Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

6.0 earthquake hits western Australia.

5.1 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Sumbawa, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Gulf of Aden.

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Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.5 earthquake hits south of Australia.

5.3 earthquake hits northern Alaska.

5.1 earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Firefighters and volunteers from Bushfires NT have been working overtime to control a bushfire that has burned through 500 hectares of bush west of Eva Valley. The fire had started near Cheeney Rd in the Chin sub-division and was moving northwest. The blaze posed a risk to upwards of nine properties in the area.

Wildfires – Jamaica

A bush fire which has been burning in the Mavis Bank area of St. Andrew for a few days, has been brought under control, reducing the threat posed to hundreds of acres of coffee.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Western Australia

The threat of three bushfires in Western Australia has eased, with rainfall helping firefighting efforts at the regional blazes. The largest fire, at Jarrahwood, a small town between Busselton and Nannup, has burned more than 1 900 hectares. Smaller fires at Vasse Plantation, south-west of Busselton and Baldivis have been downgraded to a watch an act alert.

Wildfires – Canada

Wildfires in Alberta, Canada, have burned more than 700,000 acres of land and have forced 11,000 people to evacuate, according to the province’s government. The government of Alberta said that at least two out-of-control wildfires are burning in the area — the Chuckegg Creek Wildfire and the Jackpot Creek Wildfire.

The Chuckegg Creek Wildfire, burning in Mackenzie County just two miles south of the town of High Level, has burned nearly 692,000 acres, while the Jackpot Creek Wildfire, near Steen River, has burned more than 61,000 acres, government officials said.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6,6 earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

5.3 earthquake hits the Northern Territory, Australia.

5.2 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A bushfire emergency has been declared in the Perth Hills, that’s damaged buildings and threatened Acacia Prison. The bushfire has since been brought under control and residents have been told they are no longer in immediate danger.

An emergency warning was issued for parts of The Lakes, Beechina, Copley, Woottating and Wooroloo in the Shires of Mundaring and Northam on Wednesday afternoon as the fast-moving blaze threatened homes.

Wildlife

Australia’s Wildlife in Crisis

A new report, which reveals that record numbers of threatened forest dwelling fauna and many species are heading towards imminent extinction.

Released by the Wilderness Society this week, the report identified 48 federally-listed threatened species of forest-dwelling vertebrate fauna living in areas subject to state-run logging operations.

Four of those species – the leadbeater’s possum, swift parrot, western ringtail possum and regent honeyeater – are among the 20 bird and 20 mammal species most likely to become extinct within 20 years.

It also found that in the last 20 years, since the government allowed logging, 11 forest vertebrate species had been raised to “endangered” or “critically endangered” categories, bringing the total to 24, and none had been lowered. Another 15 species were listed as threatened for the first time.

The report called for an end to exemptions for logging operations from federal environmental laws, an overhaul of those laws, and the establishment of new assessment and regulatory bodies.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A number of buildings have been damaged or destroyed by fire in central Victoria, with several grassfires burning west and south of Ballarat.

One fire had been threatening homes at Bunkers Hill, Cardigan, Haddon, Kopke, Lucas and Smythes Creek and a second larger fire earlier threatened properties at Mount Mercer, about 30 kilometres south of Ballarat.

Both fires have now been contained or brought under control and the crisis has eased.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 21s (Veronica), located approximately 203 nm northeast of Learmonth, Australia, is tracking west-northwestward at 04 knots.

Tropical cyclone 22s (Joaninha), located approximately 331 nm east-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking east-southeastward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Iran – Massive floods in northern Iran over the weekend were so severe that the armed forces and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were deployed to deal with the crisis. Up to 400 villages in Golestan and 200 in Mazandaran were reported to be without power. Some of the villages received assistance in recent days, and 7,000 people were said to have received emergency accommodations.

Australia – Veronica was a category four on Saturday before making landfall on Sunday, bringing destructive winds that downed trees and damaged roofs, heavy rain that caused flooding and a storm surge that eroded beaches.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

The Bunyip State Park fire, which has burnt about 15,000 hectares in the past week, has now claimed 29 residential properties, damaged two others and burnt 67 other buildings, Emergency Management Victoria has confirmed.

The number of houses lost was confirmed on Friday after specialist crews assessed fire grounds and inspected 447 properties, but the toll could rise. About 2000 firefighters and 61 aircraft are tackling 17 active fires across the state.

Emergency Management said the bushfires had scorched more than 100,000 hectares of land across Victoria since last Thursday.

Global Warming

Climate change is reshaping Australia’s forests

Australia’s forests are being reshaped by climate change as droughts, heatwaves, rising temperatures and bushfires drive ecosystems towards collapse, ecologists have told Guardian Australia. Trees are dying, canopies are getting thinner and the rate that plants produce seeds is falling. Ecologists have long predicted that climate change would have major consequences for Australia’s forests. Now they believe those impacts are unfolding.

According to the 2018 State of the Climate Report, produced by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, large parts of the country are experiencing increases in weather patterns favourable to fires. The report found that rainfall has dropped in the south-east and south-west of the country, temperatures have warmed by an average of 1C, and a “shift to a warmer climate in Australia is accompanied by more extreme daily heat events”.

In one large shrub species – the south-western native Hooker’s banksia – researchers found seed production has halved in the last 30 years. They say the idea that Australia’s forests are well adapted to the country’s variable climate and can withstand fire and drought, is incorrect. “A big misapprehension is that these things are climatologically flexible, but they’re just not”, explaining that Australia’s dominant eucalypts have “fine-tuned their life history around assumptions of fire frequency”, but “climate change is just blowing that up”.Screen Shot 2019 03 07 at 2 17 44 PM

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

More than a dozen wildfires continued to burn across the Australian state of Victoria early this week as more residents were warned that they were in the path of the blazes. At least 11 buildings have been destroyed by the fires including homes and a winery.

New emergency warnings were issued for Dargo and areas near Licola on Tuesday as more than 2,000 firefighters continued to battle the blazes across eastern Victoria.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Firefighters in Victoria are rushing to build containment lines around fires burning east of Melbourne before “gusty and erratic” winds reach the area on Wednesday.

At least nine buildings, including homes, were destroyed in two out of control bushfires at Bunyip and Yinnar South in West Gippsland on Sunday, and an emergency warning was issued for a third near Dargo in the high country in east Gippsland.

There were 19 fires burning out of control in eastern Victoria on Monday, scattered through the east Gippsland and highland areas, and 23 schools have been closed due to fire risk.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Hundreds of firefighters will work through the night battling blazes across Victoria’s east as raging bushfires continue to threaten homes and properties. Dozens of communities are at risk with at least four fires burning out-of-control on Saturday with many residents in nearby towns told to take shelter or to leave before it was too late.

A massive 3400 hectare blaze is tearing through the Bunyip State Park, near Tonumbik about 65km east of Melbourne, after four smaller fires merged on Saturday. Water bombers will be used throughout the night to tackle the blaze along with about 300 firefighters on the ground

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A bushfire that damaged one home and destroyed four sheds, four vehicles and a harvester in Western Australia’s South West region has been contained but the threat remains. About 3300 hectares have been burnt since the fire started on Tuesday, and 80 firefighters are working to strengthen containment lines and mop up.