Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits northwest of the Kuril Islands.

5.4 Earthquake hits the southwestern Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits off the coast of Costa Rica.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Hurricane Edouard is located about 890 mi…1435 km W of Fayal island in the western Azores with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…ENE or 65 degrees at 28 mph…44 km/h.

Hazards affecting land – surf…swells from Edouard are affecting portions of Atlantic Canada and the East Coast of the United States north of Florida. These swells will likely cause life-threatening rip current conditions for the next day or so.

Tropical storm 16w (Fung-Wong) is located approximately 356 nm east of Manila, Philippines, and is tracking northwestward at 15 knots.

Hurricane Polo is located about 165 mi…265 km SSW of Manzanillo Mexico and about 510 mi…820 km se of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…75 mph…120 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 300 degrees at 8 mph…13 km/h.

Hazards affecting land – wind…tropical storm conditions are expected to begin over portions of the warning area later today. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area today. Surf…swells generated by Polo will affect portions of the southern coast of Mexico during the next few days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office. Rainfall…Polo is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches with isolated totals of 15 inches near the coast of Guerrero…Michoacan…Colima and Jalisco states in Mexico. These rains could result in life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

NewsBytes:

Vietnam – Landslides triggered by Typhoon Kalmaegi have claimed the lives of at least seven people in Lang Son’s Dong Dang Town of Vietnam. About 55,000 people in four northern coastal provinces were evacuated ahead of the storm. The storm collapsed seven houses and 20 electricity poles, blew off 147 roofs and destroyed more than 5,000 hectares of paddy and other crops in the province.

Pakistan – As the flood emergency deepens in Pakistan, now affecting nearly 2.3 million people, humanitarian teams have mobilized to work alongside local government authorities to assess needs in the worst-affected areas.

Late monsoon rains earlier this month hit the mountainous areas of Gilgit-Balitstan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir, unleashing a torrent of water flowing into Punjab’s agricultural heartlands. Swollen rivers breached flood defences, sweeping away thousands of villages as the “super-flood” surged south, wreaking havoc throughout Punjab, the country’s most populous province.

The government’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) says 312 people have died, with 2,275,000 affected and nearly 1.7 million acres (687,965 hectares) of crops lost. Punjab Province declared a state of emergency as the flood spread through central areas, with Jhang District hit hardest.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

More than 6,500 firefighters battled 11 large wildfires scorching California Wednesday as the state sweated out an extended heat wave.

Around 3,600 homes were threatened by blazes from Orange County to the Oregon border. One fire, 60 miles east of Sacramento in the Eldorado National Forest, burned over 18,000 acres and forced 2,155 people from their homes.

More than 200 miles north of that fire, the small city of Weed—at the base of Mount Shasta in the Cascade Mountains—remained under threat from a fast-moving wildfire even as residents began to grapple with the loss of 150 homes destroyed Monday, officials there said. More than 1,000 residents were still under evacuation orders and around 150 people were in area shelters, said a spokeswoman for Cal Fire, the state fire agency.

BN EO877 FIREFL G 20140917151958

Disease

Enterovirus D68 in the United States of America

On 10 September 2014, the United States of America informed the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) about an outbreak of severe respiratory illness associated with Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). As of 16 September 2014, 130 laboratory-confirmed cases of EV-D68 have been reported in 12 US states – Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Investigations into suspected clusters in many other states are ongoing.

Ebola outbreak: Black market for blood of survivors

Ebola has infected nearly 4,800 people. It has killed more than 2,400. And a black market for the blood of its survivors is emerging in the epicenter of the outbreak in West Africa, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Convalescent serum — serum collected from someone who has survived an infectious disease — has been used to treat Ebola victims. Most recently, it was given to 51-year-old American aid worker Rick Sacra from survivor Kent Brantly. Blood from Ebola survivors is rich with antibodies against the deadly virus, and since there is currently no approved drug to fight it, some have become desperate enough to take fate into their own hands and turn to the black market for the experimental serum.