Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits the south Indian Ocean.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova region, Russia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Na201404

Tropical cyclone (tc) 04a (Nilofar), located approximately 203 nm south-southeast of Masirah island, and is tracking northward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

China – Rain-triggered landslide in Yunnan Province of China has claimed the lives of at least nine people.

Sri Lanka – At least six people were killed and about 300 were missing in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday after an early morning landslide set off by heavy monsoon rains. About 150 homes at the Meeriyabedda tea plantation in the district of Badulla, most of them small rooms constructed in a line and attached to one another, were crushed under mud around 7:30 a.m. It had been raining for days in the area, disaster management officials said. Beyond the recovered bodies, many more are believed to be beneath 10 to 15 feet of mud.

Disease

Ebola: Who is patient zero?

Before the virus ravaged West Africa, before the deaths soared into the thousands, before the outbreak triggered global fears, Ebola struck a toddler named Emile Ouamouno.

Virtually no one knew the 2-year-old by name. Now the world knows him as patient zero.

Researchers from The New England Journal of Medicine believe Emile was the first person to contract the disease in the current outbreak almost a year ago.

It’s not clear exactly how the boy, who lived in a rainforest village in southern Guinea, got infected.

Ebola can be spread from animals to humans through infected fluids or tissue.

“In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines,” according to the World Health Organization.

In December, Emile had a fever, black stool and started vomiting. Four days later, on December 6, he was dead.

Within a month, so were his 4-year-old sister, his mother and his grandmother.

The mother suffered bleeding symptoms and died on December 13. Then, the toddler’s 3-year-old sister died December 29, with symptoms including fever, vomiting and black diarrhea. The grandmother passed away January 1.

Taiwan – Dengue Fever Outbreak

Taiwan’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday raised the alarm level over an epidemic of dengue fever, which has caused seven deaths this year.

As of Tuesday, Taiwan has reported 7,439 cases of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease. Among them, there were 59 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever, a potentially fatal complication, including seven deaths in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

CDC Director-General Steve Kuo said the number of cases of this year’s outbreak had broken Taiwan’s 2002 record, when over 6,000 cases, including 19 deaths, were reported.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Kilauea (Hawai’i): Today’s preliminary reports from Pahoa indicate the lava flow is only advancing around 10m/hr after having consumed a small shack on private property, and is still threatening other structures nearby. The slowing comes as lava fills a small depression in the topography, with steeper ground and faster movement rates expected ahead. Based on current projections, the lava will most likely cross Pahoa Village Road sometime tomorrow, though with lots of uncertainty as there has been no increase yet in the flow’s speed.

Residents and visitors have been cycling through the main village road, which has been partially closed as the utility company installs new, taller power poles to move wires farther from the heat of the lava, while continuing to insulate the base of the poles against burning. A similar approach has been effective so far on Apa`a Rd, though the lava is likely to expand and test these defences further in coming weeks.

Dukono (Halmahera): Explosive activity at the volcano continues. An ash plume at estimated 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude was seen drifting 45 nautical miles to the east on satellite data today (VAAC Darwin).