Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits south of Java, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 257 nm west-northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking south-southwestward at 06 knots.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression 02w (Two), located approximately 970 nm southeast of Andersen AFB, Guam, is tracking westward at 13 knots.

NewsBytes:

Papua New Guinea – Two people were buried alive in a landslide as heavy rain caused havoc in Madang last week. People living along the Finisterer mountain range have been the victim of landslides. Hundreds were stranded along the Madang-Usino highway when a section of the road was damaged by flooding.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

The official number of homes destroyed by bushfires in the Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) last week has risen to 32, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said on Tuesday.

A further 21 homes were damaged and 119 outbuildings were scorched by three main blazes which tore across 74,000 hectares of bushland surrounding the towns of Tingha and Tabulam in the state’s north.

Wildfires – Spain

Arsonists are suspected to be behind a wave of wildfires which have hit the region of Cantabria in the north of Spain. The Cantabrian regional authority reports that round 32 different forest fires were active in 20 municipalities in the region.

Since Thursday 194 wildfires have been reported in the region with 50 active at nightfall on Sunday, although authorities hope that the arrival of daylight will allow the use of two aircraft and three helicopters to return to the battle against the flames.

Disease

Cholera – Uganda

In a follow-up on the cholera outbreak in Kampala, Uganda, health officials reported an update on the cholera outbreak that was declared in the Kampala area in early January. As of Feb. 10, 53 cholera cases, including three fatalities ave been reported across Kampala City and two other districts, Wakiso and Luwero.

Africa: Measles in Madagascar, Chikungunya in the Republic of Congo

In some important infectious disease news out of Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated the world on the measles outbreak in Madagascar. To date, officials have reported 66,000 cases since the outbreak began last September. In addition, at least 922 measles-related fatalities have been reported among children and young adults.

In the Republic of Congo, a Chikungunya epidemic declaration has been issued in the Kouilou and Pool regions, with at least 1043 validated cases. Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is transmitted from human to human by the bites of infected female mosquitoes.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.4 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.5 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.4 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits the Batan Islands in the Philippines.

5.0 earthquake hits Jujuy, Argentina.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 282 nm northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking southwestward at 11 knots.

NewsBytes:

Crete – Four people are missing after floods sweep through Crete. A search operation is currently underway in the area of Mires in Heraklion, Crete, as four people in a car were swept away by flood waters at the passage of Geropotamos.

Zimbabwe – Floods that have affected Chiredzi following heavy rains on Wednesday last week claimed the lives of two schoolchildren at Muhlanguleni Primary School in Chiredzi South, who drowned in a flooded pit latrine.

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Global Warming

Massive restoration of world’s forests would cancel out a decade of CO2 emissions

Replenishing the world’s forests on a grand scale would suck enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cancel out a decade of human emissions, according to an ambitious new study.

Scientists have established there is room for an additional 1.2 trillion trees to grow in parks, woods and abandoned land across the planet.

If such a goal were accomplished, ecologist Dr Thomas Crowther said it would outstrip every other method for tackling climate change – from building wind turbines to vegetarian diets.

Lack of accurate information meant for years experts severely underestimated the number of trees on Earth. Combining data from ground-based surveys and satellites, Dr Crowther and his colleagues arrived at a figure of three trillion – over seven times more than a previous Nasa estimate. Dr Crowther said undervaluing trees means scientists have also been massively underestimating the potential for forests to combat climate change.

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Disease

Measles – Philippines

In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in the Philippines, the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported a dramatic increase in measles cases and deaths. According to the most recent data from the beginning of the year through Feb. 13, a total of 6,921 cases of measles was reported in 17 regions of the archipelago. In addition, officials report the death toll has increased to 115 nationwide.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.0 earthquake hits northeast of Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Georgia Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 249 nm west-northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking southward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Malawi – A report from Salima District Council indicates that floods, that came about as a result of heavy rains, have affected 643 people in Mtauchira Village, T/A Pemba. The report further states that 257 people, of which 93 are under the age of 18, have been displaced and have since sought refuge at Kanduku Evacuation Centre.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Fire crews have taken advantage of favourable conditions overnight to gain the upper hand on three blazes burning in northern NSW. The mostly mild weather conditions over the weekend have provided much needed relief for the NSW Rural Fire Service, after 22 homes were destroyed and 15 houses damaged when fires raged through the towns late last week. A further 74 outbuildings have been razed and 24 outbuildings damaged.

The Bruxner Highway fire at Tabulam has burnt more than 5800 hectares of land and is still considered to be out of control.

Nearby, just over the NSW and Queensland border in Wallangarra, north of Tenterfield, a bushfire has burnt through more than 32,700 hectares of land and is being controlled by firefighters.

A blaze at Tingha, near Inverell, which has been burning since last Tuesday remains at Advice warning level as crews work to control the blaze. It has burnt more than 21,300 hectares of land with firefighters extinguishing hotspots along the edge of the fire overnight.

Disease

Dengue Fever – Reunion

Since the beginning of the year, the island of Reunion has seen a 10-fold increase in dengue fever cases as compared to the period in 2018, according to French health officials. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 3, 476 locally transmitted cases have been reported, including 145 in the past week.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 earthquake hits south of Alaska.

5.2 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.2 earthquake hits the western Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Azores.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 275 nm west-northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking west-southwestward at 02 knots.

NewsBytes:

Zimbabwe – Thirty-eight miners are feared dead after water from a collapsed dam flooded two mines in Zimbabwe. While panning for gold, 34 miners went underground at Silver Moon Mine and four miners entered Cricket Mine in Battlefields near Kadoma Tuesday evening before both mines flooded. Heavy rains overnight Tuesday led to the collapse of the dam wall. An emergency was declared after the dam burst. The flooding from the collapsed dam flooded mine shafts, which the miners entered illegally.

South Africa – Bloemfontein in the Free State has been experiencing heavy rains for the past few days resulting in floods across the city.

Wildlife

Reindeer Cyclones Are Real

Vikings hunting reindeer in Norway were once confounded by “reindeer cyclones”; a threatened herd would literally run circles around the fierce hunters, making it nearly impossible to target a single animal.

Faced with this spinning reindeer stampede, any predator — wolf, bear or human — would have a very tough time targeting and overpowering a single reindeer, making this a formidable defense strategy.