Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

6.2 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.6 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia.

5.4 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.3 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Two 5.1 Earthquakes hit Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 12p (Lam), is located approximately 234 nm east of Darwin, Australia, and is tracking southwestward at 08 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 13p (Marcia), located approximately 262 nm north-northwest of Brisbane, Australia, and is tracking southward at 10 knots.

Marcia intensified Friday to come ashore as a category 5 storm and then weakened after the impact and influence of the landfall, bringing heavy rains to southeastern Queensland.

NewsBytes:

Peru, Update – The death toll in the Peruvian floods has risen to at least 20 people. The floods are said to have impacted 22 of the country’s 25 regions. More than 800 houses have reportedly been destroyed, with 14,500 buildings being partially damaged. At least five schools are among the destroyed buildings. The communications between several regions have been obstructed, as 12 bridges and 23 kilometres (14 miles) of roads have been destroyed.

Wildlife

High Seas Fishing Ban Proposed to Protect Stocks

Commercial fishing would be banned on the high seas under a proposed agreement designed to create a “fish bank” to ensure the survival of the most overexploited species.

Approximately half of the world’s fish stocks are being caught to their maximum sustainable limits, as well as to levels causing commercial extinction for some species.

Researchers and policymakers from Canada, Australia and elsewhere say commercial trawlers should be limited to operating within 200 nautical miles of the maritime countries that hold rights to fishing in those waters.

They claim the move would have only a tiny impact on the global fishing economy while providing a vast safe place for species to survive.

According to their study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, less than 1 percent of the global catch comes from the high seas.

The bulk of the world’s fisheries actually come from fish stocks that straddle both territorial waters and the high seas.

This unexpectedly high level of exchange means that most fish stocks would still be available to be fished even if the high seas were closed to trawlers.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113.0 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) at Nyang, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 65.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53.9 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Disease

Uganda confirms Typhoid outbreak

Uganda’s Health Ministry on Thursday confirmed an outbreak of Typhoid in the East African country.

“We would like to inform the general public that there is an outbreak of Typhoid in Kampala and in some parts of the neighbouring Wakiso and Mukono districts,” Jane Ruth Aceng, director-general of health services, told reporters.

She said the first Typhoid infection had been reported on Feb. 6.

“So far, two people are confirmed to have died of the disease, while 11 more deaths are still being investigated,” Aceng said.

She added that a total of 142 people had so far been found with symptoms of Typhoid.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): The strombolian-type activity from the summit crater of the volcano continues at moderate levels, with little changes over the past week.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): 36 explosions occurred from Showa Crater during 9-13 February and ejected tephra as far as 1,300 m. Incandescence from the crater was visible at night during 9-11 February, and inflation continued to be detected. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported that during 11-17 February plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8-3.7 km (6,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE. On 17 February pilots observed ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Colima (Western Mexico): The volcano remains active with explosions from the summit crater, but its activity has been decreasing a bit. In a report by the Civil Protection, the lava dome is said to have been partially destroyed by the recent explosions, leaving a crater of about 140 m diameter.

Fuego (Guatemala): The volcano experienced another surge in activity on 16 Feb, but has now returned to moderate levels again, with moderate to strong strombolian explosions ejecting incandescent material to 150 m and ash plumes rising up to 1km. In a special report on 16 February INSIVUMEH noted 4-6 explosions per hour, and ash plumes that rose, based on pilot reports, to altitudes of 7-9.1 km (23,000-30,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted more than 15 km SW and W. Another special report issued on 17 February stated that 4-6 explosions per hour continued to be detected. Large amounts of ash formed mushroom-shaped clouds that rose 0.6-1.1 km above the crater and drifted over 15 km NW, W, SE, and S. Incandescent material was ejected 150 m above the crater, causing avalanches in the Trinidad, Ceniza, Las Lajas, and Santa Teresa drainages.