Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

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

5.4 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits Tajikistan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific:

Typhoon Haiyan is located approximately 182 nm east of Da Nang, Vietnam.

As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone after one of the worst storms ever recorded unleashed ferocious winds and giant waves that washed away homes and schools. Corpses hung from tree branches and were scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings, while looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water.

Officials projected the death toll could climb even higher when emergency crews reach areas cut off by flooding and landslides. Even in the disaster-prone Philippines, which regularly contends with earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical cyclones, Typhoon Haiyan appears to be the deadliest natural disaster on record.

Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippine archipelago on Friday and quickly barrelled across its central islands before exiting into the South China Sea, packing winds of 235 kilometres per hour (147 miles per hour) that gusted to 275 kph (170 mph), and a storm surge that caused sea waters to rise 6 meters (20 feet).

It wasn’t until Sunday that the scale of the devastation became clear, with local officials on hardest-hit Leyte Island saying that there may be 10,000 dead in the provincial capital of Tacloban alone. Reports also trickled in from elsewhere on the island, and from neighbouring islands, indicating hundreds, if not thousands more deaths, though it will be days before the full extent of the storm’s impact can be assessed.

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In the North Arabian Sea

Tropical Cyclone Three is forecast to strike Somalia today.

NewsBytes:

Tens of thousands of people in South Sudan have been affected by flooding, more than a quarter of them in Jonglei state. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 223,474 people in eight of South Sudan’s 10 states have been impacted by floods caused by heavy rains. More than 63,000 of those affected were in Jonglei state, OCHA said. Other states hit by flooding were Central Equatoria, Lakes, Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile and Warrap.

Drought

Drought – Botswana

Drought Hits Botswana’s Agriculture hard – The performance of agriculture sector in Botswana has been setback by inadequate rainfall for the second year in a row.

With only about 0.7 percent of total land area being arable, crop production in Botswana is hampered by traditional farming methods, recurrent drought, erosion, and disease. Botswana depends heavily on cereal imports to meet domestic demands.