Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits Cordoba, Argentina.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits central Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Java Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Turkey – Artvin, a northeastern province on the border with Georgia, was hit by floods and landslides on Wednesday evening and all day long on Thursday. Three people died in the landslides.

Global Warming

Huge Greenland Glacier Crumbling Into The Sea

A massive Greenland glacier holding enough ice to raise world sea levels around 18 inches is retreating from the frigid island’s coastline, and its leading edge is tumbling into the North Atlantic, researchers report.

The Zachariae Isstrom Glacier has been in an accelerated retreat since 2012 and is now losing its ice at the rate of more than five billions tons a year, they say.

The glacier is now breaking up and calving high volumes of icebergs into the ocean, which will result in rising sea levels for decades to come.

Decades of progressively-rising air temperatures are melting the glacier’s top, while currents of warming ocean water are compromising its underside.

Located in northeastern Greenland, the glacier has lost 95 percent of the ice shelf that previously worked to stabilize it, researchers say. Most of the reduction in Zachariae Isstrom’s mass is from ice loss as the glacier calves off huge chunks of its forward end into the ocean.

Environment

North Africa-Arabian Peninsula Brace for Locust Swarms

The Arabian Peninsula and parts of northeastern Africa are threatened with plagues of desert locusts because of unusually heavy rains brought on during recent weeks by two freak tropical cyclones and the intensifying El Niño phenomenon in the Pacific.

The Food and Agriculture Organization warned that the extreme weather conditions have moistened the soil around Yemen and the Horn of Africa, providing a favorable environment for locusts to lay their eggs.

Sprouting vegetation during the remainder of this year in the typically arid region is likely to provide food and shelter for the emerging young locusts.

The United Nations agency cautioned that two generations of the ravenous insects could swarm through the end of 2015 in coastal areas of Sudan, northern Eritrea, southeastern Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

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Drought

Worst Drought On Record For Parts of South Africa

South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province is currently suffering from its most parching drought in over a century.

The country’s weather agency says the prolonged dry spell is due to a worsening El Niño, and follows the driest period since at least 1900.

It was also the third-driest season for South Africa as a whole since the country was in the midst of the Great Depression during the early 1930s.

Starving cattle have become traffic hazards around Durban, where motorists are dodging livestock that have resorted to grazing next to roadways. The automobile association says that what little rain has fallen simply flowed off the pavement to create narrow corridors of fresh vegetation that attract the animals.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110.8 degrees Fahrenheit (43.8 degrees Celsius) at Beitbridge, Zimbabwe.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 64.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53.8 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.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 26 October and 1 November 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 7 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death.

Dengue Fever – Egypt

On 27 October 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of Egypt notified WHO of an outbreak of Dengue fever in a village in the Dayrout District of Assiut Governorate.

Between 1 and 31 October 2015, a total of 253 cases were admitted to the Dayrout Fever Hospital due to acute febrile illness. Patients developed fever, headache, general body aches and abdominal pain with occasional vomiting and/or diarrhea but experienced no further complications or fatalities.

Wildfires

Russia Bans Burning of Dry Fields

The Russian government said today it had banned the burning of dry farmland and fields adjacent to roads and infrastructure in an effort to reduce the risk of hugely destructive wildfires.

The measures which expands an earlier ban of stubble burning apply to the burning of dry land located on farms, near roads, railways and pipelines.

Earlier this year, huge wildfires engulfed the forested areas on the banks of Siberia’s Lake Baikal, jeopardising the unique wildlife and vegetation of the world’s oldest and deepest lake.

And in April, at least 34 people died in southern Siberia as a result of wildfires, apparently caused by the careless burning of farmland. Hundreds more were left homeless.

The ban also outlaws the use of open flame in these areas and requires that dry flammable vegetation be removed.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Etna’s New SE crater is the likely site of new activity in the near future. Intense steaming from the eastern vent of the youngest summit crater suggests that magma is not far from the surface. Over the past two weeks, 5 episodes of increased tremor and increased degassing occurred from the crater, but so far all ended without an eruption – one could call them “failed attempts” to produce the otherwise typical paroxysms. Another such episode might be about to start at the time of this update.In the meantime, weak strombolian activity continues at the vent inside the Voragine crater.

Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): The volcano has been relatively calm at the surface, but internal unrest continues to be significant. VSI keeps the alert level at “Siaga” (Alert) or 3 (out of 4), where it has been since July 2011. A mild gradual increase in seismic activity over the past 2-3 months has been noted. The latest bulletin issued yesterday reminds the public to keep a safety distance of 2.5 km around the Tompaluan crater, where new fractures were formed during and after the eruption on 13 Sep last year. Sudden phreatic or phreatomagmatic explosions (caused by overheated steam and/or contact between water and magma), with associated ballistic ejections, pyroclastic flows and ash falls could occur any time with little to no warning.

Rinjani (Lombok): According to local observers, the eruption has decreased in strength overall, although strombolian activity seems to still be intense and is visible on webcam images. The ash plume has been reduced to lengths of approx. 100-150 km and more southerly winds have pushed it towards the NW this morning, allowing the international airport of Lombok to reopen today.