Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

5.3 earthquake hits Crete.

5.2 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova region, Russia.

5.0 earthquake hits Khabarovskiy Kray, Russia.

5.0 earthquake hits the southern mid-Atlantic ridge.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Hurricane Flossie is located about 1150 mi…1850 km wsw of the southern tip of Baja California and about 2075 mi…3335 km e of Hilo Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…80 mph…130 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 285 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

In the Central Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Erick is located about 695 mi…1115 km ese of Hilo Hawaii and about 905 mi…1460 km ese of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…125 mph…205 km/h. Present movement…w or 280 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Wipha is located approximately 207 nm south-southwest of Hong Kong, is tracking northwestward at 10 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Pakistan – Heavy monsoon rains have lashed Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, triggering floods and killing six people. Authorities closed schools. Heavy rainfall has been affecting north-eastern Pakistan – particularly the Azad, Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Territory (AJK) – over the past few days, triggering flash floods and landslides. Media report 28 fatalities and five injured in Leswa Town (Neelum District, northern AJK). More than 100 houses have been damaged and a mosque swept away by floodwaters.

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Russia – Over 470 residential houses in 20 settlements in the Irkutsk region have been affected by floods that started on July 27 after heavy rains in the area, the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry said on Tuesday. Part of the “Siberia” federal highway was temporarily closed due to the floods.

Wildlife

Whale Strandings – Georgia, USA

Beachgoers, wildlife officials and lifeguards in Georgia pitched in to help free dozens of stranded whales earlier this month. About 50 live short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) beached themselves or came dangerous close to beaching themselves on St. Simons Island in the state’s southeast. Some of the whales continued to try swimming ashore after being freed, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said that at least three of the whales died. Necropsies on these whales showed mild signs of disease, but nothing out of the ordinary. Researchers are unsure why the whales stranded themselves, but it could be due to faulty echolocation signals which don’t work as well in shallow water, or due their strong pod loyalty — as one whale gets beached, the others may have tried to help out.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

A wildfire that’s smoldered for days near the Oregon border exploded to nearly 13,000 acres Tuesday morning, as heavy winds buffeted the flames, officials said. The Tucker Fire started Sunday at Highway 139 and Tucker Butte Road in Modoc County, six miles southwest of Clear Lake Reservoir, according to Cal Fire.

Disease

Yellow Fever – Ivory Coast

Officials with the Côte d’Ivoire, or Ivory Coast Ministry of Health report a yellow fever outbreak. According to a press release today, eighty nine yellow fever cases have been registered, primarily in the city of Abidjan. One death has been reported.

Hepatitis A – Washington, USA

A hepatitis A outbreak has been declared in Washington state after a number of cases have been reported in several counties. The affected population is people who are living homeless or who use drugs. To date, the outbreak includes 13 confirmed cases.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Flossie is located about 965 mi…1550 km sw of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…65 mph…100 km/h. Present movement…w or 280 degrees at 16 mph…26 km/h.

In the Central Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Erick is located about 1015 mi…1635 km ese of Hilo Hawaii and about 1225 mi…1970 km ese of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…80 mph…130 km/h. Present movement…w or 280 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Italy – Freak storms and flash flooding following last week’s heatwave in Italy claimed three lives over the weekend, including a young woman caught up in a mini-tornado near Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

Wildlife

More Than 200 Reindeer Found Dead from Starvation in Norway

Researchers recently found more than 200 dead reindeer on the island of Svalbard in Norway; the animals starved to death due to climate change, which is disrupting their access to the plants that they typically eat.

Climate change is bringing warmer temperatures to Svalbard, which means more precipitation. And heavy rainfall in December is thought to be responsible for the unusually high number of reindeer deaths.

After the December rain hit the ground, the precipitation froze, creating “tundra ice caps,” a thick layer of ice that prevented reindeer from reaching vegetation in their usual winter grazing pastures. This forced the animals to dig pits in shoreline snow to find seaweed and kelp, which are less nutritious than the reindeer’s usual fare.

With their pastures locked in ice, the reindeer also have to travel farther to find food. And when there is little to eat, the youngest and oldest animals are usually the first to die.

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Environment

Nuclear Cloud Mystery Solved

A vast cloud of nuclear radiation that spreadover continental Europe in 2017 has been traced to an unacknowledged nuclear accident in southern Russia, according to an international team of scientists.

The experts say the cloud of radiation detected over Europe in late September 2017 could only have been caused by a nuclear fuel-reprocessing accident at the Mayak Production Association, a nuclear facility in the Chelyabinsk region of the Ural Mountains in Russia, sometime between noon on Sept. 26 and noon on Sept. 27.

Russia confirmed that a cloud of nuclear radiation was detected over the Urals at the time, but the country never acknowledged any responsibility for a radiation leak, nor has it ever admitted that a nuclear accident took place at Mayak in 2017.

Although the resulting cloud of nuclear radiation was diluted enough that it caused no harm to people beneath it, the total radioactivity was between 30 and 100 times the level of radiation released after the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011.

Space Events

Close Call

Scientists revealed an asteroid dubbed by some as a “city killer” came closer to the Earth than the moon this week. The Washington Post reported that scientists apparently had no idea it was coming.

Asteroid 2019 OK came hurtling toward Earth at a speed of nearly 15 miles a second, before flying past. According to NASA, it was about 45,000 miles from Earth on Thursday.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

Massive wildfires sweeping through Russia have spread to an area the size of annexed Crimea as regional authorities have been slow to declare emergencies and firefighting efforts have been scaled back.

Scientists have observed an “unprecedented” number of wildfires in Siberia and the Russian Arctic since June. Russian authorities have said a combination of lightning and human activity may have sparked the flames.

More than 2.7 million hectares of remote forest is currently burning across six Siberian and Far East regions, according to Russia’s Federal Forestry Agency, an area roughly equal to the size of Crimea.

Regional emergency authorities have opted against extinguishing the more than 300 forest fires that are engulfing hard-to-reach areas, saying inhabited areas are “not under threat” and “projected extinguishing costs exceed their projected harm.”

It’s “pointless and at times even harmful” to try to extinguish the flames, Krasnoyarsk region governor Alexander Uss was quoted as saying by the Vedomosti business daily. Speaking at a youth forum on Sunday, Uss compared the wildfires to a summertime equivalent of winter blizzards.

More than 11 million hectares have been affected this wildfire season, Greenpeace Russia said in a statement Friday, calling on the authorities to step up firefighting efforts in the affected areas.

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Disease

Measles – DR Congo

In a follow-up on the measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), health ministry officials report 120,635 total cases through July 7. 2,162 measles deaths have been recorded. In the most recent week alone, 2,125 measles cases including 60 deaths have been reported.

Malaria – Burundi

In a follow-up on the malaria epidemic in the East-Central African country of Burundi, the Ministry of Public Health has reported 5,738,661 cases this year through July 21. This represents a 97 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2018. This is up from 3.2 million cases reported in late May.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Erick is located about 1475 mi…2375 km ese of Hilo Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…w or 270 degrees at 16 mph…26 km/h.

Tropical Storm Flossie is located about 820 mi…1315 km wsw of Manzanillo Mexico and about 780 mi…1260 km ssw of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…w or 270 degrees at 18 mph…30 km/h.

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NewsBytes:

UK – The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning after half a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours across the country. Forecasters said parts of the North West had seen 50mm of rain in 24 hours, with 52.2mm recorded between 11am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday at Greenfield near Oldham. Flooding and standing water has caused problems for commuters and residents across the affected areas. The wet weather comes after Britain was hit by record-breaking hot temperatures and thunderstorms, with the heatwave causing problems for train and air passengers.

Global Warming

Global Warming Is Pushing Pacific Salmon to the Brink

Pacific salmon that spawn in Western streams and rivers have been struggling for decades to survive water diversions, dams and logging. Now, global warming is pushing four important populations in California, Oregon and Idaho toward extinction, federal scientists warn in a new study.

The new research shows that several of the region’s salmon populations are now bumping into temperature limits, with those that spawn far inland after lengthy summer stream migrations and those that spend a lot of time in coastal habitats like river estuaries among the most at risk.

That includes Chinook salmon in California’s Central Valley and in the Columbia and Willamette River basins in Oregon; coho salmon in parts of Northern California and Oregon; and sockeye salmon that reach the Snake River Basin in Idaho, all of which are already on the federal endangered species list.

The salmon live much of their lives in the ocean, but they swim far upstream to spawn. In the process, they’re a key part of the food chain, including for bears and whales, and they are important to indigenous groups and fisheries along the U.S. West Coast.

The research spells out several ways that global warming endangers the fish. Among them:

– Young salmon die when the water warms above a certain threshold, and droughts can leave salmon stranded or exposed to predators by low water levels.

– Flooding can also flush eggs and young fish from their nests, so the scientists included projections of how global warming will affect extreme atmospheric river rain storms in California as one of the ways to measure the growing threat.

– Warmer stream temperatures have also increased outbreaks of fish disease that can affect salmon, including pathogenic parasites. In May, a toxic algae bloom along the coast of Norway killed 8 million farmed salmon at an estimated cost of about $82 million. In Alaska’s Yukon River, a parasite linked with global warming has taken a big toll on the salmon fishery. And in recent weeks, local indigenous observers in Alaska have posted numerous reports of dead salmon in rivers in the western part of the state, as water temperatures reached record highs during Alaska’s record-setting heat wave.

– Salmon are also sensitive to changes in ocean currents that carry nutrients, as well as sea level rise, which affects the physical connection between ocean and stream ecosystems, like coastal wetlands in California. Some salmon populations living near the edge of the range of suitable conditions will start to cluster in rivers near the coast, unable to reach their historic spawning grounds unless “access to higher-elevation habitats is restored and habitat quality in rearing areas and migration corridors is improved,” the scientists wrote.

Sockeye salmon 900 mark conlin vw pics uig via getty