakarta on Saturday. The worst-hit neighborhoods were in East Jakarta with 21 areas being affected, while South and West Jakarta had 14 and two, respectively. The floods, which started on Friday, were caused after the Ciliwung, Angke and Krukut rivers overflowed following heavy rainfall in upstream areas in Bogor, West Java. The floods had killed at least two people.

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Wildlife

Listing Giraffes as Endangered Species

Two giraffe subspecies have been listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species for the first time.

Giraffe numbers plummeted by a staggering 40% in the last three decades, and less than 100,000 remain today. Habitat loss through expanding agriculture, human-wildlife conflict, civil unrest, and poaching for their meat, pelts, and tails, are among the reasons for the decline.

Meanwhile US Federal wildlife officials said Thursday that they would officially consider listing the giraffe as an endangered species, a move long sought by conservationists alarmed by the African mammal’s precipitous decline and a growing domestic market for giraffe products. Designating giraffes as endangered or threatened would place restrictions on their import into the United States and make federal funding available for conservation efforts.

Conservationists also hope that a listing could elevate the giraffes’ plight, which they said was often overshadowed by higher-profile initiatives to protect lions, elephants and other distinctive animals.

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Disease

Hepatitis A – Sweden

The Sweden The Public Health Authority, or Folkhälsomyndigheten are reporting an outbreak of hepatitis A where the suspected source of infection is fresh dates from Iran. Of the nine cases reported since late February, eight of the cases are confirmed and have the same type of hepatitis A virus (genotype IIIA) and one case is suspected.

Dengue Fever – Reunion – Update

In a follow-up on the dengue fever epidemic on the island of Reunion, ARS Indian Ocean reports the number of cases is steadily increasing with the most active areas located in the South. However, there are outbreaks in the north and east of the island.

Officials report an additional 1200 cases during the most recent week. This brings the outbreak total to more than 7200 cases since the beginning of the year. Seven deaths have been reported with three directly related to dengue fever this year.