Earthquakes

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

5.2 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.2 and 5.0 Earthquakes hit Kepulauan Sangihe, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits the southwest Indian Ocean ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Potosi, Bolivia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Queen Charlotte Islands region.

Wildlife

Volunteers were working Sunday to save the few survivors among about 100 whales and dolphins stranded on a Tasmanian beach, hoping to help them back out to sea.

More than 80 of the animals were dead when a fisherman found them Saturday on King Island. Two whales and six dolphins were considered to be strong enough to attempt to refloat them.

 

beached whale

Environment

In a remote fjord where icebergs float in silence and hunters stalk reindeer, plans are being drawn up for a huge iron ore mine that would lift Greenland’s population by four percent at a stroke – by hiring Chinese workers.

The $2.3-billion project by a small, British company, London Mining Plc would also bring diesel power plants, a road and a port near Greenland’s capital Nuuk. It would supply China with much needed iron for its economy.

With global warming thawing its Arctic sea lanes, and global industry eyeing minerals under this barren island a quarter the size of the United States, the 57,000 Greenlanders are wrestling with opportunities that offer rich rewards but risk harming a pristine environment and a traditional society that is trying to make its own way in the world after centuries of European rule.

Great expectations could lead to greater disappointments, for locals and investors. Yet a scramble for Greenland already may be under way, in which some see China trying to exploit the icebound territory as a staging ground in a global battle for Arctic resources and strategic control of new shipping routes.

Wildfires

Firefighters are battling four major bushfires on the Eyre Peninsula near Darke Peak, Mt Wedge, Bramfield Hill and Nunjikompita. About 82,500 lightning strikes over the past 24 hours have been the main cause for most of the 26 blazes across the South Australia.

Storms and Floods

Heavy snowstorms swept across northern China over the weekend, with the most extreme weather hitting Beijing, Hebei and the Inner Mongolia region. Three elderly Japanese tourists died after being trapped in sudden heavy snowstorms during a visit to the Great Wall of China.

At least 22 people have been killed by heavy rains in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. More than 1,500 houses have been damaged and thousands of people living in low-lying areas in the affected districts have been moved to 86 relief camps. Rail and road traffic also also been hit as flood waters inundated railway tracks and highways.

 

Andra Pradesh

 

The US East Coast is still facing challenges trying to recover from last week’s Superstorm Sandy. A new storm system is expected to bring fresh downpours to already flooded areas by Wednesday and thousands of displaced victims will be in urgent need of temporary accommodation in shelters as extremely cold weather is also on the way. Initial damage questimates suggest that the cost of Sandy may be in excess of $70 billion, approaching Hurricane Katrina’s cost of $100 billion.