Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits western Xizang, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits North Island, New Zealand.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the South Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone Hellen is located approximately 240 nm north-northwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Extremely dangerous Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Hellen is bearing down on Madagascar after an extraordinary burst of rapid intensification brought the cyclone from a 60 mph tropical storm to a high-end Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds in just 24 hours. Hellen is forecast to strike Madagascar as a very intense tropical cyclone at about 12:00 GMT on 31 March.

The La Réunion weather service has issued a warning: Hellen is likely to be one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever seen over the northern channel since the satellite era (1967). the likelihood is increasing for an extremely dangerous tropical cyclone landfall over the northwestern coastline of Madagascar between cape Saint-Andre and Mahajonga. the RSMC tropical cyclone storm surge RWP has been run and shows phenomenal sea elevations in the area exposed to the northerly winds.


U.N. Court Orders Japan to Stop Whale Hunt

The UN’s top court ruled on Monday to temporarily halt Japan’s whaling program in Antarctic waters, in a case brought against the country by Australia and environmental groups.

Presiding Judge Peter Tomka at the International Court of Justice said that the court’s 16-member panel decided that Japan has not justified the large number of minke whales it takes under its program, while failing to meet much smaller targets for fin and humpback whales.

The court ordered a halt to the issuing of whaling permits until the program is redesigned.

Japan hunted around a thousand whales annually in what it claims was a scientific program.

But Australia and environmental groups accused Japan of attempting to manoeuvre around a moratorium on commercial whaling imposed by the International Whaling Commission in 1986.

While whale meat is becoming less popular in Japan, it is considered a delicacy by some, and meat from the hunt is sold commercially.



Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Guinea – update

As of 28 March, the total number of suspected and confirmed cases in the on-going Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) outbreak in Guinea has increased to 112, including 70 deaths (Case Fatality Rate 62.5%). New suspected cases have been reported from Conakry (4 cases), Guékédou (4), Macenta (1) and Dabola (1) prefectures. The date of hospital admission of the most recent suspected case is 28 March.

Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Liberia

The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Liberia has provided updated details on the suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) in Liberia. As of 29 March, seven clinical samples, all from adult patients from Foya district, Lofa County, have been tested by PCR using Ebola Zaire virus primers by the mobile laboratory of the Institut Pasteur (IP) Dakar in Conakry. Two of those samples have tested positive for the ebolavirus. There have been 2 deaths among the suspected cases; a 35 year-old woman who died on 21 March tested positive for ebolavirus while a male patient who died on 27 March tested negative. Foya remains the only district in Liberia that has reported confirmed or suspected cases of EHF. As of 26 March, Liberia had 27 contacts under medical follow-up.