Disease

Polio – Philippines

Philippines health officials reported today on three additional polio cases in the southern island of Mindanao.

Dengue Fever – Pakistan

From 8 July to 12 November 2019, a total of 47,120 confirmed cases of dengue fever, including 75 deaths, were reported from the four provinces (KP, Punjab, Balochistan, and Sindh), Islamabad, and AJK.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.8 earthquake hits Acre, Brazil.

5.8 earthquake hits the Volcano Islands off Japan.

5.7 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits northern Alaska.

5.1 earthquake hits Tonga,

5.1 earthquake hits the Philippine Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Western Pacific: Tropical Storm 36w (Pabuk), located approximately 245 nm east-southeast of Port Blair, Andaman, is tracking westward at 08 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 08p (Penny), located approximately 499 nm east of Cairns, Australia, is tracking westward at 05 knots.

Tropical cyclone 09p (Mona), located approximately 194 nm south-southeast of Suva, Fiji, is tracking southeastward at 12 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical depression 01w (One), located approximately 182 nm east-southeast of Majuro, is tracking northwestward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

Thailand – Floods and blackouts caused by Tropical Storm Pabuk left nearly 30,000 people in evacuation shelters across southern Thailand Saturday, as relieved tourists stranded on islands further north were spared the worst and began to plot routes home. Pabuk, a once in three-decade weather system, packed winds of up to 75 kilometres (45 miles) an hour and brought heavy rains and storm surges as it lashed the entire south of the kingdom on Friday, downing power cables and causing widespread flooding.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

The Gell river fire, west of the Tasmanian capital, has now burned through almost 15,000 hectares of bush but no longer posed an immediate risk to properties, the Tasmania Fire Service said. But residents were warned of a risk of embers from the blaze, burning about 20km northwest of the communities.

The bushfire at Rosedale, in Gippsland suspected to be deliberately lit, ripped through more than 10,000 hectares of scrub and forest before it was brought under control about 2.30am Saturday.

Wildfires – Chile

Dozens of wildfires tore through central Chile destroying scores of homes. Local media reported there were 44 wildfires active on Thursday with at least eight more still burning in the Valparaiso region alone. Valparaiso is a coastal area about 100km northwest of Chile’s capital, Santiago.

Perhaps the hardest hit municipality was Limache, where the mayor said some 60 homes were destroyed.

The O’Higgins region south of Valparaiso was also hard hit. In total, local media reported more than 2,600 hectares have burned.

Disease

Syphilis – Japan

In a follow-up on the syphilis outbreak in Japan in 2018, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo has reported an additional 600 cases in the past four weeks. The annual tally has risen from 6,096 to 6,661 from Epi week 46 to 50.

Ebola – DR Congo – Update

During the reporting period (27 December 2018 – 2 January 2019), 16 newly confirmed cases were reported from Beni (two), Butembo (five), Katwa (three), Komanda (one), Mabalako (one), and Oicha (four) health zones (Figure 1). As of 2 January 2019, there have been a total of 609 EVD cases1 (561 confirmed and 48 probable, Figure 2), including 370 deaths and 208 people having recovered.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Western Pacific: Tropical Storm 36w (Pabuk), located approximately 514 nm west-west of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is tracking northwestward at 06 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 08p (Penny), located approximately 580 nm east of Cairns, Australia, is tracking east-northeastward at 03 knots.

Tropical cyclone 09p (Mona), located approximately 278 nm north-northwest of Suva, Fiji, is tracking southeastward at 04 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical depression 01w (One), located approximately 84 nm east of Mili, is tracking northwestward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

Solomon Islands – For two weeks, much of the country has been drenched by heavy rain that’s caused flooding and landslides across the country. Two people have died and as many as 22,000 have had their homes or food crops destroyed. In several provinces, rivers have burst their banks and swept through villages. Flood water has contaminated drinking water and destroyed crops. Strong winds blew off rooftops and flattened homes. Landslides have cut access to roads in some districts.

Disease

Hepatitis A – Florida, USA

In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak in Florida in 2018, state health officials reported 147 cases from 22 counties in December to bring the annual total to 559 in 31 counties. West Central and Central Florida, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and the Orlando area, respectively recorded the most cases.

Storms and Floods.

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm 1

In the Western Pacific: Tropical Storm 36w (Pabuk), located approximately 388 nm west-southwest of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is tracking westward at 11 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 08p (Penny), located approximately 594 nm east of Cairns, Australia, is tracking southeastward at 03 knots.

Tropical cyclone 09p (Mona), located approximately 264 nm north-northwest of Suva, Fiji, is tracking northwestward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

Denmark – During the passing of Storm Alfrida over Denmark these past two days, its potent winds were of secondary concern to some citizens. The low pressure system also led to significant flooding, particularly in the southern part of the country, where water levels in some areas reached 1.7 metres above normal. Bagenkop on the island of Langeland saw the highest water level increase at 1.72 metres – a level that has only been reached once in the town since registrations began in 1976 – while a number of areas saw water levels reach 20-year highs.

Wildlife

Aerial Assault

An invasive Asian hornet that has decimated bee populations and killed some humans across the Iberian Peninsula will now be attacked by a fleet of armed drones. Experts are teaching local firefighters how to fill drones with insecticide, then fire the payload into hornets’ nests.

The pest is native to China and has spread southward into Spain at about 20 miles per year since arriving in France two decades ago. Its territory is also expanding elsewhere across Europe.

Stings from the aggressive hornets have killed two people so far in Spain, and the numbers of honeybees and butterflies have plummeted there since 2010.

Victims of Extreme Weather

Increased episodes of severe weather are causing populations of some species around the world to fall, and have even brought on local extinctions, scientists warn.

“The growing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as cyclones, droughts and floods is causing unpredictable and immediate changes to ecosystems,” researcher Sean Maxwell of the University of Queensland said.

Writing in the journal Diversity and Distributions, Maxwell and colleagues say that birds, fish, plants and reptiles are under the greatest threat from stronger and more frequent cyclones. Mammals and amphibians are said to be among the most threatened by drought.

But the scientists point out that all kinds of plants and animals can be affected by the weather extremes.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Sometimes, at sunset, the sun appears to suddenly and briefly change color. Blink, and you’ll miss it.

A green flash is a phenomenon in which part of the sun appears to suddenly change color for about 1 or 2 seconds. The brief flash of green light is seen more often at sunset than at sunrise.

This fleeting spectacle is caused by the refraction of sunlight, which is particularly significant at sunset and sunrise, when the light travels through more of the Earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere bends the sunlight passing through it, separating the light into its different colors, much like a prism bends and splits sunlight into rainbows.

Screen Shot 2019 01 04 at 2 21 17 PM

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Wittenoon, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 58.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.9 degrees Celsius) at Oimyakon, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Tasmania

An out-of-control bushfire is raging through a popular tourist destination after lightning struck in Tasmanian wilderness in the midsouth of the state, around an hour from Hobart. Total fire bans are in place across the state as temperatures soar. The Maydena, Tyenna and National Park townships are under threat as a fire around 8,800 hectares in size blazes just 20km away in the northwest.

Wildfires – South Africa

A number of homes were destroyed by a wildfire around Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay in the Western Cape. It’s suspected that two flares were set off just after midnight on Tuesday, igniting a fire in the Kogelberg nature reserve. Strong winds fanned the flames and the fire reached Pringle Bay. Residents of Pringle Bay were evacuated early on Thursday morning when the fire jumped the R44 into the coastal town. One person is reported to have died during the panic, allegedly of a heart attack.

Disease

Hantavirus disease – Republic of Panama

The Panama Ministry of Health has reported an increase in cases of hantavirus infection in Los Santos Province, Republic of Panama, to the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). Between 1 January and 22 December 2018, a total of 103 confirmed cases of hantavirus have been reported. 51 cases were classified as hantavirus fever1 (HF) without pulmonary syndrome and 48 cases were classified as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome2 (HPS), including four deaths.

Malaria – Pakistan

The Sindh Malaria Control Program reported 108,262 lab-confirmed malaria cases in 2018, according to a Pakistani media report today. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported.