Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.3 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.1 Earthquake hits northern Xinjiang, China.

5.1 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 Earthquake hits Libertador O’Higgins, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical storm Kong-rey is located about 410 nm southwest of Sasebo, Japan.

Three people in Taiwan perished as a result of heavy rains spawned by a destructive tropical storm. Tropical Storm Kong-Rey battered the island Thursday, dumping more than 500 millimeters (19 inches) of rain on the heavily populated west coast and causing widespread flooding.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Post-Tropical cyclone Juliette is located about 205 mi (330 km) NW of Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico. The final advisory has been issued on this system.

Tropical Storm Juliette blew through the Pacific Mexican tourist resort of Cabo San Lucas early on Thursday, killing one man. Juliette blew down trees and power lines as it blasted across the tourist resorts at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds decreased to near 40 mph (65 kph) near midday Thursday after hitting 50 mph (85 kph) overnight. It was centered about 95 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Cabo San Lazaro, but it was projected to weaken and curve away from land, into the Pacific. The storm flooded low-lying areas and collapsed at least one house.

Much of the area is without power, including the communities of Todos Santos and Pescadero, as well as parts of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Firefighters reported helping various people trapped in their cars on flooded streets. One man died because of an electrical shock in a neighborhood where people commonly draw power with jury-rigged, illegal taps into electricity lines. Emergency workers went door to door urging people in high-risk areas to go to shelters, but many refused.

NewsBytes:

Landslide in La Chicharronera village in Honduras has claimed the lives of at least six children and injured two others Wednesday night. Heavy rain caused the landslide. The landslide site is located 93 miles north of the capital city of Tegucigalpa.

Small tornado touches down in Livingston County, Michigan, USA.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 114.8 degrees Fahrenheit (46.0 degrees Celsius) at Akjoujt, Mauritania.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 108.2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 77.9 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.

Wildlife

1.5 Million Roaches Escape Chinese Breeding Farm

At least 1.5 million cockroaches escaped a breeding facility in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, infesting nearby farmland and homes.

The province’s board of health investigators are at a loss on how to rid the region of the pests.

Wang Pengsheng began raising the insects so their extracts could be used as a traditional Chinese medicine treatment for cancer and inflammation, and to allegedly improve immunity.

He had been raising the roaches on a diet of fruits and biscuits when something destroyed the plastic greenhouses he was using for the enterprise.

Local villagers were reported to be worried that the escaped hexapods would damage their crops and bring diseases.

Local authorities were working to calm those fears.

According to the website YinYangHouse.com, roach parts or extracts can renew “joints, sinews and bones, (heal) contusions, fractures and lacerations” and are also used for a “wide variety of blood stasis such as abdominal masses and amenorrhea, (as well as) numb and swollen tongue.”

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Disease

Novel Coronavirus – Saudi Arabia (MERS)

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

US Disease Outbreaks Linked to Vaccine-Shy Parents

The number of Americans requesting exemptions for vaccinations is continuing to rise, a 2012 study found. The current measles outbreak connected to Eagle Mountain International Church case in Newark, Texas, is a perfect example of how diseases that can be controlled through vaccinations are making comebacks in pockets, experts said. Before the outbreak, ministers had encouraged members to question vaccinations; they’ve changed their tune now that 21 people, including a 4-month-old baby, are sick.

Vaccination rates vary throughout the United States, in part because each state has its own requirements for exemption. Outbreaks usually occur where there are clusters of unvaccinated people, Emory University vaccine expert Saad Omer said. So even if an overall vaccination rate is high (in the Texas county home to the megachurch, for example, the overall rate is about 98 percent), a disease can spread quickly throughout a close community such as a school or church with a pocket of unvaccinated people.

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Wildfires

Portugal burns as wildfires rage

Wildfires are continuing to affect Portugal with at least eleven still active in northern and central areas of the country. More than 1,000 firefighters and 250 vehicles are tackling the flames. Around 12.00 local some 500 firefighters are on site trying to tackle the blazes at Serra do Caramulo, with two active fronts, backed by 139 vehicles and five water-dropping aircrafts. Six villages are surrounded by fire. Some of the villagers lost their houses, corrals and cattle. One more female firefighter, 21, died today in the fire at Serra do Caramulo, while two others are seriously wounded and four are reported missing.

In some areas, strong winds are feeding the flames of the forest fires.

The French government is allowing two planes to stay in Portugal until September 3 to aid the relief effort.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): Small earthquakes (mostly below magnitude 2) continue to occur frequently (10-20 per day), mostly under the central part of the island. Right now, this activity seems to be picking up, but it is too early to see if this evolves into another swarm.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): Explosions occurred this morning, producing ash plumes rising to 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude, VAAC Darwin reported.

Ijen (East Java, Indonesia): CVGHM reported that during 1 July-25 August diffuse white plumes rose 100-150 m above Ijen’s crater, the lake water was light green, and seismicity decreased.

Dukono (Halmahera): VAAC Darwin reported an ash plume from the volcano at 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude yesterday morning. This might have originated from a larger than usual explosion. The rarely visited volcano is one of Indonesia’s almost permanently active volcanoes and often has strombolian to vulcanian activity.

Ambrym (Vanuatu): A large SO2 plume is drifting NW from the volcano, where at least two lava lakes in the Benbow and Marum craters remain active.

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The eruption at the intracaldera cone of Veniaminof Volcano continues. The seismicity over the past 24 hours has been characterized by discreet episodic bursts of tremor, likely associated with lava effusion and minor ash emission. Satellite images of the volcano over the past 24 hours have shown prominent thermal signals at the intracaldera cone, although views of the volcano have been infrequent due to cloud cover.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity remains low with few (less than 1 per hour) weak emissions of steam and gas. Abundant SO2 output and glow at the summit indicate continuing lava extrusion.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): INSIVUMEH reports strong rockfall activity from the steep-sided lava flows, suggesting that several of them are being alimented at the moment. Strong degassing produces a steam column rising up to about 1 km above the dome.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Weak strombolian activity and the effusion of lava flows continues. The activity can be seen from the capital and the coast.

Fuego (Guatemala): The lava flows were no longer active yesterday morning. Activity consisted in weak to moderate strombolian explosions with incandescent material projected to up to 150 m above the crater, and ash plumes of a few 100 m height.

Momotombo (Nicaragua): A swarm of quakes including a shallow magnitude 3.8 felt earthquake occurred yesterday morning (16:38 GMT) at 3.5 km depth under the NW flank of the volcano. There are no reports of other unusual activity at the volcano.