Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

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

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific:

Typhoon Utor is located approximately 236 nm south-southeastward of Hong Kong. Utor is expected to move inland near Zhanjiang, China. Intensification is expected as upper-level diffluence remains favourable. Additionally, the chance remains for the system to intensify more than currently forecast pending interaction with an upper-level low analyzed over southern China.

Sinkhole Opens Under Florida Resort

A resort complex in Florida has partially fallen into a sinkhole, the latest such incident in the state.

All 105 people staying at the Summer Bay Resort in Clermont, near Disney World, were safely evacuated when the ground gave way on Sunday night.

By Monday morning, nearly a third of the complex had collapsed into a sinkhole up to 100ft (30m) in diameter.

Much of Florida straddles a system of limestone caverns that are subject to water erosion, causing them to cave in.

In March, a sinkhole beneath a house in the suburbs of Tampa, swallowed a man who was in his bed. His body was never recovered.

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Landslides in Nepal

Landslides at different places in Khimti VDC of Ramechhap district in Nepal have claimed the lives of at least seven people.

Landslides around 2 am Tuesday morning at Khimti-4 and Khimti-3 claimed four lives including three of a single family.

Another three died in another landslide and flooding in Katunje village. Two others are reported to be missing.

Altogether six people have gone missing.

Another Landslide in Rukum district in Nepal has buried at least five houses and displaced around 49 families.

NewsBytes

Two separate avalanches on Mont Blanc have claimed the lives of four climbers and left one missing. Another avalanche in the French Alps claimed the lives of two French alpinists.

Flooding in Kano, Nigeria has destroyed about 408 homes and closed several roads leading in and out of the district.

Flooding has killed 36 people in a region north of Sudan’s capital Khartoum and 5 000 houses were destroyed due to heavy rain and floods.

Wildfires

Wildfires USA

Firefighting planes dropped retardant and ground crews trailed water hoses Monday to keep a fast-moving and unpredictable wildfire from scorching homes in a remote Idaho hamlet, where residents have been evacuated ahead of a big blaze for a second straight year.

Thunder and lightning storms have sparked dozens of wildfires across the West in recent days, sending fire crews scrambling, threatening communities and impairing air quality in some areas.

Near the central Idaho community of Pine, the lightning-sparked Elk Complex Fire had burned 141 square miles of sage brush, grass and pine trees in rugged, mountainous terrain.

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A few miles to the south, another big fire, the Pony Complex, had burned nearly 225 square miles of ground amid escalating winds and temperatures. Though it’s now about a third contained, downed power lines complicated efforts by firefighters to corral the flames.

Pine and neighbouring Featherville were under mandatory evacuation orders Monday, a day after Elmore County sheriff’s deputies went from house to house, knocking on doors to alert residents to clear out of the area.

A wildfire on the Utah-Idaho border grew to more than 25 square miles Sunday evening.

Six wildfires remain active in the Wyoming, but they have been showing little growth in recent days.

Environment

Record-Breaking Heat in Greenland

On July 30, a high of 25.9 C in Maniitsoq was declared the highest temperature recorded in Greenland since 1958. The previous record temperature of 25.5 C was from Kangerlussuaq on July 27, 1990.

A low pressure system over Baffin Island combined with the high pressure system over Greenland to produce predominantly a warm, dry southeasterly wind, known as a föhn wind. This is type of dry, warm, downward moving wind that occurs in the leeward side of a mountain range. Maniitsoq was not the only warm spot on the island on July 30: in Sisimiut the temperature reached 21 C and in Kangerlussuaq 20.4 C.

Disease

Bird Flu – China – Update

The National Health and Family Planning Commission, China notified WHO of a new laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. This is the first new confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus since 20 July 2013.

Blood samples hint at silent H7N9 in poultry workers in China.

A serology study in a Chinese province hit hardest by novel H7N9 influenza found evidence of asymptomatic or mild infections in poultry workers, further strengthening suspicions that poultry are the source of the outbreak.

Zhejiang province has recorded 45 cases during the outbreak thus far. Among poultry workers, 6.3% had antibodies against the new H7N9 virus. In contrast, the investigators found no evidence of antibodies in the general population. The results weren’t surprising, because a study more than a decade ago in poultry workers showed a similar seroprevalence to avian H7 subtypes.

The lack of findings in the general population could signify that cross-species transmissions are recent and sporadic events, and the ability of H7N9 to spread between humans is so far limited. Though the number of infections have tailed off in China, the country continues to report sporadic cases. At this point four patients sickened in the outbreak are still hospitalized, and 87 have been discharged.