Earthquakes

5.9 Earthquake hits west of MacQuarie Island far to the south of Tasmania.

5.6 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands off Alaska.

5.5 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits south west of Sumatra.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Flores region, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Sula, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits Madhya Pradesh, India.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Timor region.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hots the Samoa Islands region.

Environment

Madagascar palm trees are at risk of extinction. Madagascar’s rain forests have shrunk to less than a quarter of their original size. A majority of Madagascar’s palms face extinction due to persistent land clearing.

Madagascar Palms

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said 83% of the 192 tree varieties had been added to its threatened species list. The group called the figures “terrifying”, saying the tree loss also endangered animals and put people’s livelihoods at risk.

Madagascar is the world’s fourth biggest island after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo. Because of its isolation most of its mammals, half its birds, and most of its plants exist nowhere else on Earth. Palm trees represent an integral part of the island’s biodiversity, with many of its poorest communities relying on the trees to provide housing and food. The extinction risk faced by Madagascar’s palms threatens all of the remarkable wildlife that occurs there.

 

Drought

Drought, as well as frost and hail have combined to ravage Europe’s wine grape harvest, which in key regions this year will be the smallest in half a century.

Disease

New tuberculosis, (TB) cases fall by 2.2 percent globally according to the WHO. An antibiotic used to treat severe bacterial infections has shown promise at treating the highly drug-resistant and deadly form of tuberculosis, which threatens to derail progress in fighting the disease.

The number of deaths from the fungal meningitis outbreak in USA linked to contaminated steroid medications has risen to 19, just hours after federal agents raided the offices of the company at the center of the scandal and took away documents.

Wildfires

A wildfire in the rugged hills overlooking Santa Barbara threatened about 100 homes in the Painted Cave area.

A large bushfire burning in central Queensland, Australia is no longer directly threatening homes. Residents of the towns between Gladstone and Bundaberg are no longer advised to evacuate or enact bushfire plans.

Storms and Floods

High tides and strong winds have brought flooding to towns in the south-west England as more warnings are issued to coastal areas.

11 people have been killed and 10 are still missing after a village in Peru was hit by a mudslide.