Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

4.8 Earthquake hits Kahule in Nepal and triggers a landslide in Kushav Tamang which killed one person.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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Typhoon 17w (Atsani), located approximately 261 nm east of Iwo To, Japan, is tracking north-northwestward at 09 knots.

Typhoon 16w (Goni), located approximately 292 nm north-northeast of Manila, Philippines, is tracking westward at 05 knots.

Tropical Storm Danny is located about 985 mi…1590 km ESE of the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 290 degrees at 10 mph…17 km/h.

Tropical Depression Three-C is located about 570 mi…915 km SSE of Hilo Hawaii and about 760 mi…1220 km se of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 300 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

Tropical Depression Four-C is located about 505 mi…810 km W of Johnston Island and about 870 mi…1400 km S of Midway Island with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…NNE or 30 degrees at 6 mph…9 km/h.

Invest 97L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

China – Flooding in three central Chinese provinces has left at least 13 people dead and 13 others missing and disrupted the lives of nearly 1 million people, state media reported Thursday. Heavy rains and flooding struck Sichuan, Guizhou and Hunan provinces starting Sunday, causing widespread damage, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Worst-hit was Sichuan’s Xuyong county, where mud and debris filled streets up to the second floor of some buildings and about half a million people were affected. Mudslides also destroyed dozens of homes and cut power and communications to the area, which lies in a flood plain at the base of steep mountains.

India – The army was called out to assist the civil authorities in Kokrajhar and a few other districts as the flood situation in Assam turned grim on Thursday, affecting about three lakh people in 13 districts. Over 85,000 people have been shifted to 124 relief camps set up in the flood-affected districts.

Wildlife

Gray Wolf Returns to California

On a Northern California hiking trail near the Cascades’ Mount Shasta, two all-black adult wolves and five 4-month-old pups have been captured on film. It’s the first time in modern history that a gray wolf pack has been seen in the state since its population was hunted to extinction nearly a century ago.

California’s gray wolf population was believed to be wiped out in the 1920s. Across the United States, settlers had done their best to kill them off to protect livestock and use their charcoal-colored coats. As a result, the species was listed as endangered in 1973 and, although California had no known gray wolves left, the state declared them endangered just last year.

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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 109.3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 78.3 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.

Environment

July was Earth’s hottest month on record

July was the hottest month on Earth since records began, averaging 16.6 C (61.9 F), according to US scientists.

That is 0.08 degrees higher than the previous record, set in July 1998 – a significant margin in weather records.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Here’s a look at the large wildfires burning in several Western states:

WASHINGTON

Authorities say three firefighters died after their vehicle crashed and was apparently caught by a “hellstorm” of flames as they battled a blaze in Washington state. Four other firefighters were injured near Twisp.

The news came after officials urged people in the popular outdoor-recreation centers of Twisp and Wintrop, in the scenic Methow River valley about 115 miles northeast of Seattle, to evacuate.

Firefighters on several fronts were fighting against wildfires advancing on towns in the north-central part of the state.

A larger group of fires burning to the east covered about 50 square miles and prompted the evacuation of Conconully, home to about 200 people — with further urgent evacuation orders issued Wednesday night for an area south of Conconully to the Omak town line.

Authorities warned that more high winds Thursday could make conditions very challenging. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the eastern portion of the state until 5 p.m. Friday. Officials said temperatures will climb above 90 degrees and relative humidity will drop as low as 14 percent.

CALIFORNIA

There are 16 wildfires burning in California with more than 10,000 firefighters on the front lines as crews contend with abnormally high temperatures for the season and drought-stressed fuels that haven’t burned in 30 years.

Among the blazes is a fast-moving grass fire that has scorched nearly 4 square miles of dry brush near Livermore.

At least one unoccupied home was destroyed in the rural area Wednesday. The Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area, a popular motorbike terrain park, was evacuated after the flames were reported Wednesday afternoon. The fire is about 5 percent contained.

A blaze burning for nearly three weeks on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada surged in size in a recreation area outside Kings Canyon National Park where more than 2,500 campers, hikers, employees and residents have been evacuated this week.

OREGON

Crews gained ground overnight in their battle against a wildfire in eastern Oregon that destroyed 36 homes and was threatening 500 more.

Since starting from a lightning strike last week, the fire has burned through 84 square miles, mostly in the Malheur National Forest. It was 10 percent contained Thursday morning. Various evacuation orders remained in effect.

There are 649 firefighters assigned to the blaze, one of 11 large fires burning across Oregon.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and Gov. Kate Brown were to be visit the fire command post on Wednesday at the Grant County Fairgrounds, where food, clothing and household goods for victims were being handed out.

IDAHO

Firefighters battling blazes in Idaho braced for tough conditions Thursday with temperatures expected in the 90s along with winds of 25 mph and low humidity.

Nearly 700 firefighters supported by 39 fire engines and aircraft continue to work on a group of fires near Kamiah in northern Idaho that has destroyed 42 homes. But containment is only 30 percent on the fires that have scorched 61 square miles.

In west-central Idaho, federal officials closed a portion of the Payette National Forest due to a 10-square mile fire burning about 20 miles northwest of McCall.

Local authorities have lifted evacuation notices along the U.S. Highway 95 corridor.

Fire officials say fire lines were bolstered overnight but list the fire as having no containment due to heavy fuel loads in the area and expected strong winds.

MONTANA

Fourteen homes threatened by fire were being evacuated Wednesday in northwestern Montana’s Kootenai National Forest.

The houses are in a canyon on a highway north of the small town of Noxon. One fire is burning about a quarter-mile away from the nearest home, fire spokesman John Head said.

The residents of at least 20 more residences south of the evacuation area have been given notice that they may have to leave, too.

Multiple lightning-caused fires are burning more than 3 square miles in the largely rural area.

Disease

Typhoid in Syria

Typhoid has broken out among residents of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Syria, the United Nations said on Wednesday, warning of further disease outbreaks unless aid reached the camp because of the appalling conditions there.

Eleven cases of typhoid were confirmed by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), which gained access to residents from the Yarmouk camp for the first time since June in nearby Yalda, where it carried out more than 200 medical consultations.

Typhoid is contracted by drinking or eating contaminated matter and symptoms include nausea, fever, and abdominal pain. Untreated, the disease can lead to complications in the gut and head which can kill up to one in five patients.

Foot and Mouth Disease – Zimbabwe

International beef exports remain suspended for nearly 15 years due to continued outbreaks of the foot and mouth disease across the country. Government efforts to eradicate the disease have proved fruitless.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Etna has been mostly calm during the past months. However, signs of unrest have appeared in the form of dilute ash emissions from the central crater (Voragine). The emissions originate probably from older material, but according to volcanologists, magma is not far from the surface.

Karymsky (Kamchatka): The volcano is currently in a comparably more active phase. Reports of ash plumes from stronger strombolian to vulcanian type explosions have become more frequent. This morning, Tokyo VAAC reported a plume reaching 12,000 ft (3.6 km) altitude drifting north from the volcano.

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): Slow growth of the lava dome continues although the volcano has been comparably calm recently. Only smaller collapses and associated pyroclastic flows and ash plumes (such as one on 19 Aug) occurred.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): A pancake-shaped flat dome of lava has been detected inside the Showa summit crater. This type of dome is typical for moderately viscous and gas-poor lava (typically andesitic composition) extruded at subduction-zone stratovolcanoes. The alert level of the volcano remains at 4 out of 5. One possibility is that the dome corresponds to older lava from the upper conduit that has been pushed out by a rising batch of fresher lava still inside the volcano.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): A small explosion occurred this morning. Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume to 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude extending 8 km ESE from the volcano.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): An explosion from the summit dome occurred yesterday morning, producing a plume that rose approx. 2 km. Occasional smaller pyroclastic flows continued to occur during the past weeks as well, as the lava dome and its active lobes remain weakly active.

Merapi (Central Java, Indonesia): A reported ash plume yesterday has been confirmed to be from a bush fire. The volcano remains calm.

Dukono (Halmahera): Several ash plumes have been observed during the past days rising from the volcano and drifting up to 50 km NE.

Colima (Western Mexico): Explosions every few hours continue to occur, sending plumes of ash to 2-3 km above the volcano’s summit crater.

Cotopaxi (Ecuador): The volcano continues to be relatively calm. Modest ash emissions occurred yesterday morning producing plumes that rose a few 100 m above the summit and were then pushed down by strong winds along the flank of the volcano.