Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

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Wildlife

Australia Parrot being Massacred in Tasmania

Critically endangered Swift Parrots are under threat from squirrel-like sugar gliders in a battle for space in Australia’s ancient forests, scientists said Wednesday as they race to save the rare birds.

Swift Parrots are migratory and only breed in the southern island state of Tasmania. But the nomadic nectar-eating birds’ nesting grounds — gum trees — are also popular with sugar gliders, small possums believed to have been introduced to Tasmania in the early 19th century. The marsupials, which launch themselves from tree to tree and rarely descend to the ground, eat the nesting birds as well as their eggs and chicks, the Australian National University scientists said.

This year, both species are battling for real estate on Tasmania’s east coast due to abundant eucalypt flowering in the region, which contains some of the world’s oldest trees.

Swift Parrots usually arrive from the Australian mainland in August before flying back north in February and March after the breeding season, according to the Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service. There are no recent estimates of their population, but a 2011 assessment cited by the Australian government estimated there were only about 2,000 mature birds, with the population declining.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Tasmania

The Tasmania Fire Service is responding to 15 bushfires across north and south of the state burning several thousand hectares. There is currently no major threat to property. There is a currently a high fire danger rating around Tasmania in all areas except the North West. It is expected that the rating will increase to very high later today.

Disease

Hepatitis A – San Diego, California – Update

The number of hepatitis A cases in San Diego County’s current local outbreak has grown to 507, according to the latest data published Tuesday. This includes an additional fatality bringing the total deaths associated with this outbreak to 19. Seven out of 10 people affected by the outbreak have required hospitalization for their illness.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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Tropical storm 25w (Lan), located approximately 187 nm northwest of Kayangel, is tracking south-southeastward at 03 knots.

Newsbytes:

Ireland – Three people were killed as ex-hurricane Ophelia battered the country and people have been warned to remain cautious in the aftermath of the severe winds. Fallen trees blocking roads and downed power lines are some of the likely hazards on Tuesday as the country begins to return to normal following a day when the island went into lockdown. Violent winds, which peaked at 119mph (191kph), caused widespread damage to electricity networks, uprooting trees and damaging properties.

Thailand – Five people have been killed following the runoff and river overflows in nine Central provinces that affected 140,000 people over the past three days, authorities said yesterday. Heavy rain from Oct 10-13, a result of a depression and discharge from the Chao Phraya Dam, triggered runoff and overflows in Lop Buri, Kamphaeng Phet, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Tak and Phichit.At least 51,669 households in 32 districts were affected.

Queensland, Australia – Six people were reported missing after their fishing trawler capsized in bad weather off the central Queensland coast on Monday evening. One of their crewmates survived for 12 hours in heavy seas before raising the alarm. Torrential rain in the state also led to the death of a man caught in floodwater near Gympie and an incident in Brisbane in which a jogger was flung into a creek after being hit by a car that skidded off the road.

Disease

Madagascar – Plague

The number of plague cases continue to grow on the island nation of Madagascar. According to the Ministere de la Publique Monday, the case tally has exceeded 800 affecting 38 districts and 17 Regions of Madagascar. Of the 805 plague cases reported, 595 were pulmonary and 210 bubonic forms. In addition, they are now reporting 74 deaths.

Burkina Faso – Dengue Fever

The Burkina Faso Ministry of Health declared a dengue fever outbreak on Sep. 28 after seeing a dramatic increase in the incidence of the mosquito borne viral disease in the country, especially around the districts of Ouagadougou, the capital city since early August.

The World Health Organization says the weekly case incidence has been on the rise since the detection of the outbreak in week 31 (August 6), and is likely underestimated due to under-reporting from private clinics and health centres in peripheral zones.

Bhutan – Rabies

A rabies outbreak in Panbang, considered one of the major disease outbreaks in recent times, has been brought under control. As of October 11, 16 stray dogs were tested positive for rabies and died including seven cattle. Nine cattle bitten by rabid dogs are on observation.

About 185 people including students are undergoing rabies post exposure treatment at Panbang BHU. 371 dogs and 98 cats were vaccinated under Panbang Drungkhag.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Post Tropical Cyclone Ophelia is located about 220 mi…355 km SW of Mizen Head Ireland with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…N or 10 degrees at 44 mph…70 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Depression 24w (Khanun), located approximately 195 nm east-southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam, is tracking southwestward at 03 knots.

Tropical storm 25w (Lan), located approximately 220 nm west-northwest of Yap, FSM, is tracking west-northwestward at 11 knots.

Newsbytes:

Ireland – Ireland has ordered all schools to close on Monday as the country braces for an “unprecedented storm” with the arrival of Ophelia, the largest hurricane ever recorded so far east in the Atlantic Ocean. Heavy rain and storm surges are expected to lead to flooding.

Chicago, USA – Storms poured more than five inches of rain on some parts of the Chicago area Saturday as inclement weather brought damaging winds and heavy downpours flooding some areas.

La Nina – La Nina, the cooler sibling of El Nino, is likely to form over the next few months, federal government forecasters said this week. Specifically, there’s a 55 to 65 percent chance that a La Nina will develop during the fall and winter, the Climate Prediction Center said.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Portugal and Spain

Three people have been killed in Portugal as the country is hit by a record number of forest fires, and three more have died in Spain where blazes sparked by arsonists have been fanned by strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia.

In total, about 440 fires were burning across Portugal on Sunday, which is “the worst day since the beginning of the year”, according to a spokesperson for the national civil protection agency.

In addition to the three dead, about 25 people had been injured, with thousands of firefighters deployed and three motorways, including one linking Lisbon and Porto, closed.

Wildfires – California

The wildfires that erupted last weekend have killed at least 40 people and destroyed at least 5,700 homes and other structures. As of Sunday, roughly 75,000 people were under evacuation orders, down from nearly 100,000 the day before. In all, 17 large fires are still burned across the northern part of the state, with more than 10,000 firefighters attacking the flames using air tankers, helicopters and more than 1,000 fire engines.

Disease

Malaria – South Africa

Management at Kruger National Park is advising visitors to the Park about the risk of malaria and precautionary measures to be taken. Although there is some risk throughout the year, the annual high malaria season (September to May) has started, and above-average numbers of cases have been reported from areas surrounding the Park.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Ophelia is located about 475 mi…765 km E of the Azores and about 965 mi…1550 km SSW of Mizen Head Ireland with maximum sustained winds…105 mph…165 km/h. Present movement…NE or 45 degrees at 35 mph…56 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 24w (Khanun), located approximately 108 nm south-southwest of Hong Kong, is tracking west-northwestward at 17 knots.

Newsbytes:

Thailand – Areas of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok have been severely disrupted after being hit by flash floods. The floods triggered by an overnight downpour were the heaviest Bangkok had seen in 25 years and overwhelmed the city’s drainage system. At least 55 major roads were submerged by floodwater which caused traffic jams across the capital with locals forced to wade through thigh-deep water.

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Vietnam – The death toll in Vietnam from landslides and heavy rain triggered by a tropical depression earlier this week has climbed to 68, with another 34 people missing. The Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said in a statement on Sunday that the disasters have also injured 32 people, damaged infrastructure and killed more than 230,000 livestock in central and northern regions.

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Wildlife

Drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge

The Trump administration and congressional Republicans in recent weeks have renewed the fight over opening part of an enormous wildlife refuge in northern Alaska to oil and gas exploration.

The battle over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which pits Republicans in Washington and much of the political and business establishment in Alaska against congressional Democrats and environmental and conservation groups, has been going on for decades. With Republicans holding both houses of Congress and the presidency, the prospects for opening the refuge, at least to studies of its oil and gas potential, are better than they have been in years.

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