Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits the Iran-Iraq Border region.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Jilin, China.

5.1 Earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic:

Post-tropical storm Melissa is located about 265 mi (425 km) NNW of the Azores. Gale-force winds still possible over portions of the Azores, but the last advisory has been issued on this system. Melissa has lost tropical characteristics because of cooler waters and its fast forward progress.

In the North Indian Ocean :

Tropical cyclone 04b (Helen) is located approximately 120 nm south of Visakhapatnam, India.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, cyclone ‘Helen’ will cross the Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Machillipatnam. People are being evacuated from low-lying areas. Severe cyclonic storm ‘Helen’ over the West Central Bay of Bengal is likely to trigger heavy rains together with strong surface wind in some places. Thousands of people have been evacuated from coastal areas in eastern India, as the strong cyclone approaches. Cyclone Helen is generating wind speeds of up to 120kmh (75mph).

Australia – Darwin to get first cyclone of the season. The Northern Territory looks set to experience its first cyclone of the season this weekend. A tropical low system forming south-east of Bali is moving eastwards towards the Kimberley and Top End coast, and it’s likely to become a category one cyclone at some point on Friday afternoon.

NewsBytes:

Heavy flooding in Baghdad, Iraq has claimed the lives of at least 11 people.

A landslide at a goldmine in northeastern Guinea has claimed lives of at least 25 people and left 11 others missing.

Bolivia floods: A military cadet and a soldier drowned in Bolivia on Tuesday after being swept away in a flooded river while trying to rescue a vehicle belonging to an military chief that had been dragged by the fast flowing waters. Local media reported their bodies were recovered 9.94 miles from where they entered the Quirpinchaca river, which had swollen after heavy rains.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112.1 degrees Fahrenheit (44.5 degrees Celsius) at Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 55.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.6 degrees Celsius) at Rabbit Kettle Hot Spring, Northwest Territory, Canada.

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

Drought

Drought – USA

California’s drought is the worst since 2007 – In the Drought Monitor map released on Nov. 21, one-third of the nation is in moderate or worse drought, with the worst of the drought in the west. Plagued for years with a lack of water, growers across California are now facing a new kind of drought – a labor shortage in the fields

Drought likely to persist or develop in the Southwest, Southeastern U. S. – Winter is likely to offer little relief to the drought-stricken U.S. Southwest, and drought is likely to develop across parts of the Southeast.

Drought in Tanzania

Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest that migrated to the Serengeti plains in Tanzania from Maasai Mara Game Reserve two months ago have returned.

The abnormal occurrence, ecologists say, has been necessitated by a drought that has affected many parts of Tanzania including the Serengeti National Park.

“The drought has forced them to return to Mara where there is enough pasture for them. The grass, which was depleted when they were in the reserve, regenerated after the short rains set in,” said Nick Murero, the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem Co-ordinator for the Lake Victoria Basin.

Disease

Mass Vaccinations in the Philippines

WHO and the Philippine Department of Health have launched a vaccination campaign to prevent outbreaks of measles and polio among survivors of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

Wild poliovirus in Cameroon

Wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been confirmed in Cameroon, the first wild poliovirus in the country since 2009. Wild poliovirus was isolated from two acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases from West Region. The patients developed paralysis on 1 October and 19 October 2013. Genetic sequencing indicates that these viruses are linked to wild poliovirus last detected in Chad in 2011.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): The New SE crater has remained calm, although tremor is still slightly elevated and shows a weak rising tendency. Will the volcano maintain its “habit” to produce another show over the weekend?

Askja (Central Iceland): A small swarm of earthquakes has occurred today under the eastern caldera rim. Another minor swarm took place yesterday under Þórðarhyrna volcano 20 km to the NE.