Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Easter Island.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands off New Zealand.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Indonesia – Update – The death toll in the landslide in central Indonesia has risen to 26 with 80 still missing. Heavy equipment is now being used to look for survivors. Hundreds of rescuers were digging through the mud with shovels and their bare hands in a desperate hunt for any survivors.

Disease

Ebola – New Outbreak in Sierra Leone

An especially deadly outbreak of Ebola burned unseen in a remote part of Sierra Leone for several weeks, giving public health experts a reality check. It’s also a perfect embodiment of the warning that they’ve been giving for months: that a single spark can set off a conflagration of disease and death.

It happened in Kono, a remote district bordering Guinea. World Health Organization workers heard rumours of deaths and traveled there to find scenes out of a horror movie. At least 87 people had died and been hastily buried, often without the precautions needed to stop the corpses from infecting the living.

Sierra Leone has overtaken Liberia as the country where the Ebola epidemic is the worst, with hundreds of new cases reported every week.

It’s still bad — WHO reports more than 18,000 cases and more than 6,500 deaths in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Experts now say it’ll be the middle of next year in the best-case scenario for getting the epidemic under control.

Environment

Ants Clean Food Scraps off New York Streets

A new study finds that armies of ants are keeping New York City clean by eating food litter left by the pedestrians who walk the streets of the city that never sleeps.

Writing in the journal Global Change Biology, a team of researchers reveals how ants and other arthropods on a stretch of just 150 blocks of median strips in Manhattan can remove the equivalent of about 60,000 pounds of hot dogs or 600,000 potato chips each year.

Lead researcher Elsa Youngsteadt from North Carolina State University says the insects are helping New Yorkers by competing with rats for food.

“You may not like ants, but you probably like rats even less,” she told The New York Times.

Ants and other arthropods recycle as much as 59 percent of the food litter that humans leave on New York City streets each day.

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