Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Philippines – Floods spawned by torrential rains since Tuesday night swelled rivers criss-crossing the adjoining Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces, inundating more than a hundred barangays and vast swaths of rice farms. Dozens of villages in Koronadal City, some 40 kilometres southeast of Maguindanao, were hit by rampaging floods Wednesday after more than 12 hours of heavy downpours. More than 4,000 peasant families in five towns in Sultan Kudarat and in Tacurong City were dislocated by floods that swept through farmlands near rivers.

River flood

Russia – Flash floods brought the Black Sea resort of Sochi to a standstill on Thursday and apparently killed at least one person as it halted trains and left cars half-submerged in the city where Russia staged the Winter Olympics. Roads were impassable and people were trying to retrieve parked cars that had been left almost completely under water. Others were clearing flooded cellars and courtyards where the water was knee-high. Rain also affected other areas of southern Russia, including the wheat producing and exporting region of Krasnodar, which started harvesting a few days ago.

India – Heavy rains have been battering the worst-affected Saurashtra region, where more than 50 people have died in flood-related incidents. Nearly 10,000 people have been moved to higher ground, including 1,000 who were airlifted to safety. House collapses have been responsible for most of the deaths and the toll is likely to increase. India regularly witnesses severe floods during the monsoon season.

Kashmir, India – Several parts of south Kashmir were inundated on Thursday with streams and rivulets running in spate and the Jhelum flowing above the danger mark as heavy rainfall lashed the region. A flood alert was sounded late last night for Anantnag and Pulwama districts with the MeT department predicting more rain over the next 48 hours.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 123.0 degrees Fahrenheit (50.5 degrees Celsius) at Death Valley, California, USA.

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.

Wildlife

Texas Bans Shark Finning

Across the globe, sharks are being murdered for a culinary gimmick — shark fin soup, even though shark fins offer virtually no flavour or nutritional value. Shark finners slice off sharks’ pectoral and dorsal fins, often while the animals are still alive, and throw them back overboard to drown or bleed to death. According to the most recent statistics from the journal Ecology Letters, shark finning accounts for 73 million shark deaths every year.

This weekend, the state of Texas took an important step forward for global shark conservation by becoming the 10th U.S. state to ban the trade of shark fins. Although shark finning is banned in U.S. waters, it continues in other countries where fishing is more poorly regulated. And even though finning itself is illegal, many U.S. states have no rules against the trade of shark fins, allowing them to be imported and exported within the country.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Evacuations have been canceled for around a thousand people north of Los Angeles as a brush fire that consumed some 350 acres has been reduced to smouldering hotspots.

At the height of the blaze some 500 homes, including an entire mobile home park, were evacuated in the Newhall area of Santa Clarita. The fire began shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday on the shoulder of Interstate 5, briefly closing freeway lanes. Firefighters started to get it surrounded several hours later.

Meanwhile, crews relied on retardant-dropping aircraft to battle a huge forest fire that has been burning for a week in an inaccessible area of the San Bernardino Mountains. A change in wind direction forced the evacuation of several hundred campers on Wednesday, after several hundred more had done the same over the weekend. The blaze about 90 miles east of Los Angeles was partially contained after burning nearly 30 square miles of old-growth timber.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

A wildfire has grown to 26 square miles in hazardous and inaccessible terrain south of Lake Tahoe and is moving closer to structures, officials said.

No buildings have been damaged, but the mountain town of Markleeville remained on standby Wednesday for possible evacuations, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Several campgrounds have been evacuated, and two highways have been closed.

The fire, ignited by lightning Friday, was 10 percent contained by Wednesday evening. Air tankers and helicopters helped 900 firefighters battle the blaze about 20 miles west of the Nevada border. One firefighter received a heat-related injury Tuesday.

Strong, erratic winds and severe drought conditions have stoked the fire, and smoke can be seen as far away as Carson City, Nevada.

ALASKA

Growing wildfires have led to more evacuations in Alaska’s parched interior, with an international mushing champion evacuating his dogs from one of two communities where residents voluntarily fled their homes.

More than 270 fires are burning in Alaska, including one near Eureka that led Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race champion Brent Sass to evacuate his dogs to Fairbanks, news station KTUU reported.

In Tanana, a tribal nonprofit flew 62 people 130 miles to Fairbanks, focusing on elders, children and people with health conditions. The Tanana Chiefs Conference, a consortium of 42 villages in the interior, also flew six people from the village of Hughes on Tuesday as a precaution in case it gets worse in that village, which is about 10 miles from a fire.

An area just north of Fairbanks also faced an evacuation advisory. Fairbanks, the interior’s largest city, also has been smoky because of fires in the region even though it hasn’t been directly touched by flames.

There were 40 new fires reported Tuesday, bringing the total of active fires to 278. Altogether, fires have burned nearly 636 square miles.

OREGON

A wildfire scorching a remote part of southwestern Oregon has grown to nearly 8 square miles, but hundreds of firefighters have worked to get it nearly halfway contained.

The lightning-sparked blaze started June 11 and is burning in the Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest.

WASHINGTON

Cooler temperatures have helped temper the growth of a wildfire burning in Olympic National Park.

Disease

Typhoid Fever ‘Superbug’ Spreading Around the World

An antibiotic-resistant strain of typhoid has spread around the world in recent years, causing health officials to lately sound the alarm.

While the disease can be prevented by a vaccine and treated with antibiotics, it can also prove fatal in up to 20 percent of patients who go untreated.

A single family of waterborne bacteria responsible for the disease, called H58, has not only developed resistance to multiple antibiotics, but it has become the dominant strain in many of the poorer countries in which about 30 million people become infected each year.

The Salmonella Typhi bacteria is contracted by drinking or eating contaminated material, and causes symptoms that include fever, nausea, abdominal pain and pink spots on the chest.

Outbreaks have been reported this year in western India, Zambia and Uganda.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits southern Alaska.

5.3 Earthquake hits South Africa.

5.1 Earthquake hits southern Xinjiang, China.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Panama-Costa Rica border.

5.0 Earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Bio-Bio, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits east of North Island, New Zealand.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

China – A massive landslide on the northern bank of the Daning River in Wushan County of Chongqing Municipality, southwest China has left one missing and injured four others.

Vietnam – Flash floods triggered by a tropical storm Kujira have killed seven people and left four others missing in a northern Vietnamese province. Flash floods washed away more than 20 houses in the province. Tropical Storm Kujira which slammed northern coast on Wednesday has now dissipated, according to the national weather forecasters. The storm has dumped up to 20 centimetres (nearly 8 inches) of rain on many parts of northern region over the past two days.

Philippines – Three people were confirmed dead as overnight heavy rains in South Cotabato province caused rivers to swell, causing flash floods and landslides, reports said. Authorities estimate that at least 10,000 people had been affected by the flooding. The flood waters have reached as high as 1.5 metres in some areas.

China landslide disaster

Global Warming

Landmark Global Warming Decision in Netherlands Court

In a landmark case that may set a very important precedent for other countries around the world, especially within Europe, the Dutch government has been ordered by the courts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent.

The ruling came from a class-action lawsuit that was brought before the Dutch courts by Urgenda in 2012. The case, rather magnificently, was based on human rights laws. Specifically, Urgenda asked the courts to “declare that global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius will lead to a violation of fundamental human rights worldwide,” and that the Dutch government is “acting unlawfully by not contributing its proportional share to preventing a global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius.”

Today, a Dutch court at The Hague ruled in favour of Urgenda, ruling that the Netherlands’ plans to cut emissions by only 14-17 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 were illegal. Moreover, the wording used by the judges in the ruling is incredibly strong and clear-cut: “The state should not hide behind the argument that the solution to the global climate problem does not depend solely on Dutch efforts … Any reduction of emissions contributes to the prevention of dangerous climate change and as a developed country the Netherlands should take the lead in this.”

Global Top 10 Greenhouse Gas Emitters

http://goo.gl/3DpO0K

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical Storm 08w (Kujira), located approximately 46 nm southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam, is tracking west-northwestward at 05 knots.

NewsBytes:

Illinois, USA – The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado in Coal City, Illinois at 9:58 p.m Monday. The tornado damaged homes, bringing down power lines and leaving roadways flooded. At least 5 people were reported injured. At least 13 tornadoes have been reported across the United States Monday night. The National Weather Service said the towns of Coal City, Sublette and Mendota were among the hardest hit by the severe weather.

Coal city illinois tornado damage

Environment

Deadly Heatwave in Pakistan – Update

The death toll from the ongoing heatwave in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province has passed 700, as mortuaries reached capacity. At least 744 people died in Karachi and 38 in other areas. Officials have been criticised for not doing enough to tackle the crisis.

On Tuesday as temperatures reached 45C (113F), Pakistan’s PM called for emergency measures and the army was deploying to help set up heat stroke centres. There is anger among local residents at the authorities because power cuts have restricted the use of air-conditioning units and fans. Matters have been made worse by the widespread abstention from water during daylight hours during the fasting month of Ramadan. 612 people had died in the main government-run hospitals in the city of Karachi during the past four days. Another 80 are reported to have died in private hospitals.

Thousands of people are being treated in the Sindh province, and some of them are in serious condition. Many of the victims are elderly people from low-income families. Hot weather is not unusual during summer months in Pakistan, but prolonged power cuts seem to have made matters worse. Sporadic angry protests have taken place in parts of Karachi, with some people blaming the government and Karachi’s main power utility, K-Electric, for failing to avoid deaths.

The body’s normal core temperature is 37-38C. If it heats up to 39-40C, the brain tells the muscles to slow down and fatigue sets in. At 40-41C heat exhaustion is likely – and above 41C the body starts to shut down. Chemical processes start to be affected, the cells inside the body deteriorate and there is a risk of multiple organ failure. The body cannot even sweat at this point because blood flow to the skin stops, making it feel cold and clammy. Heatstroke – which can occur at any temperature over 40C – requires professional medical help and if not treated immediately, chances of survival can be slim.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Update

Between 13 and 17 June 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 5 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Between 20 and 23 June 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of the Republic of Korea notified WHO of 9 additional confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) alongside 3 additional deaths.

Fresh Cholera Outbreak in Sudan

At least 19 people have died and nearly 200 admitted at Cholera centres in the South Sudan capital, Juba, as government declared an outbreak of the disease.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan): The eruption on the island continues with apparently relatively steady lava effusion that feeds active flows reaching and enlarging the SE corner of the island, which has now 2.7 square kilometer of surface. Mild strombolian activity and strong degassing occurs at the main vent, where a nice cinder cone has grown. The lava mostly flows through tubes, where it is hidden, to reach the active lava delta on the SE tip of the island. A smaller part seems also to feed/inflate inland surface lava flows in an area NE of the cone.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): A series of larger pyroclastic flows occurred yesterday, reaching lengths of up to 4.5 km and producing ash plumes that rose up to approx. 4 km. Most likely, the now relatively large dome is currently again a phase of increased destabilization and more of such dangerous pyroclastic flows (hot block and ash flows) can be expected.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano remains highly active, producing regularly 5-10 or even more vulanian-type explosions on a daily basis. A few hours ago, JMA recorded the 650th this year alone.

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): A small ash emission from the volcano was reported on Saturday. Based on satellite imagery, an ash plume rose to 24,000 ft (7.2 km) altitude and drifted north (Tokyo VAAC).

Asama (Honshu): Weak activity continues from the volcano’s summit crater. Small ash emissions, intense degassing as well as weak incandescence from the volcano’s crater have been observed during the past days.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.3 Earthquake hits the Bonin Islands off Japan.

5.6 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits Potosi, Bolivia.