Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Volcano Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Pagan region in the North Mariana Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 22s (Joalane), located approximately 513 nm east-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius is tracking south-southeastward at 05 knots.

NewsBytes:

USA, Midwest – As many as 30 million people were in the path of the spring’s biggest storm yet — a monster stretching Wednesday from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and east to the Atlantic Ocean, which was already dropping giant hail on parts of the Midwest and threatened the greatest likelihood of tornadoes anywhere in its path. Thunderstorms began rolling through parts of Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri on Wednesday morning, followed by hail and damaging wind in the afternoon. Intense lightning struck Wednesday in Nelson County, Kentucky, ahead of winds that put parts of the state and southern Indiana under tornado watches through Thursday morning. Grapefruit-size hail fell around the eastern Missouri town of Sullivan about 2:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. ET), smashing car windshields and damaging some homes. Roofs were blown off buildings and hoods were torn off vehicles in nearby Potosi, Missouri, as a storm moved through with near-tornado winds Wednesday afternoon. The two days of forecast severe weather followed several outbreaks Tuesday that saw flooding in St. Louis and two tornadoes in Kansas.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

Cosmic Ring Photo

A new photograph of a distant galaxy looks like it was the inspiration for the ‘one ring’ in ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ but it’s actually a cosmic phenomenon in which the light from one galaxy is bent into a circle by the gravity of another galaxy.

This bending of light by a massive object is called gravitational lensing, a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein’s theories. Einstein showed that space is not rigid, but is instead flexible, like the surface of a trampoline; a massive object can bend space the way a person bends the fabric of a trampoline. In places where space is bent by gravity, light takes a curved path instead of a straight one.

Gravitationally lensed galaxy SDP81

Wildfires

Wildfires – Costa Rica

The National Commission on Wildfires reported a total of 139 wildfires across Costa Rica in 2014; 88 of them occurred within protected areas.

Wildfires during the past week have consumed nearly 300 hectares within protected areas, bringing the total so far this year to some 530 hectares in 28 fires, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) said Wednesday.

Last year, a total of 139 wildfires burned approximately 30,440 hectares across Costa Rica. Eighty-eight of the fires were within protected areas.

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Disease

Four New Newcastle Disease Outbreaks in Israel

There were four outbreaks of Newcastle disease in poultry between 21 and 23 March, involving more than 55,000 birds, both chickens and pigeons.

The outbreaks started between 21 and 23 March. Two were in the Acco district of Hazafon and the other two were in the Rehovot region of Hadarom.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Ubinas (Peru): After several months of calm, the volcano started to erupt yesterday morning again. An initial moderately strong explosion produced an ash plume that rose 2.5 km above the volcano and drifted SE to the Ubinas valley, where approx. 1.5 mm of ash fall occurred in 6 km distance.

The explosion was followed by continuous ash emissions of varying intensity, accompanied by strong volcanic tremor. A significant increase in seismic activity had already been noted by the Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur (OVS) since 22 March this year, so the new eruption, probably caused by a new batch of magma arriving at the vent, didn’t come as a bit surprise to the monitoring volcanologists.

People in areas to the SE of the volcano are advised to wear dust masks, and protect water storages.