Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits northern Colombia.

5.6 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands off New Zealand.

5.3 Earthquake hits Luzon in the Philippines.

5.2 Earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

5.2 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.


Squirrel Poaching

A new Russian fad of nabbing squirrels out of parks to keep them as pets has officials threatening large fines for those who continue to squirrel away the animals.

Some nature lovers say they are outraged by the poaching, which has led to Moscow’s Ecological Control unit beefing up surveillance in the city’s parks to protect the wildlife.

People who collect the bushy-tailed animals can resell them as pets for about 5,000 rubles ($144).

Despite Russian websites selling squirrels that say the animals are a “friendly and gentle” to keep around the house, they actually can bite and are not domesticated.



Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update

On 12 February 2014, The Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia reported a human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

On 13 February 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of seven additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Popocatépetl (Mexico): No significant changes in the currently low activity of the volcano have occurred recently. The volcano produces a small number (less than 10 usually) weak explosive emissions of steam, gas and sometimes ash on a daily basis, and magma continues to rise slowly to the summit where a lava dome forms. This is evidenced by glow at night, and was confirmed during a recent overfly with the support of the Mexican Navy.On the images obtained, one could see that a dome is slowly growing within the inner crater, partially filling it. Its diameter was estimated to about 200 m and it is about 50 meters below the average level of the floor of the main crater.The alert level of the volcano remains unchanged at Yellow phase 2