Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits offshore Guatemala.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Africa.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical cyclone Faxai forms in the western Pacific and was located approximately 372 nm southeast of andersen AFB. Faxai is expected to bring rain and gusty winds east of Guam.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 16p (Kofi) forms approximately 305 nm east-southeast of Suva, Fiji, and is tracking southeastward at 10 knots.

NewsBytes:

Australia – Heavy rain caused flash flooding in and around Dajarra.

Barrage of Winter Storms Kills UK Seabirds

The survival of some bird species around southern Britain could be at risk after weeks of nearly constant storms killed a record number of seabirds.

The Wildlife Trust said many of the birds died from starvation because they couldn’t find enough food to survive during the storms.

Beyond the 60 seabirds found washed up in Wales, including razorbills and puffins, an additional 11,000 puffins are feared to have perished during the storms in France.

“They would normally sit on the sea and dive under to catch fish, but if the top few metres are churned up, they find it difficult to find food in this way,” warden Ed Stubbings told the BBC.

The trust warns that it has also recorded declines in breeding success in many bird colonies, which they believe to be linked to climate change.

Some researchers say the increased force and frequency of storms, such as those of recent weeks in northern Europe, are linked to changes in climate.

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Wildlife

Owls Being Raised to Combat Deadly Human Disease

Chilean officials are enlisting squadrons of owls to combat a rat-borne plague that has killed 15 of the 36 people infected since September.

This deadly and highly contagious strain of hantavirus, carried by long-tailed pygmy rice rats, has been spread into residential areas after wildfires earlier this year destroyed the rodents’ habitats.

So the forest service is stepping up efforts to breed and release Chilean white owls and Magellanic horned owls to hunt down the infected rats.

The owls feed almost exclusively on rodents, and neither the rats nor the owls become ill from the hantavirus.

But some Chileans retain traditional fears about owls, bringing resistance to the project.

“If an owl hooted near a house, it used to mean that someone would die in that house. But in reality it is the opposite — the owls are actually protecting homes,” Lagos Peñuelas National Reserve administrator Aldo Valdivia Ahumada told The Santiago Times.

He called the owls “great biological regulators” that are far more sustainable than the use of poisons to combat the rats.

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