Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
6.3 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.
5.4 Earthquake hits west of Australia.
5.0 Earthquake hits off the west coast of Baja California.
5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.
5.0 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.
In the Pacific:
Tropical storm Faxai is located approximately 577 nm northeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
India – At least 75 people have been rescued after an avalanche in Kupwara district in Kashmir region of India. The avalanche occurred in the Sadna Pass area. Heavy rains accompanied by hailstorms have claimed lives of at least two people in Maharashtra, India.
Drought in Malaysia
February was Singapore’s driest month since 1869. During the month, there were only seven days of short showers, with some areas receiving as little as 0.2mm of rain. Drought has hit the wider region in recent weeks, threatening to raise food prices and slow economic activity.
Officials in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, started rationing water in February and forest fires have broken out in Indonesia’s Riau province. While Singapore relies on Malaysia for about 60% of its water imports, experts say that the country’s recent efforts in desalination and recycled water technology have made it much less reliant on neighbouring countries. Those new technologies can provide around 55% of the country’s demand for water regardless of rainfall.
Cattle prices tumble amid eastern Australia’s drought
The New England region north of Sydney is traditionally some of the nation’s best farming country, producing some of its finest beef cattle and wool. But much of the land is barren and has been without significant rainfall for over a year. Crops have failed and livestock has been sold off, while many dams are bone dry.
To survive, many farmers are having to sell their prized cattle, and in the New South Wales city of Armidale, the sale yard has been awash with livestock. An oversupply of animals means that prices here have tumbled. But what’s good for buyers, who are often from the southern states of Victoria and South Australia where conditions have been far better, has put another dent into the livelihoods of hard-pressed farmers.
Sunspots and Solar Flares
The lifespan of a typical sunspot is two to three weeks. AR1990 is about to turn three Months. Carried around by the sun’s 27-day rotation, AR1990 is making its third transit of the visible solar disk. In previous apparitions it was known as AR1944 and AR1967.
Each time it has appeared, the sunspot has unleashed at least one strong flare, the most recent being the X4.9-class blockbuster of Feb. 25th. Since then, AR1990 has quieted and started showing signs of decay.
Is this sunspot finally succumbing to time? The dimensions of the sunspot make it an easy target for relatively small optics. Its dark core is about the size of Earth, and it is surrounded by boiling granules as large as the state of Texas.