Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.7 earthquake hits near Coquimbo, Chile.

Residents in northern Chile remain on alert for aftershocks following a magnitude 6.7 earthquake at the weekend. Two people died from heart attacks and as many as 200,000 have been left without power. The quake shook homes and caused land slides. The tremor prompted the authorities to begin a mass evacuation of coastal areas ahead of a potential tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, however, later ruled out the threat.

5.7 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.5 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 10s (Desmond), located approximately 172 nm northwest of Europa Island, is tracking north-northwestward at 09 knots.

NewsBytes:

Madagascar – Heavy rains and flooding swept away houses in Madagascar’s capital of Antanarivo killing nine people, an official report said Sunday.

Global Warming

10 Year Challenge

People concerned about climate change are posting before and after photos of glaciers retreating, bleached coral reefs, starving polar bears and drought-stricken landscapes to make a point about climate change.

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Disease

China – African Swine Fever

China’s agriculture ministry on Sunday reported a new African swine fever outbreak in the northwestern region of Ningxia. The outbreak occurred on a farm with 57 live pigs in Yongning county, infecting pigs and killing 13, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement.

Newcastle Disease – Utah, USA

For the first time, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small domestic flock of backyard exhibition chickens (250) in Utah County, Utah. This case is believed to be connected to the current outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in California, as three of the birds at the premises were recently moved to Utah from Los Angeles County, California. In Utah, the disease is currently contained to one domestic flock and has not been detected in any commercial poultry flocks.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 10s (Ten), located approximately 88 nm west-southwest of Europa Island, is tracking north-northeastward at 09 knots.

NewsBytes:

Philippines: Tropical Depression Amang – Heavy rainfall (greater than 7.5 mm per hour) is currently expected over Caraga Region (Region XIII), Davao Region (Region XI) and Eastern Visayas (VIII). The weather disturbance is expected to make landfall over the southern part of Davao region and traverse north through Caraga, Eastern Visayas up to Bicol region.

Disease

Influenza – USA

A total of 19 flu-associated child deaths have been reported and more than 3,500 have been hospitalized for influenza this winter in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday that in the week ending last Saturday, 3.1 percent of people saw doctors for flu-like illness, above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.

South Africa issues alert for travelers to the southern African region

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa are advising travellers returning from the southern African region should be aware of a number of infectious disease risks related to travel to include malaria, cholera, typhoid, African tick bite fever, East African trypanosomiasis and various mosquito-borne viruses (e.g. dengue, chikungunya, West Nile).

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Volcanoes Today, 20 January 2019

Dukono (Halmahera): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Darwin warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 7000 ft (2100 m) altitude or flight level 070.

Fuego (Guatemala): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Washington warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 18000 ft (5500 m) altitude or flight level 180 .

Turrialba (Costa Rica): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Washington warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 12500 ft (3800 m) altitude or flight level 125.

Sabancaya (Peru): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Buenos Aires (VAAC) issued the following report: EMISSIONS OF STEAM AND PSBL VA

Planchón-Peteroa (Central Chile and Argentina): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Buenos Aires (VAAC) issued the following report: WEAK EMISSION OF VA

Nevados de Chillán (Central Chile): (19 Jan) Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Buenos Aires (VAAC) issued the following report: NO VA EMISSIONS

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

6.0 earthquake hits the northern east Pacific rise.

5.5 earthquake hits northern Peru.

5.2 earthquake hits north of Halmahera, Indonesia.

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

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

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Malaysia – Flash floods brought by heavy rain and overflowing rivers have inundated several parts of Santubong and Bako housing areas near Kuching. Several kampung are under about two feet of water as of Saturday (Jan 19) morning.

California, USA – At least six people are now reported dead after torrential rains flooded roadways, downed trees and sent massive boulders tumbling down hillsides in California. A boulder severely injured a hiker in Malibu and emergency workers found their vehicles pummeled by rocks. Neighborhoods scorched by recent wildfires were evacuated and some streets looked more like rivers in Malibu. Further east, debris from one of the burn areas rushed through a community, but caused only minor damage.

Collapsing Polar Vortex

The blast of Arctic weather headed for the United States this weekend could be a first sign of still worse things to come this winter, with signs that a circular low-pressure system of swirling winds that normally keeps frigid air locked up at the North Pole has been disrupted and split into smaller parts.

The disruption in this counterclockwise-spinning beast, called the polar vortex, is thought to be caused in part by a warm summer over the Arctic and a relatively cold fall over Siberia. The result for the United States and northern Europe? A severe winter lasting throughout February and possibly into March.

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Global Warming

Climate Change A Threat to US Military Bases

The US defence department has issued a dire report on how climate change could affect the nation’s armed forces and security, warning that rising seas could inundate coastal bases and drought-fueled wildfires could endanger inland ones.

The 22-page assessment delivered to Congress on Thursday says about two-thirds of 79 mission-essential military installations in the US that were reviewed are vulnerable to current or future flooding, with more than half vulnerable to current or future drought. About half also are at risk from wildfires, including the threat of mudslides and erosion from rains following the blazes.

Environment

Bovine Companions

Delhi’s development minister announced a controversial plan to house abandoned cows alongside senior citizens, who will care for the animals — considered holy by many in India.

Gopal Rai points out how the Indian capital’s cow shelters are teeming with bovines abandoned by their owners once they dry up, while old people are put into nursing homes to live out their remaining days virtually alone.

He proposes adding an old-age home to a modernized 18-acre cattle shelter in southwestern Delhi, where “cows and senior citizens will coexist, taking care of each other.”

But a leading animal rights advocate says the scheme is “unethical because the government will be using the senior citizens living there for their labor.”

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits the Bismarck Sea.

5.4 earthquake hits the Bismarck Sea.

5.3 earthquake hits the Gulf of California.

Two 5.3 earthquakes hit the Bismarck Sea.

5.1 earthquake hits southwest of Africa.

5.0 earthquake hits east of the Kuril Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Bolivia – At least 10 thousand hectares of banana plantations were flooded in the Cochabamba tropic, causing millions in losses to the community and producers. More than 7 500 families were affected by the floods.

Argentina – Intense rainfall in Northeast Argentina has caused devastating floods, amplifying the economic burdens of the country’s record inflation. About 3,500 people have evacuated the region, and millions of hectares of crops have been sent underwater. The flooded region, which extends into Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil, has received about five times more rain than expected since the beginning of the year. Some areas received a whole year’s worth of rainfall in the first 15 days of the calendar year. 2.4 million hectares of soybeans are flooded. The greatest losses come from the Pampa Húmeda region, one of the main food producers in the world. Other crops like corn and cotton, along with livestock have been wiped out across the Northeast. Just last year, Argentina was plagued with severe drought, the worst that had hit the country in half a century. This drought crushed the country’s agricultural sector and strained the country’s economy. It’s blamed in part for the current run on Argentine currency.

Millions of hectares of farmland are underwater many crops wont come back 552970

California, USA – Heavy rain, snow and wind pummeled much of California Thursday, causing at least five deaths, leaving thousands without power and forcing wildfire victims threatened by floods to flee their homes. Southern California authorities concerned with rising streams and excessive runoff ordered evacuations in parts of Malibu and other areas scarred by wildfires. Malibu schools canceled classes. In harder hit Northern California, authorities warned of imminent floods and debris flows in the wildfire-ravished city of Paradise and the surrounding region denuded of protective trees and vegetation, telling residents to prepare to flee their homes on a moment’s notice.

Environment

Desalination Brine

The nearly 16,000 desalination plants around the world that extract fresh water from the sea are discharging far greater amounts of toxic brine back into the ocean than previously thought, a new U.N. study reveals.

It says the salt-laden liquid is increasing the density of salinity where it is released, and poses a significant risk to marine life and ecosystems.

More than half of the 5 billion cubic feet of brine discharged each day worldwide comes from desalination plants operating in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.

Magnetic North Pole Shift

The erratic and rapid shift of the Magnetic North Pole since 2014 has prompted scientists to update a year earlier than scheduled a model used in crucial navigation systems.

The unprecedented update was requested by the U.S. military due to the mounting level of inaccuracies in guidance across the Arctic for ships, planes and submarines.

Scientists believe the wayward pole is being influenced by changes in the flow of iron in Earth’s outer core.

But some experts believe the planet’s magnetic poles are on the verge of reversing, which is long overdue.