Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Mendoza, Argentina.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Typhoon 06w (Noul), located approximately 244 nm east of Manila, Philippines, is tracking northwestward at 11 knots.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from part of the Philippines ahead of the arrival of a typhoon expected to bring winds of more than 100mph.

Typhoon Noul is forecast to bring gusts of up to 122mph as well as sustained speeds of 100mph, plus heavy rain that prompted warnings of landslides in mountainous areas and a 2.5m storm surge along the coast.

The north-east part of the republic’s populous main island of Luzon is expected to bear the brunt of the category four storm after it makes landfall around 5am local time on Sunday.

Tropical storm 07w (Seven), located approximately 270 nm east-southeast of Pohnpei, is tracking northwestward at 04 knots.

Tropical Storm Ana is located about about 105 mi…170 km SSE of Cape Fear North Carolina; about 115 mi…190 km se of Myrtle Beach South Carolina with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…NNW or 340 degrees at 3 mph…6 km/h.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Cape Lookout, North Carolina, south to Edisto Beach, South Carolina. The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimetres) of rain in the coastal Carolinas, with up to 6 inches (15 cm) in areas hit by heavy thunderstorms. The storm is also creating rough surf along the coast, and Franklin warned of deadly rip currents throughout the weekend.

NewsBytes:

Uganda – Residents of Bulembia division in Kasese Municipality on Thursday morning woke up to floods which cut off several villages after River Nyamwamba burst its bunks. The river which started flooding early morning left numerous people displaced and other trapped.

Drought

Drought – California, USA

An astonishing 12.5m trees have died in California, unable to survive a harsh fourth year of drought, according to a US government study.

The news of the massive tree die-offs came this week, after the United States Forest Service, a Department of Agriculture agency, released the results of an aerial survey it undertook in April over 8.2m acres of forest.

The California drought has now entered its fourth year. On 1 April, California governor Jerry Brown imposed the first set of mandatory water use restriction measures – a step never before taken in the state’s history. Brown said the drought had reached “near-crisis” levels.

Aerial photos from the survey show a landscape of red, purple and brown trees – the dead ones – interspersed among the usual green. Even those green ones were sometimes lighter and yellower than usual, a sign of distress.

The sudden prevalence of such an abnormal amount of dead trees in California’s forests – a scale of loss not seen since the 1970s droughts – has raised concern more broadly about the increased risks of wildfires.

Disease

Foot and Mouth Disease – Taiwan

Foot-and-mouth disease has been found on a Kinmen County cattle farm, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday, adding that all infected cattle have been euthanized. The council said the virus might have originated in China, as the strain detected is a 99 percent match to that found in China’s Guangdong Province in 2013. Council officials said it is the first time that strain has been found in Taiwan.