Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits Veracruz, Mexico.

5.4 Earthquake hits the western Indian-Antarctic ridge.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Philippine Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Hurricane Simon is located about 405 mi…655 km SSW of Punta Eugenia Mexico and about 435 mi…705 km W of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…115 mph…185 km/h. Present movement…NW or 320 degrees at 10 mph…17 km/h.

Hazards affecting land – rainfall…Simon is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches with isolated amounts around 8 inches over the next several days across the Baja California Peninsula and Sonora in Mexico. Surf…swells generated by Simon are affecting portions of the Baja California peninsula. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Typhoon 18w (Phanfone), located approximately 502 nm southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, and is tracking north-northwestward at 13 knots.

Typhoon 19w (Vongfong), located approximately 176 nm east of Andersen AFB, and is tracking west-northwestward at 21 knots.

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Sumatra – Substantial flooding is affecting several districts in Medan, North Sumatra, engulfing hundreds of houses and paralyzing traffic along a number of roads. The floods were caused by the banks of the Babura and Deli rivers bursting, as heavy rain had fallen for hours on the city from Friday evening to early Saturday morning. The worst flood hit Aur subdistrict, Medan Maimun district, where the water was almost shoulder height.


Swiss Cowbells Harming Alpine Herds

The iconic cowbells ringing around the necks of Swiss cows could become a thing of the past following a study that finds the bells destroy bovine hearing and affect feeding habits.

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich found the bells create a noise level of 100 to 113 decibels—basically equivalent to that of a chainsaw and far in excess of safety standards.

Agricultural scientist Julia Johns told Schweiz am Sonntag that thousands of Swiss cows may have been made deaf by the bells.

“We didn’t need long university research to tell us that the bells are not beneficial to cows,” says Lolita Morena from a Swiss animal protection group.

She told the Swiss site The Local: “Farmers will just have to spend a bit more time finding their cows in bad weather, like shepherds do. It’s difficult work … but they chose it.”

Some propose using GPS tags to keep track of the livestock.



Anthrax in Zimbabwe

At least 25 cattle have died and 3 people are being treated for anthrax due to an outbreak of the bacterial disease in the Zhukwe area in Gwanda, Zimbabwe, according to a Bulawayo 24 report.

The Department of Veterinary Services said they have since quarantined the affected area and vaccinated animals against anthrax adding that the situation is now under control. Officials warn the public about eating meat from sick cows as they may have anthrax.

Anthrax is a pathogen in livestock and wild animals. Some of the more common herbivores are cattle, sheep, goats, horses, camels and deers. Anthrax is a very serious disease of livestock because it can potentially cause the rapid loss of a large number of animals in a very short time. Affected animals are often found dead with no illness detected. It infects humans primarily through occupational or incidental exposure with infected animals of their skins.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): The lava continues to flow through the northern channel on the upper Sciara del Fuoco. Effusion rate remains significant. Small ash emissions continue to occur from the western summit vents.

Karymsky (Kamchatka): A small volcanic ash plume extending NW from the volcano was reported last evening. Karymsky has been producing intermittent small to moderate explosions for several years.

Ontake-san (Honshu): The volcano continues to emit plumes of steam and possibly some ash. In the meanwhile, search and rescue operations continue on the volcano. The death toll from last week’s sudden explosion has risen to 51 fatalities. Most of them were attributed to head trauma (killed by impact of ballistic projectiles in the summit region of the volcano).

Sabancaya (Peru): A pilot reported a volcanic ash plume yesterday at 20,000 ft (6 km) altitude, but it might have been confused with a weather cloud. Seismic activity at the volcano has been very low.