Wildfires

Wildfires – New Zealand

Hundreds of people in New Zealand’s second-largest city were evacuated from their homes Wednesday as wildfires burned down several houses and threatened to encroach further into some suburbs. A helicopter pilot who was a decorated soldier died in a crash while fighting the blaze on Tuesday. The region had been unusually dry for three years and the grass in the hills had turned brown over the Southern Hemisphere summer. Smoke and ash were being blown across Christchurch.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.3 Earthquake hits near the north coast of Colombia.

5.3 Earthquake hits central Alaska.

5.2 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Sumbawa region, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Atacama, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of western Turkey.

5.0 Earthquake hits South Island, New Zealand.

Wildlife

Massive Whale Standing in New Zealand

Screen Shot 2017 02 10 at 4 55 25 PM

Rescuers were engaged in a race against time on Friday to save the lives of a large group of whales, after more than 400 of the animals swam aground along a remote beach in New Zealand.

About 275 of the pilot whales were already dead when Cheree Morrison and two colleagues found them on Farewell Spit at the tip of the South Island. Within hours, hundreds of farmers, tourists and teenagers engaged in a group effort to keep the surviving 140 or so whales alive in one of the worst whale strandings in the nation’s history.

Getting the large animals back out to sea proved to be a major challenge. As many as half of the 100 refloated whales managed to strand themselves again, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The adult and baby whale carcasses were strewn three or four deep in places for hundreds of yards, often rolled over on the sand with their tail fins still up in the air.

Morrison’s group alerted officials, and volunteers soon began arriving in wetsuits and carrying buckets. Dressed in her jeans and sandshoes, Morrison waded into the water and did what she could to try to maneuver the surviving whales upright so they could breathe more easily.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of whale strandings in the world, and Friday’s event is the nation’s third-biggest recorded stranding.

The largest was in 1918, when about 1,000 pilot whales came ashore on the Chatham Islands. In 1985 about 450 whales stranded in Auckland.

Endangered penguins hunting for fish in wrong place

Endangered penguins are hunting for fish in the wrong place because climate change has prompted sardines and other prey to move to another part of the ocean, researchers have discovered.

The plight of the African penguin – found in Namibia and South Africa – highlights the dangers to wildlife of the sudden rise in temperature caused by human-induced global warming.

For the penguins have learned to look for places with lower sea temperatures and large amounts of a type of chlorophyll. These are tell-tale signs of plankton and, in turn, the fish that feed on them.

These once sure-fire ways to find large shoals are now leading the penguins into an “ecological trap” that is pushing them closer to extinction.

And the situation has been made worse by industrial-scale fishing and a raft of other problems, mostly caused by humans.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are about 80,000 adult African penguins left. But oil slicks in 1994 and 2000 killed some 30,000 birds and the death toll “may increase” if planned harbour developments go ahead, the IUCN says.

In the new study, researchers from Exeter and Cape Town universities tagged 54 juvenile birds from eight different colonies to find out where they go to look for fish.

The areas they chose were once rich hunting grounds for sardines and anchovies.

But changes in water temperature and salt content have prompted the fish to move hundreds of kilometres away.

The problems in finding food have produced low survival rates among juvenile African penguins, previously known as jackass penguins.

It is thought breeding numbers are about 50 per cent lower than they would be if the birds were able to find enough to eat.

Africanpenguinsingleuse

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits Colombia.

5.6 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.3 Earthquake hits near the coast of western Turkey.

5.3 Earthquake hits Uttaranchal, India.

5.1 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.1 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the coast of western Turkey.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Maug Islands in the North Mariana Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits the State of Yap, Micronesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits south Island, New Zealand.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

5.2 Earthquake hits southeast of Easter Island.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of Africa.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of Java, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

New Zealand – Wild weather which hit the Nelson region overnight caused rivers in the Golden Bay area to reach 10-year flood levels, closed roads and brought down trees. Wind gusts hit 105kmh in Richmond with surface flooding evident on roads around the region. Over a five-hour period, 153mm of rain fell in the Waingaro Valley, with 41.3mm falling in one hour.

Thailand – Floods continue to wreak havoc in parts of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Phatthalung in the lower South, according to local media reports. In Pattani province, water overflowed from the Pattani River to inundate the provincial town on Sunday morning. The Meteorological Department on Sunday morning issued a weather forecast saying that heavy to very heavily rain is expected to hit Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat from Sunday until Wednesday.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits north of Ascension Island.

5.0 Earthquake hits Salta, Argentina.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits Potosi, Bolivia.

5.4 Earthquake hits northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.3 Earthquake hits southern Iran.

Iranian media has reported that a magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit a village in the country’s south, killing four people.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Cook Strait, New Zealand.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits offshore Chiapas, Mexico.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Cook Strait, New Zealand.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 Earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits central Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits Samar in the Philippines.

Two 5.0 Earthquakes hit New Ire4land, Papua New Guinea.

Earthquake forms the Great Wall of New Zealand

In last month’s M7.8 Kaikoura, New Zealand earthquake, at least 9 separate faults ruptured in the largest quake in New Zealand since the 1855 M8.2-8.3 Wairarapa earthquake. In a matter of seconds the New Zealand landscape changed forever. Shore platforms along the coast were uplifted, landslides blocked rivers and roads, and large intermittent surface ruptures extended for over 120 km. At this site, the amount of vertical uplift exceeded 3 m, while lateral offset was approximately 1.8 m.

New Zealand earthquake fault rupture waiau

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.5 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Talmud, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Cook Strait, New Zealand.

5.0 Earthquake hits northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits west of Macquarie Island.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.9 Earthquake hits southern Xinjiang, China.

The strong earthquake in a remote area of China’s extreme west has killed at least one villager after a home collapsed.

5.2 Earthquake hits southern Xinjiang, China.

5.1 Earthquake hits southern Xinjiang, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits North Island, New Zealand.

5.0 Earthquake hits the central Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.0 Earthquake hits off the coast of Central America.

The earthquake was felt across the region, including Managua, the capital of Nicaragua; San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador; and San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said El Salvador and Nicaragua could experience related tsunami waves of 1-3 feet. No reports of injuries or damage were reported.

5.5 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova region, Russia.

5.5 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova region, Russia.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the west coast of South Island, New Zealand.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.