Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.


Indonesia – Floods and landslides on Indonesia’s Sumatra island have claimed the lives of at least seven people and displaced thousand others. Also, 22 have been injured in Central Tapanuli Regency when the Aek Sirahar river burst its banks. More than 2,000 people have been forced to leave their flooded homes.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 05a (Luban), located approximately 136 nm west-southwest of Salalah, Oman, is tracking west-northwestward at 07 knots.


South Africa – Saturday’s heavy downpours resulted in cars being swept away and roads being damaged in parts of Tshwane (Pretoria). Low lying areas in Hammanskraal, Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve have been severely affected. A heavy hailstorm has also been reported in Vereeniging and Laudium with hail lying more than 30cm thick in places.

Sumatra, Indonesia – Torrential rains triggered flash floods and landslides on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing at least 27 people, including a dozen children at a school, officials said Saturday. A flash flood with mud and debris from landslides struck Mandailing Natal district in North Sumatra province and smashed an Islamic school in Muara Saladi village, where 29 children were swept away on Friday afternoon. Rescuers retrieved the bodies of 11 children from mud and rubble hours later.


Wales – Two people have been killed after storm Callum battered Wales, the western parts of Britain and coastal areas. A Met Office alert warned of danger to life from fast-flowing, deep floodwater and power cuts, and said some communities were threatened with being cut off completely.


Earth’s smallest rhino in Sumatra’s jungles

The Sumatran rhino, one of the rarest large mammals on earth, at the Rhino Sanctuary at Way Kambas National Park in eastern Sumatra. There are no more than 100 left on the entire planet.

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Sumatran rhinos are the smallest of all rhinos, and the only Asian variety with two horns. Unlike their better-known cousins in Africa, Sumatran rhinos are born covered in shaggy, reddish-brown fur, earning them the nickname “hairy rhino”. Their woolly covering fades to black or disappears almost entirely over their lifetimes, which span 35 to 40 years.

They once roamed the vast, dense forests of Sumatra, Borneo and Malaysia but land-clearing and poaching have devastated their numbers. In 2015, the species was declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia, leaving just tiny herds of two to five rhinos scattered across Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo.

In Sumatra there are also small clusters in the west and the island’s northern Leuser ecosystem — the last place on Earth where wild rhinos, orangutans, tigers and elephants roam together.

Sumatran rhinos are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. Females are only fertile for a small window each cycle, and need male contact to ovulate. Even then, intercourse does not guarantee conception. To make matters worse, Sumatran rhinos are solitary by nature and often clash upon interaction. In one hundred years the Sanctuary had just seven babies.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 Earthquake hits northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

A strong undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Aceh province early on Wednesday, killing nearly 100 people and sparking a frantic rescue effort in the rubble of dozens of collapsed and damaged buildings. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said 273 people were injured, about a quarter of them seriously. Some 245 buildings were seriously damaged or destroyed, mostly in Pidie Jaya, including 14 mosques and the remainder largely dwellings and shop houses. Roads also cracked and power poles toppled over. There is an urgent need for excavation equipment to move heavy debris and emergency supplies.

The US Geological Survey said the shallow 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck at 05:03 (22:03 GMT on Tuesday) was centred about 10km north of Reuleut, a town in northern Aceh, at a depth of 17km. It did not generate a tsunami.

For Acehnese, the quake was another terrifying reminder of their region’s vulnerability to natural disasters. More than 100 000 people died in Aceh after the December 26, 2004, earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami.

6.2 Earthquake hits Tobago, Trinidad-Tobago.

5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 Earthquake hits the Volcano Islands off Japan.

5.7 Earthquake hits Jujuy, Argentina.

5.0 Earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Earthquake Cluster hits California, USA

A cluster of moderate earthquakes rocked Northern California on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. About 9:55 p.m. Wednesday, a magnitude 4.5 earthquake was reported about 20 miles east of Janesville, near the Nevada border. Within minutes, two more magnitude 4.4 quakes were reported around the same area in Lassen County. The epicenters were about 45 miles north of Reno and 10 miles south of Honey Lake. Early Thursday morning, a magnitude 3.4 earthquake was reported 19 miles from Janesville.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits Pakistan.

5.3 Earthquake hits Pakistan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Talaud, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Myanmar-India Border.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Lombok, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of southern Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the west coast of northern Sumatra.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Gulf of California.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.3 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Fox Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Svalbard region.

5.2 Earthquake hits off the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.2 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Fox Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Ionian Sea.


Live Sumatran Rhino Captured in Indonesia

Humans have made contact with a Sumatran rhino in the Indonesian region of Borneo for the first time in 40 years.


Japan whaling fleet returns from Antarctic hunt with 333 whales

Japan’s whaling fleet returned on Thursday from its Antarctic hunt after a year-long suspension with a take of more than 300 whales, including pregnant females.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that Japan’s whaling in the Southern Ocean should stop, prompting it to call off its hunt that season, although it said at the time it intended to resume later.

Japan then amended its plan for the next season to cut the number of minke whales it aimed to take by two-thirds from previous hunts.

Its fleet set out in December despite international criticism, including from important ally the United States.

The final ships of the four-vessel whaling fleet returned to Shimonoseki in southwestern Japan on Thursday, having achieved the goal of 333 minke whales, the Fisheries Agency said.

Of these, 103 were males and 230 were females, with 90 percent of the mature females pregnant.

Japan, which has long maintained that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is part of its culture, began what it calls “scientific whaling” in 1987, a year after an international whaling moratorium took effect.

The meat ends up on shop shelves, although most Japanese no longer eat it.

Japan intends to take nearly 4,000 whales over the next 12 years as part of its research programme and has repeatedly said that its ultimate goal is the resumption of commercial whaling.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.9 Earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

There were no reports of deaths or damage to buildings from Wednesday night’s 7.8 magnitude quake, which caused panic in the Sumatran island port of Padang as people tried to reach higher ground when a tsunami warning was issued. No tsunami occurred. Tsunami alerts were cancelled within two hours of the tremor.

5.6 Earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.6 Earthquake hits East Timor.

5.5 Earthquake hits East Timor.

5.4 Earthquake hits the southwest Indian ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits near the coast of southern Peru.

5.2 Earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.