Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 Earthquake hits southern Iran.

Initial reports of at least 15 people injured and five villages destroyed.

5.5 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-atlantic ridge.

5.4 Earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.1 Earthquake hits Guatemala.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Flash Floods – Kenya

Flash floods in Kenya’s Migori county have killed at least 10 people. The flash floods washed away bridges on rivers Nyasare and Onyinjo.

Tropical cyclone in Burma

A tropical cyclone is expected to hit Arakan State in west Burma.

The Cyclone is expected to make landfall on Tuesday night and is predicted to affect Bangladesh, India and Burma.

Other News:

An EF0 tornado touched down in the area of Washington Street in Stoughton, Massachusetts, USA. There were no reports of injuries.

Fredericksburg, Texas was struck by exceptionally large hailstones yesterday.

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Environment

Acidic Arctic Threatening Marine Life

Global greenhouse gas emissions have caused the level of acidity in the Arctic Ocean to rise 30 percent since the dawn of the Industrial Age, threatening to bring dire consequences to the region’s fragile ecosystem.

Delegates to the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program conference in Bergen, Norway, were told that the pollution has caused pH levels to reach their lowest levels in the Arctic for at least the last 55 million years.

The Arctic is most vulnerable to acidification because its cold waters can absorb more carbon dioxide.

Its extensive freshwater inflow also makes it less able to chemically neutralize the acidification effects of the greenhouse gas.

It would take tens of thousands of years for the Arctic Ocean to return to the acidity levels that prevailed before the mid-1800s even if all CO2 emissions were halted today, scientists say.

The current acid levels threaten some species with a direct risk of extinction, and fish stocks may also be affected.

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Space Events

Meteorite Hits in Namibia

A Meteorite has hit mahangu field in the village of Oshika, Namibia. A piece of meteorite, the of a size of a small ball or two human fists put together made such an impact that people within a radius of over 200km were able to hear the explosive impact, feel the resulting tremor and observe the blinding light that followed as it landed.

Apparently thousands of locals came to see the strange object.

Disease

Saudi Arabia Novel Coronavirus – Update

The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has informed WHO of an additional three laboratory confirmed cases of infection with the novel coronavirus (nCoV).

Incurable Citrus Disease Threatens Florida’s Orange Crop

Florida’s orange crop, the largest in the world after Brazil’s, may not survive an incurable disease that threatens to wipe out citrus groves throughout the United States.

The disease, known as “citrus greening” or huanglongbing, is caused by a bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. The bacteria are spread from tree to tree by a tiny insect called the Asian citrus psyllid.

A tree affected by citrus greening may not show symptoms for years. Eventually, however, the leaves turn yellow and fall, while the tree’s fruit fails to mature, falling to the ground prematurely before the tree slowly dies.

Citrus greening

Drought

Drought in Southern Angola

Angola set up an emergency plan on Thursday for the southern province of Cunene, where an estimated 300 000 people are at risk of malnutrition because of a two-year-long drought. Food and medical assistance is being mobilised for the affected areas.

Drought in China

A drought scorching China’s western and central regions has affected 3.58 million hectares of farmland as of Friday, drought relief authorities have reported.

Affected land used to grow crops totaled 2.13 million hectares, lower than the average acreage of 6.3 million hectares over the past few years.

The drought has also left 5.54 million people and 3.99 million livestock short of drinking water.

Wildfires

Wildfires in Southern Australia

Fire crews in South Australia are continuing to battle a large bushfire burning in rugged terrain in the Adelaide Hills.

The fire is only 300 metres away from the Cherryville township, and it is threatening the southern edge of the Montacute Conservation Park.

It has already destroyed a house and a shed at Basket Range.

Around 250 firefighters are working to try and contain the fire, which has now burnt through around 650 hectares.

Update: Light rain has assisted in bringing the fire under control.