Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits Tajikistan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Andaman Islands off India.

5.1 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 22s (Joalane), located approximately 517 nm east of Port Louis, Mauritius is tracking east-southeastward at 03 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 23p (Twenty-three), located approximately 581 nm northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking southwestward at 10 knots.

Gl sst mm

NewsBytes:

Britain – ‘Blood rain’ falls on Britain as red Saharan dust blows in from Africa. Storms in the Sahara desert have whipped up sand into a fine dust which is being carried to Britain on northerly winds. When the rain falls it looks a reddish colour and when it dries it leaves a thin layer of dust capable of coating houses, cars and garden furniture. Although it is more common in Spain and the South of France, it has been known to travel longer distances and fall in areas like Scandinavia. In some parts of India the colour has been vibrant enough to stain clothing. In ancient times ‘blood rain’ was believed to be actual blood and considered a bad omen, heralding death and destruction. It is mentioned in Homer’s Iliad and in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s tales of King Arthur.

Illinois, USA – A tornado touched down near Rochelle, Illinois, Thursday evening, leaving one dead, as well as substantial damage. The fatality took place in Fairdale, about 60 miles northwest of Chicago. A large twister crossed Interstate 39, and the tiny hamlet of Fairdale in DeKalb County took a direct hit. “All structures in town are damaged.” The tornado was one of several that were spun off across Illinois and Iowa on the second day of a monster storm system that has peppered a 1,500-mile arc with grapefruit-size hail and winds up to 80 mph from Texas up to the Great Lakes and across to North Carolina.

Myanmar – A landslide in a jade mining area in Phakant, Myanmar has left nearly 70 people missing. The bank of a 15.25-meter-high jade mining burrow collapsed near Lonekhin village in Phakant. Rescue efforts continue.

Wildlife

New Zealand’s Easter Bunny Cull Bags 8,000

Hunters from around the world converged on New Zealand over the Easter holiday to bury the Easter Bunny, not to praise him. More than 300 shooters participated in the 24-hour Great Easter Bunny Hunt in Central Otago, bagging a total of 8,439 bunnies.

Rabbits were introduced to the country in the 1830s for food and sport, but they quickly reproduced to plague proportions, causing serious ecological damage.

Efforts to control the population have ranged from hunting the hares with dogs to releasing a biological toxin that targets them.

And while many of the hoppers have been killed, the survivors are becoming immune to the rabbit hemorrhagic disease, allowing their numbers to rebound.

Over the past 24 years, the annual bunny hunt has culled a total of 287,679 rabbits from Central Otago farmland.

After the carcasses are counted each year, most are buried in a deep pit, while others are collected by dog owners for pet food.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112.1 degrees Fahrenheit (44.5 degrees Celsius) at N’Guigmi, Niger.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 73.1 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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Scotland and Ireland

Firefighters have been tackling a major wildfire near Dornoch. Eight crews are now at the scene of the outbreak near the town’s water treatment works. A large area of grassland and gorse bushes are ablaze. Fire units from Dornoch, Tain, Lairg, Balintore, Inverness, Dingwall and two from Invergordon are at the scene.

Fire services in Kerry battled more than two dozen wildfires across the county yesterday, including some that threatened Killarney National Park. Several are believed to have been caused by gorse fires, which spread to due to high temperatures, strong winds, and dry conditions yesterday, although the exact cause is not yet known.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 24 and 31 March 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 12 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 2 deaths.