Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits east of the South Sandwich Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

5.1 Earthquake hits central Turkey.

5.1 Earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Oklahoma, USA.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits Salta, Argentina.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical Storm Nora is located about 1375 mi…2215 km ESE of South Point Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 285 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

Tropical Cyclone Three is located approximately 600 nm south-southeast of Karachi, Pakistan, and is tracking west-northwestward at 04 knots.

Invest 96E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Texas, USA – Up to 10 inches of rain has fallen overnight in parts of Texas Hill Country, South Texas, triggering flash flood warnings, road closures and the cancellation of classes in schools.

Wildlife

Poaching threatens Mali’s rare desert elephants

About a fifth of Mali’s rare desert elephants have been killed this year as ivory poachers exploit a security vacuum in the country’s north, the United Nations said on Thursday.

At least 57 elephants died between January and June among the West African country’s only herd of around 300 animals, the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUSMA said in a statement.

“(The poached elephants) represent about 20 percent of the remaining (Malian) population and were killed in areas where insecurity is present,” MINUSMA said, adding that forest rangers were frequently targeted by Islamist jihadists.

The WILD Foundation, which helps protect Mali’s northern Gourma herd, estimates that around 90 of the mammals have been killed since late 2014.

Tens of thousands of elephants once roamed the savannahs stretching between West Africa’s shores and the Nile basin but poaching and habitat loss have dramatically cut their numbers.

Roughly 7,000 animals are thought to remain in West and Central Africa, of which some are thought to be genetically distinct from the more numerous elephants further south. They are often scattered in small, isolated groups of less than 100 and are at risk of local extinction.

Mali’s Gourma elephants, once a magnet for tourists visiting the nearby desert city of Timbuktu, are one of the last two desert herds in the world. The other is in Namibia.

The decline in Mali has accelerated in recent months because of rising insecurity and a decrease in army protection, according to Amy Lewis from WILD Foundation.

Armed groups drove the Malian army out of many posts in the country’s north last year and are fighting amongst each other for control of land and trafficking corridors.

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Disease

Ebola Outbreak – Update

There were no new cases of Ebola reported in West Africa in the week ending last Sunday, making it the first week since March 2014 with zero cases recorded in the three countries most affected by the outbreak, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which cautioned that there remains a near-term risk of new cases.

WHO, in its latest update ending on Sunday, 4 October, stated that no new cases were reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Liberia was declared free of Ebola virus transmission in the human population on 3 September 2015.

To date, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has resulted in more than 11,000 deaths.

In Nigeria, authorities have vehemently denied claims of an Ebola outbreak in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.