Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 16s (Haliba), is located approximately 192 nm south of St Denis, and is tracking south-southeastward at 08 knots.

Tropical Cyclone Haliba has caused heavy rainfall in Mauritius. The disturbance has caused heavy showers and thunderstorms over the whole island. All schools in Mauritius have been closed.

Tropical cyclone 17p Pam, is located approximately 678 nm northwest of Suva, Fiji, and is tracking south-southeastward at 03 knots.

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Environment

Sahara Sand Feeds Amazon Rain Forest

Some of the driest and most desolate stretches of the planet provide nutrients for lush tropical life thousands of miles away, according to a new study.

The soil of the Amazon basin is depleted because of the fierce competition for plant nutrients in the verdurous region.

But strong winds pick up minerals (mainly phosphorous) and nutrients from the Sahara and drop them far across the Atlantic where plants would otherwise have a much harder time thriving.

The delivery system was recently studied through a new simulation conducted by NASA engineers.

Their simulation calculated that roughly 182 million tons of Sahara dust are picked up by the winds each year.

The study also examined the link between the dust-carrying winds and climate.

“Dust will affect climate and, at the same time, climate change will affect dust,” said lead study author Hongbin Yu, who conducts research at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Advancing front of a sandstorm in northwestern Africa, as seen from space. Some of the sand may have reached the Amazon, where plants depend on it for nutrition.

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): The explosive-effusive eruption of the volcano probably finished. According to KVERT, volcanic tremor significant decreased yesterday and no lava or ash emissions could be seen any more at the summit crater. Moderately degassing and a thermal anomaly at the summit continue. Aviation color code was lowered from orange to yellow.

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): Explosions continue to occur at the volcano sporadically, although none of the previous days has been as strong as the violent eruption on 28 Feb. The most recent was an explosion yesterday morning, producing an ash plume that rose to approx. 25,000 ft (7.5 km) altitude, but no pyroclastic flows. KVERT maintains aviation color code orange.

Soputan (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): Activity continues at the volcano, but has been decreasing. Following the strong explosion on Saturday, mild lava fountaining from two vents and the effusion of a small lava flow on the western flank occurred,- signs that the eruption had been caused by a new batch of fresh magma. Seismic activity remains strong.

Fuego (Guatemala): The volcano is in mild to moderate strombolian activity with a few explosions on average per hour. Incandescent material is being ejected to 100 m above the crater and ash plumes rise up to 800 m. A phase of strong lava effusion on 1-2 March had produced a lava flow reaching 2 km length.

San Cristobal (Nicaragua): Two explosions occurred last Thursday afternoon, producing moderately strong ash emissions of a few hundred meters height. No damage was reported, only slight ash fall causing visibility problems on nearby roads and similar minor problems.

Turrialba (Costa Rica): Small ash emissions were observed yesterday.A series of 4 small explosions occurred between 13:41 and 15:17 local time, generating plumes of up to 500 m height. It is not known at the moment, if the eruptions are phreatic, i.e. the result of exploding overheated water, or caused by fresh magma arriving at the summit.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Germany

On 7 March 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for Germany notified WHO of 1 case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.