Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits the Andaman Islands off India.

5.6 Earthquake hits northern Algeria.

5.4 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Andaman Islands off India.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Rota region in the North Mariana Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the North Atlantic:

Tropical Storm Bertha forms and is located…13.6n 57.9w about 110 mi…175 km ENE of Barbados about 220 mi…355 km ESE of Martinique.

Bertha is moving toward the west-northwest near 20 mph…31 km/h…and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track…Bertha is expected to pass near or north of Barbados during the next several hours and move through the central Lesser Antilles tonight…and into the northeastern Caribbean on Saturday.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Storm Iselle forms about 1160 mi…1870 km WSW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 300 degrees at 10 mph…17 km/h. there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical storm 11w (Halong) is located approximately 324 nm north of Yap, and is tracking west-northwestward at 07 knots.

NewsBytes:

India – The death toll in the landslide that hit the village of Pune has risen to 51, with more than 120 people still feared trapped in the mud. Rescue efforts continue.

Milan Pune Landslide Photo

Environment

Humans Driving the Next Mass Extinction

Earth may be on the verge of the planet’s sixth mass extinction, which scientists say would be caused this time by human activities rather than geological transformations or catastrophic asteroid strikes.

Researchers say that despite biodiversity being the highest in Earth’s 3.5 billion years of evolutional trial and error, more than 320 land animals have become extinct since 1500.

Whether wiped out by hunting, loss of habitat or pollution, the unprecedented loss of animal species is the highest since humans emerged and grew to dominate the planet.

Writing in the journal Science, lead author and Stanford biologist Rodolfo Dirzo estimates that between 16 and 33 percent of all species are now globally threatened or endangered.

The report said that large animals, like elephants, rhinos and polar bears, are in the greatest danger.

But once they are gone, trickle-down effects from their losses would shake the stability of other species, including humans.

If elephants and other large endangered mammals disappear, smaller species will sufferer from the loss, including humans.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 121.3 degrees Fahrenheit (49.6 degrees Celsius) at Ouargla, Algeria.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 101.2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 74.0 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, Oregon, Washington State.

An out-of-control wildfire in Madera County in Central California more than doubled in size overnight to 5,600 acres, officials said.

The El Portal fire, which is 34% contained, continues to rage near the communities of Old El Portal and Foresta in Yosemite National Park.

The 3,545-acre is burning in steep, rugged terrain, which has also been a challenge for firefighters who are concerned about the fire growing along the north and northeast portions of the fire.

Two new wildfires have spread in Oregon where nearly 500,000 acres are burning amid a forecast of hot weather and lightning — on both sides of the Cascades.

Oregon Fire Dertails:

The Ochoco complex east of Post remains 94 percent contained at 10,000 acres.

The Logging Unit complex northwest of Warm Springs has charred more than 6,600 acres and is 80 percent contained.

The Kitten Canyon complex west of Vale has also stayed stable at 22,700 acres. Firefighters have made progress, with the complex of four fires now 90 percent contained.

The Bridge 99 complex north of Sisters is still 95 percent contained at nearly 5,700 acres.

In northeast Oregon, the Hurricane Creek fire southwest of Joseph spread in the past 24 hours, covering more than 900 acres. The fire is 40 percent contained.

In southeast Oregon, the Buzzard complex remains 98 percent contained at nearly 396,000 acres northeast of Burns.

The Reeves Creek fire southwest of Grants Pass is 50 percent contained at just over 200 acres.

The China Cap fire east of La Grande remains zero percent contained, covering nearly 200 acres.

The Black Rock fire east of Antelope has scorched nearly 36,000 acres and remains 95 percent contained.

The Sniption fire north of Fossil, now 5 percent contained, has scorched 12,000 acres.

In central-western Oregon, the Bingham complex east of Marion Forks remains stable at about 450 acres and 50 percent containment.

In Washington state:

The Carlton complex south of Twisp spread again Wednesday and now covers nearly 252,000 acres. The fires are 71 percent contained.

The Chiwaukum complex northwest of Leavenworth has charred more than 13,100 acres. The three fires in the complex, which have closed a section of Highway 2, are still 27 percent contained.

The nearby Mills Canyon fire southwest of Entiat remains at nearly 22,600 acres with 95 percent containment.

The Lone Mountain 1 fire north of Stehekin has burned more than 1,700 acres is now 30 percent contained.

And finally the Toroda Mountain fire northeast of Omak has burned 150 acres and is zero percent contained.