Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
5.7 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands region.
5.6 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.
5.1 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.
5.0 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.
5.0 Earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.
In the Southwestern Pacific:
Tropical cyclone Mike is located approximately 618 nm southwest of Papeete, Tahiti. The final advisory has already been issued on this system.
Brazil – More than a month of flooding in northern Brazil has swollen rivers and driven thousands of people from their homes, authorities said on Wednesday.
Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update
On 17 March 2014, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health, Hong Kong SAR, China, notified WHO of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
Mystery Disease in Guinea.
An outbreak of hemorrhagic fever has killed at least 23 people in Guinea’s southeastern forest region since February when the first case was reported, health authorities in the West African nation said on Wednesday.
At least 35 cases have been recorded by local health officials, said Sakoba Keita, the doctor in charge of the prevention of epidemics in Guinea’s Health Ministry.
“Symptoms appear as diarrhoea and vomiting, with a very high fever. Some cases showed relatively heavy bleeding,” Keita said.
“We thought it was Lassa fever or another form of cholera but this disease seems to strike like lightning. We are looking at all possibilities, including Ebola, because bushmeat is consumed in that region and Guinea is in the Ebola belt,” he said. No cases of the highly contagious Ebola fever have ever been recorded in the country.
Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:
Slamet (Central Java): Mild strombolian activity occurs from the summit crater of Java’s second highest volcano. A stronger explosion Wednesday morning at 08:47 local time produced an ash column rising about 2 km, according to a local press article. Light ash fall occurred in areas to the NW. The explosion was the largest in the current eruptive episode so far. The alert status of the volcano (raised to 2 out of 4 last Monday) was not changed,- apparently, no significantly larger eruptions are expected. During the past days, the volcano has been producing strombolian eruptions at rates of 1-2 per hour, with ash plumes typically rising 500-1500 m.