Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.2 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.9 Earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.6 Earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits southern Peru.

5.1 Earthquake hits Iceland.

Two 5.0 Earthquakes hit the Molucca Sea.

Disease

Poliovirus in South Sudan and Madagascar

In separate and unrelated events, circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs) have been confirmed in South Sudan and Madagascar.

In South Sudan, 2 cases due to cVDPV type 2 (cVDPV2) have been confirmed. The strains were isolated from 2 acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases in Unity state, with onset of paralysis on 9 September and 12 September 2014, respectively. In Unity state, as many as 33% of children remain under-immunized against poliovirus. Both cases are from an internally-displaced persons camp in Unity state. Unity state has been affected by civil unrest, leading to population displacements and declining vaccination coverage in most of the areas.

Dengue Fever Outbreaks Strike Asia

Though much of the world is focused on the Ebola virus, pockets of Asia are struggling with record outbreaks of a mosquito-borne infectious disease called dengue fever, which has no specific drug treatment.

Guangdong Province in southern China is facing its largest outbreak of the virus in more than 20 years. There have been more than 44,000 confirmed cases in Guangdong, with more than 15,500 people hospitalized and six deaths as of Nov. 12, according to the Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.

On Nov. 3, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention warned travellers to the region about the outbreak, advising them to prevent mosquito bites.

The Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, with more than 9,000 cases, is battling its largest-ever outbreak of laboratory-confirmed infections. In Hong Kong on Nov. 7, officials confirmed a third case of locally acquired dengue, after last month discovering its first in four years. Earlier this fall, Japan faced its first outbreak in 70 years.

Officials in Hong Kong expressed concern about finding multiple locally acquired cases of dengue. Though a fair number of its residents contract dengue fever each year, nearly all are infected while traveling abroad. As of Nov. 13, 102 cases of dengue had been confirmed in the city this year, 99 of which originated elsewhere.

Environment

Moscow Stink Alarms Residents

The entire Russian capital became enveloped in the foul smell of sulfur and oil products on Monday, prompting at least one resident to ask if the gates of hell had opened up beneath Moscow.

A thick fog accompanied the stink, which seeped into apartments, offices, stores and even the underground metro.

Officials in the emergencies ministry said faulty air filters at a refinery in southeastern Moscow were responsible for the stench.

But state-controlled Gazprom, which operates the refinery, denied the claim.

Air in southwestern Moscow briefly contained 2.5 times the maximum permissible levels of styrene, a toxic and mutation-causing chemical used for polymer production, according to city-run watchdog MosEcoMonitoring.