Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits off the coast of Costa Rica.

5.3 Earthquake hits off the coast of Costa Rica.

5.2 Earthquake hits Guam.

5.1 Earthquake hits Guam.

5.0 Earthquake hits Guam.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical cyclone Pam is located approximately 556 nm north-northeast of west-northwest of Suva, Fiji and is tracking southward at 08 knots.

Tropical cyclone Nathan is located approximately 217 nm north of Cairns, Australia and is tracking northwestward at 03 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 19s (Olwyn), located approximately 155 nm north-northeast of Learmonth, Australia, and is tracking south-southwestward at 12 knots.

Tropical storm 03w (Bavi), located approximately 310 nm east-southeast of Ujelang, and is tracking west-northwestward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

Italy – Snowfall in Capracotta, Italy has set the new world one-day snowfall record with 100.8 inches of snowfall in about 18 hours. It took Capracotta, Italy around 94 years to break earlier record set back between April 20 to 21, 1921 in Silver Lake, Colorado, US when 193 cm (75.8 inch) of snow fell hit the region.

Capracotta Italy snowfall

Wildlife

Extinct Woolly Rhino Discovered

A hunter and businessman stumbled across a rare find in a frozen riverbank in Siberia: The remarkably complete remains of a baby woolly rhino which roamed the Earth more than 10 000 years ago.

Woolly rhino body

Millions of starfish die on the West Coast, USA

With millions of starfish dying all along the West Coast, Washington state Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives say it’s time for Congress to intervene and find out why.

The outbreak, first noticed in the state by rangers in Olympic National Park in June 2013, has hit 20 species of starfish, also known as sea stars.

After getting lesions on their bodies, the sea stars begin curling up and soon lose their legs, shrivelling up and disintegrating into mush.

Researchers fear the epidemic may be the result of a virus caused by climate change, with the disease showing its fastest progression in warmer ocean waters.

2leyX AuSt 91

Wildfires

Wildfires breakout across Kansas

Fire crews across Kansas continued to battle grass fires into Wednesday evening. The largest grass fires were reported in southern Reno County, Rice County and McPherson County.

No one was hurt and no structures were lost in one of the large grass fires that at one point, was a mile long. As of about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, there were some trees still burning, but the bulk of the fire had been contained.

Russell, Lincoln and Ellsworth Counties have now banned open burning until further notice.

Crews also battled at least three separate grass fires near El Dorado on Wednesday. There were no reports of structural damage or injuries.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

On 9 March 2015, the IHR National Focal Point of Qatar notified WHO of 1 additional case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Between 26 February and 2 March 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 18 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 5 deaths.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

On 9 March 2015, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 59 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including 17 fatal cases. Onset dates ranged from 21 January to 25 February 2015.

Botswana – foot and mouth disease outbreak

Botswana on Wednesday confirmed that it has been hit by an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the northern part of the country.Acting Agriculture Assistant Minister, Fidelis Molao told Parliament that the disease was detected last week during a clinical inspection of cattle destined for slaughter at the Maun abattoir.

He said at least 20 of the 300 cattle tested positive for FMD and that the last vaccination done in the area was in September 2014.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): The volcano continues to produce intermittent weak to moderate ash emissions during the past weeks. Together with (far more active) Shiveluch and Karymsky volcanoes further north, there are currently 3 erupting volcanoes in Kamchatka.

Aso (Kyushu): Strombolian activity continues, but has decreased. Mostly, only a steam plume can be seen rising from the Nakadake crater, suggesting that explosive activity is now much lower than during the previous months.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano continues to produce frequent strombolian to vulcanian-type explosions, often accompanied by long-lasting periods of ash emissions. Our friends Marc Szlegat and Martin Rietze visited the volcano last week. Some impressions of this activity can be seen on this page.

Reventador (Ecuador): Mild explosive and effusive activity in the form of a dome at the summit crater continue. Washington VAAC reported several small ash emissions and thermal images suggest that the lava flow on the upper western flank remains active.