Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical Storm Fred is located about 690 mi…1105 km WNW of the Cape Verde Islands with maximum sustained winds…45 mph…75 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 295 degrees at 8 mph…13 km/h.

Hurricane Ignacio is located about 435 mi…700 km N of Lihue Hawaii and about 505 mi…815 km NNW of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…75 mph…120 km/h. Present movement…NW or 305 degrees at 14 mph…22 km/h.

Typhoon Kilo is located 712 nm east-northeast of Wake Island, and is tracking westward at 01 knot.

Hurricane Jimena is located about 755 mi…1215 km E of Hilo Hawaii and about 950 mi…1525 km E of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…110 mph…175 km/h. Present movement…NW or 315 degrees at 3 mph…6 km/h.

Tropical Storm Kevin is located about 510 mi…825 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…N or 350 degrees at 6 mph…9 km/h.


Russia – Rescuers are evacuating exhausted and starving animals which have been trapped at the flooded zoo in the Russian city of Ussuriysk for days. So far a lion and three bears have been airlifted to safety, while many animals confined to their cages are yet to be rescued.



Earth Has Lost Half Its Trees to Humans

A new global census of all the trees on Earth estimates that more than 3 trillion call this “pale blue dot” home. But the total number of trees on the planet has dropped by almost 50 percent since human civilization began.

The study is billed as the most accurate inventory of Earth’s tree population to date, revealing that there are 3.04 trillion trees, which is roughly equivalent to 422 trees for every person on the planet. Researchers used satellite images, forest inventories and supercomputing technologies to calculate the number of trees on Earth. The new estimate found about 7.5 times more trees than were included in previous assessments, the scientists said.

The researchers also used projected maps of current and historic forest cover, which were provided by the United Nations Environment Programme, to estimate how much tree loss has occurred over time. They found that the total number of trees on Earth has fallen by close to 46 percent since civilization began.

The study also found that the areas with the highest density of trees are in the subarctic regions of Russia, Scandinavia and North America. The largest forested areas, however, are located in the tropics, which play host to 43 percent of the world’s trees, the scientists said.

Human activity is the main reason for the disappearance of trees, primarily through deforestation, land-use changes and forest-management practices, the researchers said. These effects combined contribute to the loss of 15 billion trees worldwide every year, the scientists added.

Tree density map


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 24 and 25 August 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 15 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 2 deaths. Eleven (11) of these reported cases are associated with a MERS-CoV outbreak currently occurring in a hospital in Riyadh city.

Polio in the Ukraine

Two children in southwestern Ukraine have been paralysed by polio, the first outbreak of the disease in Europe since 2010, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, in a setback for a global eradication campaign.

The WHO said Ukraine had been at particular risk of an outbreak because of inadequate vaccination coverage. In 2014, only 50 percent of children were fully immunised against polio and other preventable diseases.

The risk of further spread within the country is high, although the threat to nearby Romania, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia is low.

There is no cure for polio, which attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours of infection. It mainly affects young children in areas with poor sanitation.

A global vaccination campaign has largely stamped out the virus, and only Pakistan and Afghanistan have reported cases of wild polio virus this year. Madagascar and Nigeria have suffered vaccine-derived outbreaks, like Ukraine.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The alert level was downgraded back to 3 (out of 5) last Tuesday as signs of unrest and the risk of a sudden major explosion have decreased. No rapid crustal movements have been detected since 17 August, suggesting that the inferred magma intrusion has stopped and is now stagnating & cooling instead of migrating further towards the surface. The volcano continues to be unusually calm with only minor explosions and ash emissions occurring occasionally from the Showa crater.

Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): The eruption continues at weak intensity. As of yesterday, only one vent, a cone about 20 m high, remained active producing pulsating fountain-like strombolian explosions of bursting lava bubbles that reach 15-20 m height. The lava flows approx. 50 m through a tube and then forms a flow extending about 1 km to the south, with an average thickness of 2-3 meters. The front of the flow was not moving yesterday.