Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.4 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.6 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.6 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.5 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.5 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Tanimbar, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical storm 17w (Atsani), located approximately 316 nm north of Ujelang, is tracking west-northwestward at 02 knots.

Tropical storm 16w (Goni), located approximately 64 nm east of Rota, is tracking northwestward at 12 knots

Invest 94E remmains an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Britain – Flood warnings have been issued for parts of Staffordshire and Lancashire as heavy rain continues to cause disruption across swaths of the UK.

Niger – At least four people have died and more than 20,000 have been affected by floods in Niger caused by weeks of heavy rain.

Environment

Deadly Air Pollution in China

Outdoor air pollution contributes to the deaths of an estimated 1.6 million people in China every year, or about 4,400 people a day, according to a newly released scientific paper.

The paper maps the geographic sources of China’s toxic air and concludes that much of the smog that routinely shrouds Beijing comes from emissions in a distant industrial zone, a finding that may complicate the government’s efforts to clean up the capital city’s air in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The Chinese government is sensitive about public data showing that air pollution is killing its citizens, or even allusions to such a conclusion.

Researchers concluded that much of the smog afflicting Beijing came not from the city, but from coal-burning factories 200 miles southwest in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province and a major industrial hub. Promises to clean up Beijing’s air were a center-piece of the nation’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

Photograph of a rare duo — an eerie flash of lightning framed by a glorious rainbow — in Tucson, Arizona on August 9.

Screen Shot 2015 08 15 at 2 28 45 PM

Disease

Measles Outbreak in DRC

A major outbreak of measles has killed almost 320 people and infected more than 20,000 in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations has announced.

“The toll is heavy and worrying: since January 1, 2015, more than 20,000 cases of measles have been registered in Katanga province alone” and “almost 320 people have died”, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement this week.

“Dozens of others may have succumbed to the illness but they don’t figure on official records,” the statement added.

The outbreak in mineral-rich Katanga is the worst since 2011.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Idaho, USA

Wildfire season accelerated in Idaho on Thursday as evacuations were ordered in the northern part of the state and a massive fire straddling the Idaho-Oregon border grew to 340 square miles.

In southwest Idaho, giant swaths of grassland and sagebrush were consumed by the giant blaze that has intermittently closed U.S. Highway 95, which was reopened Thursday. Winds and temperatures around 100 degrees were expected.

In central Idaho, crews were fighting a 500-acre fire burning in heavy timber about 13 miles north of Crouch.

Wildfires – Washington, USA

Hundreds of people were evacuating Friday from the central Washington city of Chelan as lightning-sparked wildfires threatened homes.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Sakurajima (Japan) Japan raised an eruption warning for a volcano on the southern island of Kyushu to the second-highest level, days after restarting a nuclear reactor 50 kilometres (31 miles) away. The Japan Meteorological Agency increased the alert level for the volcano Sakurajima to 4 from 3, advising people within 3 kilometres of the crater to prepare to evacuate. It detected multiple earthquakes in the area on Saturday.

Cotopaxi (Ecuador) The volcano not far from the Ecuadorean capital of Quito, spewed ash several times, sending large gray puffs 3 miles into the sky, officials said. Ash could reach Latacunga, Machachi and Quito on Friday. They have declared a yellow alert, but said there is no impending probability of a major eruption.