Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

Earthquake triggers fire in South African Gold Mine

A magnitude 2.4 earthquake at the Doornkop gold mine west of Johannesburg, South Africa, triggered a rockfall 1.7 kilometres underground, causing a fire which has claimed lives of eight people. one person is still unaccounted for.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the South Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone Edilson is located approximately 375 nm south-southwest of port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking southwestward at 18 knots.

New Tropical cyclone (tc) 14s (fourteen) forms approximately 814 nm east-northeast of port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking southward at 08 knots. The TC is forecast to turn southward then southwestward. Improving upper-level conditions, warm sea surface temperatures are conducive for further development, allowing the wind intensity to peak at 60 knots.

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NewsBytes:

UK – Even by Britain’s rain-soaked standards it has been a wet winter. For several parts of the country, it was the wettest January on record, and it is still raining. Large swaths of southern England remain on flood alert. The village of Muchelney has become an island. Cars stand idle; locals canoe across the flooded plain or take a police boat down the road-turned-river connecting them to what they now call the “mainland.”

UK – Another powerful Atlantic storm is expected to cause flooding in areas that have so far largely escaped the worst of the deluges and will cause yet more misery for those who have already been forced out of their homes or are continuing to fight a desperate battle to keep the rising water at bay.

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BOLIVIA – Torrential rain and floods in Bolivia have killed 38 people and left many homeless, said a government spokesperson on Thursday, as forecasters predicted more heavy rainfall with the north of the Andean country again likely to be the worst affected.

Environment

Delhi air dirtier than Beijing

Pollution levels on January 24 in Delhi, India at Shahdara and Mandir Marg were alarming -– more than 900m/cum during evening rush hour. On Tuesday, the levels dropped to average between 230 m/cum and 430 m/cum at places such as Mandir Marg, Anand Vihar and Punjabi Bagh.

On Wednesday, while the Chinese capital recorded a pollution level of 275 m/cum, Delhi University’s PM 2.5 level was 500 m/cum.

The World Health Organisation, which last year termed polluted air as a carcinogen, says PM2.5 at 10 m/cum is safe.

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Wildlife

Hundreds of Dolphins Found Dead In Peru

More than 400 dead dolphins have washed up over the past month on some of the same beaches in northern Peru where scientists were never able to determine what killed some 850 of the animals in 2012.

IMARPE, the Peruvian Sea Institute, says 220 of the dead marine mammals were found during the last week of January alone.

Marine biologists say determining what’s killing the dolphins is difficult because their laboratories have only three or four of the approximately 100 chemicals available to solve the mystery.

But one institute official says the animals may have died from ingesting toxic algae.

Peru’s Organization for the Conservation of Aquatic Animals theorized in 2012 that the deaths were caused by ship sonar blasts used for seabed oil exploration, based on the damage found in some of the dolphins’ middle ear bones.

Peru denied those claims and said the deaths were due to “natural causes.”

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113.9 degrees Fahrenheit (45.5 degrees Celsius) at Port Augusta, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 72.9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 58.3 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian community of Verkhoyansk.

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.