Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Luzon in the Philippines.

5.5 earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Canada – The flooding situation in Quebec has stabilized across the province. As of Sunday morning, 10,338 Quebecers had left their homes. A total of 5,448 homes had been flooded and 3,889 homes were cut off from their communities by floodwaters. The numbers mostly remained the same from the last provincial update issued on Saturday. The hardest hit areas are still the Laurentians and Outaouais.

Wildlife

The Danger of Snares

The loss of natural heritage, mainly due to poaching, has long been a thorn in the side of national and provincial conservation agencies and the spotlight is firmly on rhino and elephant because of massive increases in animal losses over recent years.

But what of other species which are also at risk including antelope and, high on the endangered scale, pangolin and wild dogs?

An answer, in part, comes from the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) which points out that a snare, in a person’s hand, doesn’t look like much.

“It’s just a piece of wire with a loop here and there. Place this wire in the hands of wildlife poachers and it becomes one of Africa’s most deadly weapons.

“Snares and traps kill millions of animals across the world each year. In Africa snares are mostly used to capture antelope for bush meat. In some instances, the goal is to target key high value species for trafficking body parts.

“Snares do not discriminate, catching anything,” the Stellenbosch-headquartered NGO said.

“A recent find in Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park was again evidence of this sad fact. Strategically concealed in a high density antelope movement area, a snare line claimed a waterbuck and three endangered African wild dogs,” a PPF spokesman said.

“It was clear from analysis of the scene the dogs were not targets of this trap. The carcasses were intact with no body parts removed. Most likely responding to the distress calls of the trapped waterbuck the dogs ended up caught in the snare line.”

Wild dogs are one of the most endangered carnivores in the world with only a few thousand still found in mostly southern and eastern Africa. African wild dogs are particularly susceptible to becoming by-catch in snares as, if a dog is caught, the rest of the pack are most likely to look for the missing individual and become ensnared.

Moz snares

Disease

Anthrax – Hungary

Hungarian health authorities have reported four human cutaneous anthrax cases, in two separate counties in recent weeks. The affected individuals were reported from farms in Bács-Kiskun and Békés counties. In addition, an additional 30 people were treated prophylactically with antibiotics due to possible exposure.

Measles – Europe Region

In the first two months of 2019, 34 300 measles cases have been reported in 42 countries of the WHO European Region, including 13 measles-related deaths in three countries (Albania, Romania and Ukraine). The majority of cases are reported in Ukraine, with more than 25 000 cases (>70%).

As of 28 March 2019, the WHO European Region reported a total of 83 540 measles cases and 74 related deaths. This is compared to 25 863 cases and 42 deaths in 2017, and 5 273 cases and 13 deaths in 2016. In 2018, eight countries reported over 2 000 cases each including Ukraine (n= 53 218), Serbia (n=5 076), France (n=2 913), Israel (3 140), Italy, (n=2 686), Russian Federation (n=2 256), Georgia (n=2 203) and Greece (n=2 193).