Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits southeast of Shikoku, Japan.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Babuyan Islands in the Philippines.

5.1 Earthquake hits North Island, New Zealand.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Oaxaca, Mexico.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 06p (Ula), is located approximately 227 nm south of Suva, Fiji, and is tracking west-northwestward at 03 knots.

NewsBytes:

Scotland – A 16th century castle in Scotland is on the verge of collapse after chunks of soil were washed away by floods, threatening its foundations. Abergeldie Castle was evacuated after the River Dee washed away about 60 feet of land.

RT abergeldie castle jef 160104 12x5 1600

El Niño peaks, expected to decline in coming months

El Niño, which disrupted weather worldwide last year, has peaked. Now forecasters are predicting what may be next for the world’s climate.

A number of El Niño-Southern Oscillation indicators suggest that the 2015–16 El Niño has peaked and weather models predict it will decline in coming months, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on its website on Tuesday. Conditions will return to neutral during the second quarter with a chance of La Nina in the second half of 2016, it said.

La Nina is a cooling in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, sometimes thought of as El Niño’s opposite. The two are extreme phases of a naturally occurring cycle, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Based on the 26 Niño events since 1900, about 50% have been followed by a neutral year with 40 by La Nina, according to Australia’s weather bureau.

Disease

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

Between 29 November and 17 December 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 4 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 2 deaths.

Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1,625 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 586 related deaths.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus – China

Between 30 December 2015 and 2 January 2016, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 2 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus.

Lassa Fever Outbreak in Nigeria

The Taraba State Government has confirmed the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.

One person has died and two others quarantined and their blood samples have been taken to Irrua Specialists’ Hospital in Edo State for further confirmation.

The fever spreads when people get infected with the Lassa Virus after exposure to infected rodents, while person to person transmission occurs through direct contact with the sick person. Residents were called on to avoid contact with rats especially in the areas where the outbreak occurred.