Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the Sunda Strait, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits the central Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Alaska

A rapidly growing Alaskan wildfire that has burned 151 square miles in the Kenai Peninsula was threatening about 150 cabins, vacation homes and year-round residents in three communities on Saturday, fire officials said.

Authorities couldn’t estimate how many people have been told to be ready to leave their residences because many of the buildings in the area are vacation homes.

The Funny Ridge Fire burning in the 1.9-million-acre Kenai National Wildlife Refuge was 20 percent contained as of Saturday morning, Weston said. The fire grew by nearly 29 square miles between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Friday.

About 409 firefighters are assigned to the fire, which was one of several large wildfires burning in Alaska. They are getting help from an Oregon fire crew and some water scoopers have been flown in from Alberta, Canada.

Arizona

A wildfire burning in rugged terrain in a northern Arizona canyon grew significantly because of fires intentionally set by crews to rob the blaze of its natural forest fuels, officials said Saturday.

Crews have mostly completed burnout operations on the key northern flank of the Slide Fire and are preparing to make similar protection efforts on the fire’s western end. The burnout operations conducted Friday night by fire crews contributed to the heavy smoke over Sedona and Flagstaff.

Disease

An ‘Ill Wind’ Could Be Spreading Disease Across the Pacific

Scientists say wind currents blowing out of northeastern China could be the main carriers of a mysterious childhood disease that was first identified in 1961 and can eventually lead to a fatal heart condition.

Research at the Kawasaki Disease Research Centre at the University of California suggests an airborne toxin in seasonal winds could be infecting children in Japan and as far away as Hawaii and California.

Kawasaki disease cases have been found to peak only when winds originate from a vast cereal-farming region in northeastern China.

High-altitude air samples taken downwind around Japan found a fungus called Candida, a member of the yeast family, was in the wind. It’s known to cause a wide range of human fungal infections worldwide.

Researchers believe something that has changed in agriculture or culture since World War II could be behind the new disease.

Kawasaki disease causes a rash and uncontrollable fever in the very young, who usually fully recover. But in about 25 percent of the cases, it can also lead to a coronary aneurysm, a life-threatening ballooning of the arteries that supply the heart, decades later.

“We’re looking for something new that happened (in northeast China) after World War II,” Dr. Jane Burns, who is the Director of Paediatrics at the centre, told San Diego’s XETV. “A lot of changes in the agriculture; a lot of cultural changes during that time.” She added that there is no other example of something traveling across an ocean and making people sick.

Kawasaki disease causes a rash and uncontrollable fever in the very young, who usually fully recover. Children with a genetic predisposition to the disease need only to inhale the pathogen once to manifest symptoms within 24 hours.

About 100 cases of Kawasaki disease are reported in San Diego alone each year, but the highest number of children infected is in Japan.

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Kavachi (Solomon Islands): It is likely that some volcanic activity has continued intermittently at the undersea volcano after a discolored water plume was first spotted on 29 January this year. Although no further signs of activity were visible on clear days after the first sightings, satellite images from 21 March and 8 May, compiled by Culture Volcan, showed again significant plumes originating from the volcano. This suggests that activity (if any) has been occurring in short-lived pulses rather than continuously