Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits eastern Kashmir.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the south coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern Xinjiang, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits Easter Island.

Japan’s Fukushima Reactor Contaminates Groundwater and Ocean

The operators of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant concede that highly radioactive groundwater has leaked into the Pacific from beneath the oceanside facility, leading to fears of contamination of marine life.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) says it believes the groundwater is being fed by water in trenches around the reactors, which contain high levels of tritium, cesium, strontium and other unnamed substances.

Earlier this month, TEPCO said groundwater samples taken at the plant showed levels of cancer-causing cesium-134 had shot up more than 110 times in a few days.

This was occurring more than two years after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster that led to the plant’s reactor meltdowns.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific:

Hurricane Gil is roughly 1700 miles ESE of the Big Island of Hawaii. The system is holding max sustained wind speeds of 60kts and is on a west track (270°) at 8kts.

High pressure to the north will keep Gil on a West-WSW track for the next few days, while the storm weakens very slowly.

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In the Western Pacific:

Tropical storm Jebi weakened as it made landfall in northeastern Vietnam Saturday morning, but authorities fear associated heavy rain may trigger dangerous flash floods.

Jebi is forecast to weaken to a tropical low pressure event sometime Saturday afternoon, with wind speeds forecast to ease to 37 km/h by 1200 GMT.

It has caused heavy rains in northern Vietnam, with the rainfall estimated at between 200 millimeters and 300 millimeters Saturday and Sunday in some provinces.

Other News:

Flooding in Sudan has claimed the lives of at least ten people and left more than 2 000 fails homeless. Khartoum, Red Sea, Sinnar and North and South Darfur have been affected by the floods which have also blocked the main road between Khartoum and the Red Sea.

An EF2 tornado hit the Arlington area of Jacksonville, Florida, USA late Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service reported. At least one person was injured from falling debris and around 20 buildings were damaged.

Flash flooding in the Bagh and Chitral regions in Pakistan have claimed the lives of at least four people and left two missing. Flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall have washed away about 45 houses in Chitral. Flood damage has been reported from about 150 houses. Flood water also washed away a bridge between Chitral and Boni.

Floods in southern Burma’s Karen and Mon states have worsened in recent days and are now affecting more than 37,000 people.

Disease

Novel Coronavirus – Saudi Arabia – Update

WHO has been informed of an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Saudi Arabia.

Source of Cyclospora Infection Linked to Mexican Produce

The outbreak of a diarrheal disease has been linked, at least in Iowa and Nebraska, to a food service salad mix sold to Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants. The salad mix was produced by the Mexican subsidiary of an American food-service company, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

At least 400 cases of cyclospora infection had been reported in 16 states as of Thursday, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Iowa and Nebraska state health officials had linked illnesses in those states to the salad mix, which contained iceberg and romaine lettuce, carrots and red cabbage. On Friday the FDA announced that the salad mix was produced by Taylor Farms de Mexico, a subsidiary of Taylor Farms of Salinas, Calif.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118.4 degrees Fahrenheit (48.0 degrees Celsius) at Akjoujt, Mauritania.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 110.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 79.2 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.