Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits offshore Bio-Bio, Chile.

5.1 Earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Mid-Indian ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Azores Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific:

Hurricane Amanda has unexpectedly regained some strength far off Mexico’s Pacific coast but is not a threat to land.

The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds early Tuesday had increased to near 125 mph (205 kph), making it a Category 3 storm. But the U.S. National Hurricane Centre says weakening is expected to resume and Amanda should become a tropical storm by late Wednesday.

The hurricane is centred about 620 miles (995 kilometres) south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and is moving north-northwest near 5 mph (7 kph).

NewsBytes:

Colorado, USA – At least three people have been missing in a massive mudslide that struck near the small mountain town of Colbran, Colorado at around 6:15 p.m. local time Sunday. The mudslide is estimated to be 2 miles wide, 4 miles long and up to 250 feet deep in places.

North Dakota, USA – A tornado that injured nine people, including a 15-year-old girl who suffered critical injuries, and damaged or destroyed 15 trailers at a workers’ camp in the heart of the state’s booming oil patch hit south of Watford City, about 30 miles southeast of Williston on Monday evening.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Alaska

The wildfire in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage has grown to cover more than 243 square miles. Officials have issued a mandatory evacuation order for more than 1 000 homes.

Crews were attacking the fire by air, with two Alaska Air National Guard helicopters and five other helicopters involved.

Siberian Forest Wildfires Triple Within Three Days

Officials in Russia say the severe wildfires that have been burning in Siberia have spread again.

The Federal Forestry Agency of Russia’s Siberian Federal District says the wildfire zone has grown by three times since May 23

It said that as of May 26, there were 24 forest fires burning on some 2,500 hectares.

Another 41 forest fires have been extinguished on some 2,100 hectares in the Republic of Buryatia, the Altai Krai region, and Irkutsk Oblast during the last 24 hours.

Some 315 forest rangers and forest firefighters, 66 fire engines, and 11 aircraft are combatting the flames, diverting them from towns and villages.

In all, the Siberian Federal District has seen 4,687 forest fires on 710,300 hectares in the last several weeks.

Environment

Carbon pollution in northern hemisphere reaches record high

Carbon dioxide levels in the northern hemisphere reached a new milestone this April, the World Meteorological Organization announced Monday, with monthly atmospheric concentrations topping 400 parts per million for the first time in what’s believed to be millions of years.

The news itself will surprise few — without the significant mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, we all understand this to be the path we’re heading down — but symbolically, it packs a punch. “This should serve as yet another wakeup call about the constantly rising levels of greenhouse gases which are driving climate change. If we are to preserve our planet for future generations, we need urgent action to curb new emissions of these heat trapping gases,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement. “Time is running out.”

The WMO reiterated that CO2 remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, and in the ocean for even longer. From 2002 to 2012, the agency said, it was responsible for a full 85 percent of the increasing in “radiative forcing” — the warming effect on the climate.

CO2 levels tend to spike in April, before spring vegetation arrives to absorb some of it. Monitoring stations in the Arctic have been recording monthly averages this high since 2012, but as recently as April of last year, CO2 levels exceed 400 ppm on only several days; this year marked the first time that the monthly average for the northern hemisphere, where the majority of man-made emissions occur, was firmly set above that threshold. And things look like they’ll continue to head in that direction: the global annual average, the WMO warned, will likely surpass 400 ppm by 2015 or 2016.

Shutterstock 108163007 620x412

Disease

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

Five people have died in Sierra Leone’s first confirmed outbreak of Ebola virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday, signalling a new expansion of the disease which regional officials said had been brought under control.

In a statement posted on its website, the WHO said the outbreak in Sierra Leone was located in an area along the country’s border with Guinea’s Guéckédou prefecture, where some of the earliest cases of the disease were recorded.