Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits the Mid-Indian ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits Coquimbo, Chile.

5.2 Earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 15s (Fifteen)  is located approximately 356 nm north-northeast of Europa island, and is tracking south-southeastward at 04 knots.

NewsBytes:

El Niño – The El Niño event that has been nearly a year in the offing finally emerged in February and could last through the spring and summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced. The El Niño is not strong and unless it intensifies, it is not expected to have a major influence on weather patterns around the globe.

Italy – Heavy rains and strong storm in Italy today have claimed the lives of at least two people. Winds of up to 180 kilometres an hour tore through the Riviera region of Liguria yesterday.

Global Warming

Global Warming Causing California Droughts: Study

California’s recent historic drought was brought on mainly by climate change, according to a new Stanford University study.

Researchers say they made the determination after looking at climate records dating back to 1895.

“When we look at the historical record, not only do we see a doubling of the odds of a warm-dry year, but we also see a doubling of the frequency of drought years,” said study co-author Danielle Touma.

Writing in the March edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers say their findings provide “strong evidence” that global warming is already making drought in California more likely.

Water supplies to farmers in California’s Central Valley are likely to be liminted unless significant rain and mountain snow falls within the next two months.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit (44.0 degrees Celsius) at Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 75.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 59.9 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

Nigeria: 42 dead in meningitis outbreak

Health officials in the north-western state of Kebbi have reported at least 42 fatalities, or a quarter of the 154 people infected from the five local government areas (LGA) reporting cases. In addition, 58 people are still receiving treatment at designated camps.

Reports do not specify the specific type of meningitis implicated in the Kebbi outbreak. It is being attributed to “sleeping in overcrowded and unventilated rooms.”

The countries of the African Meningitis Belt, including parts of Nigeria, face outbreaks of the deadly bacterial disease every year.

Cholera in Mozambique

Mozambique has been experiencing a cholera epidemic since late December and the total case count is now over 4,500. According to an RFI report (computer translated), the outbreak has sickened 4,518 (confirmed cases) and resulted in the deaths of 41 people.

Often people have mild illness or no symptoms. However, about 1 in 20 (5%) of infected people will have severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

Map3 13 frequent epidemics meningococcal meningitis large 1024x680