Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 Earthquake hits the Mona Passage in the Dominican Republic.

5.3 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands off New Zealand.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Storm Amanda is located approximately 455 mi (735 km) SSW of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and is moving east near 7 mph (11 kph).

The storm’s maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 mph (55 kph).

Hurricane Amanda unexpectedly regained strength briefly Tuesday, before resuming a predicted weakening far off Mexico’s Pacific coast where it posed no threat to land. The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds were about 105 mph (165 kph) Tuesday afternoon, after rising to 120 mph (195 kph) Tuesday morning. Weakening should continue and Amanda is likely to become a tropical storm by Thursday.

Tsunami Debris

Three years after the Japan tsunami, suspected bits of debris arrive on Washington shores. The disaster’s aftermath is still being felt in ways large and small, far and wide. On a beach in southern Washington, approximately 4,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean, debris that may be from the tsunami is washing ashore. Experts have yet to confirm the debris, which includes small fishing boats, foam blocks, and water bottles are all a direct result of the tsunami. However, many of the water bottles and assorted items of trash appear to have originated in Japan.

There are portions of the beach that look like a dump truck just emptied a huge pile of trash. Washington state has been keeping track of the debris that is confirmed to be from the tsunami. Items include boats, portions of docks, and volleyballs have all washed ashore over the past three years. Alaska, California, and Oregon have also been monitoring their coasts.

The most recent series of debris began to arrive on beaches on Friday. Authorities are investigating to see if the boats and other items can be identified. They will also be checked for invasive species. In addition to the mass destruction and thousands of deaths, the earthquake that caused the tsunami altered the spin of the planet, according to reports.

Wildlife

Shark Sanctuary Established in British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands recently became the third Caribbean territory to declare its waters a safe haven for sharks. The decision to establish a shark sanctuary bans shark fishing throughout the territory.

Five Alaska Wolf Pups Rescued by Firefighters

Firefighters rescued five wolf pups from an abandoned den as they battled the massive Funny River Fire in southern Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The pups had not been hurt by the blaze. Medics with the fire crew fed the fuzzy brown puppies glucose (sugar water) and plucked porcupine quills from their skin.

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Disease

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

From 23 May 2014 to 27 May 2014, 4 new districts reported 14 new clinical cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 5 deaths as follows: Boffa, 5 cases and 1 death; Telimele, 7 cases and 4 deaths; Boke, 1 case and 0 death; and Dubreka, 1 case and 1 death. Community and nosocomial transmission are still occurring in Gueckedou, Macenta, and Conakry.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update

On 25 May 2014, the National IHR Focal Point of Jordan reported to WHO an additional Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) case in Amman, Jordan.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update

On 26 May 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 3 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): The volcano produced a steam and ash plume during today that rose to estimated 20,000 ft (6 km) altitude and drifted east.

Dukono (Halmahera): Activity continues to be elevated at the volcano. An ash plume at estimated 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude extended 35 nautical miles to the west this morning.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The number of steam-gas and sometimes ash emissions has increased a bit to approx 8 per hour. No other significant changes occurred at the volcano.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): The new lava flow on the eastern flank of the Caliente dome continues to advance slowly and produce avalanches. Small explosions occurred, generating ash plumes up to 700 m high. Rainfalls caused a medium-sized lahar in the Nima I river yesterday at dawn.

Fuego (Guatemala): The lava flow has disappeared and explosive activity in turn increased. The observatory reported ash plumes up to 600 m high and drifting SW to 8 km distance. Shock waves accompanied the stronger explosions. Rainfalls triggered a lahar in the Las Lajas river canyon.

Reventador (Ecuador): Weak to moderate effusive and explosive activity continues at the volcano. Cloud cover prevents direct observations most of the time, but the seismic signal shows tremor and explosion signals. A thermal hot spot indicates that lava continues to build up at the summit lava dome.

Ubinas (Peru): Activity continues to show an overall decreasing trend. A small explosion occurred this morning at the volcano, producing a dark ash plume that rose several hundred meters.