Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Bonin Islands.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 122.1 degrees Fahrenheit (50.1 degrees Celsius) at Biskra, Algeria.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 102.3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 74.6 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.

Disease

Bacteria Kill Half of World’s Saiga Antelope in 2 Weeks

A lethal cocktail of two naturally occurring bacteria appears to have wiped out at least half of the world’s endangered Saiga antelope population in just a two-week period during May.

The grasslands of Kazakhstan were littered with the carcasses of about 134,000 Saigas, with affected herds suffering 100 percent mortality.

Most of the grazing animals died within hours of first showing symptoms such as diarrhea, frothing at the mouth and difficulty breathing, according to officials who struggled to bury the victims in mass graves.

While there were Saiga die-offs in 1984, 2010 and 2012, this year’s deaths are the worst on record, halving the animal’s global population.

Experts from Royal Veterinary College in London, who have traveled to study the tragedy, believe a bitterly cold winter followed by a damp spring could have weakened the Saigas’ immune systems.

That could have made them vulnerable to pasteurellosis and the clostridia bacteria found in the digestive systems of the dead antelope.

Top: Dead Saiga antelope litter the Kazakh landscape in late May. Below: A Saiga mother and calf that appear to have survived the tragedy.

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Dengue Fever Outbreak in War-Torn Yemen

Thousands of people have been diagnosed with dengue fever in southern Yemen, where fighting has raged for months between Shiite rebels and their opponents.

The top health ministry official in the southern port city of Aden, al-Khadr Al-Aswar, told The Associated Press that at least 5,000 people have been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus. He said mountains of uncollected garbage, along with untreated sewage and heat, have contributed to the spread of the disease.

The World Health Organization said last week that at least 3,000 suspected cases have been reported since March in several provinces, including Ade, with three people dying from the disease. Dengue causes fever, headaches and skin rashes. Potentially lethal cases, mainly in children, involve abdominal pain, vomiting and difficulty breathing, according to the WHO.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Southern California, USA

A Southern California desert wildfire has burned three homes while another blaze in the San Bernardino Mountains has grown to nearly 12 square miles in size.

State fire officials say a 40-acre fire that erupted Thursday in the area of Thermal has burned three single-family homes and some other buildings. No injuries are reported.

Crews are battling some half-dozen other fires around the state.

The largest is 90 miles east of Los Angeles in the San Bernardino Mountains. Some 200 campers have been evacuated and a 74-year-old hiker was rescued as the fire approached a dry lake.