Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.6 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.7 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.7 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Azores.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean:

Tropical storm Douglas is located about 615 mi…990 km W of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…NW or 320 degrees at 9 mph…15 km/h.

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical Storm Neogari and is located approximately 813 nm southeast of Kadena AB, has tracked west-northwestward at 14 knots over the past six hours.

In the Atlantic:

Tropical Storm Arthur is located about 65 mi…105 km SW of Yarmouth Nova Scotia with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…NE or 35 degrees at 22 mph…35 km/h.

Hurricane Arthur moved back over the Atlantic Friday after causing some damage on North Carolina’s barrier islands before weakening to a tropical storm.

On North Carolina’s barrier islands, people hoped to salvage the rest of the holiday weekend despite some flooding and power outages. Arthur made landfall on the southern end of the barrier islands Thursday with sustained winds up to 100 mph.

Arthur was downgraded to a tropical storm as its winds weakened to 70 mph. Arthur was moving at about 22 mph and located about 65 miles southwest of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, from the U.S.-Canada border to Grand-Anse.

NewsBytes:

Canada – Manitoba declared a provincial state of emergency Friday, calling on the Canadian military to help protect 200 rural homes from a surge of floodwater coming from Saskatchewan.

Manitobafloods

Disease

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

The evolution of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia remains a serious concern as primary and secondary viral transmissions continue to occur in both urban and rural communities. Analyses of the current trend and the potential risk factors for the continuing spread of this epidemic have been conducted. The major factors responsible for continuous propagation of EVD outbreak in the sub-region include:

1. Some negative cultural practices and traditional beliefs, resulting into mistrust, apprehension and resistance to adopt recommended public health preventive measures. The implication of this include poor health care seeking behaviour such as hiding of EVD patients, home-based management of EVD patients, and customary treatment of dead bodies. These are very high risk practices leading to extensive exposures to Ebola virus in the community. Consequently, community deaths continue to be reported. In addition, the potential contacts to the EVD patients managed at home and exposures during customary burial procedures are not systematically identified and put under observation (very critical measures for containment of community transmission of Ebola virus). This is therefore a major factor amplifying the outbreak.

2. The extensive movement of people within and across borders has facilitated rapid spread of the infection across and within the three countries. The homogeneous community living along the border areas have common socio-cultural activities that enhance viral transmission e.g. visiting sick relatives or attending to burial ceremonies of relatives across the border. In addition, the cross border movement has complicated tracking and follow up of contacts, with several contacts loss to follow up.

3. Currently, the coverage of effective outbreak containment measures is not comprehensive. The unprecedented geographical expanse of the EVD outbreak in the three countries requires enormous and robust response capacity and structures in terms of human capital, financial, operational and logistics requirements. This is the first major EVD outbreak in West Africa and the affected countries had weak capacity and structures for epidemic preparedness and response, particularly for viral haemorrhagic fever. Lastly, the apprehension of some communities limits access to affected population with effective outbreak control measures.

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

On 30 June and 1 July 2014, the National IHR Focal Point for Saudi Arabia reported an additional 3 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and a death in a previously reported case.

Wildfires

Wildfires  – Southern California

Crews scrambled Thursday to corral a new wildfire that burned two homes in Southern California and threatened hundreds of others as an older, larger blaze endangered more homes in rural Northern California.

A fire that erupted around 10:30 a.m. prompted the mandatory evacuation of 200 homes in central San Diego County near the mountain town of Julian. News crews from KNSD-TV reported seeing two homes burning.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Slamet (Central Java): According to the latest report by VSI, both the number of explosions observed and corresponding seismic signals have increased over the past days. 17 eruptions were observed during 1-2 July, compared to 14 during 15-30 June. Ash plumes have been rising up to 1,4 km above the crater and glow / incandescent material was occasionally observed. The intensity of current activity at Slamet is still within the range of level 2 on a scale of 1-4 (Waspada:”watch”), comparable to March-April. VSI warns that explosions could eject lava bombs to up to 2 km distance.

Ambang (North Sulawesi & Sangihe Islands): A swarm of volcanic earthquakes that started yesterday under the volcano prompted VSI to raise the alert status from normal to waspada (2 on a scale of 1-4). During 3 July, 62 volcanic quakes were detected, compared to averaged of 1-2 per day during the previous weeks. A light steam plume could be observed from the volcano’s summit. The remote volcano had its last eruption in 2005, when phreatic explosions occurred.