Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits Martinique in the Windward Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits the southern east Pacific rise.

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern Kazakhstan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Rat islands in the Aleutian Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Oklahoma, USA – The National Weather Service says “disastrous” flooding will occur in eastern Oklahoma, where some areas received up to a foot of rain over the weekend. The state department of transportation says high water has caused the closure of some roads in counties in the southern and eastern part of the state.

Britain – Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in York after the city’s two rivers burst their banks, flooding houses, shops, businesses and threatening historical buildings. The River Ouse is up to four metres above its typical level but will not peak until tomorrow afternoon, while the River Foss is hitting record heights in urban areas.

Missouri, USA – A state of emergency has been declared by Governor Jay Nixon in response to widespread flooding in Missouri. At least eight deaths are connected to the high waters in the state. More rain and additional flooding is expected through Monday. River levels are expected to rise over the next few days.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Spain

Spain on Sunday deployed three water-dropping planes to battle wildfires raging in remote regions in northern and central Spain amid unseasonably warm weather, the government said.

The agriculture ministry said two amphibious water-scooping aircraft were sent to help dowse fires in the northern region of Cantabria and another plane was dispatched to the central region of Castile and Leon.

The regional government of Cantabria said firefighters were battling 25 blazes while the government of the neighboring region of Asturias in northwestern Spain said 16 wildfires were burning in its boundaries.

A helicopter battling a fire in Asturias crashed on Wednesday, killing the pilot and sole occupant of the aircraft.

Forest fires are unusual in December in Spain but low rainfall and a warm autumn have left much of the country vulnerable to blazes.

Wildfires have destroyed more than 54,000 hectares (13,300 acres) of agricultural and forest land in Spain this year, exceeding the area burned over the previous two years combined, most of it in major summer fires, according to agriculture ministry figures.

Disease

Diphtheria deaths mount in Punjab, India

The number of fatalities has risen from 18 to 34 from the serious toxigenic disease in the latest outbreak. The large outbreak of the vaccine preventable disease is due to a lack of diphtheria anti-toxin (DAT) in the country. About 1 out of 10 people who gets diphtheria will die.

Dengue Fever Outbreak: Hawaii – Update

Right on Christmas day, the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) reported the latest numbers behind an ongoing outbreak of the mosquito-borne dengue fever: 181 cases since September, with 7 potential cases currently capable of further spreading the virus. These cases, all situated on the Big Island of Hawaii, are especially worrying due to the fact that the local mosquito population is primarily causing them, though some have occurred among travellers from countries where dengue is already endemic.