Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
5.6 Earthquake hits Coquimbo, Chile.
5.3 Earthquake hits offshore Los Lagos, Chile.
5.2 Earthquake hits central Peru.
5.2 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.
5.1 Earthquake hits north of Ascension island.
5.0 Earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
Tropical cyclone 06p (Ula), is located approximately 240 nm west of Suva, Fiji, and is tracking west-northwestward at 02 knots.
The South Pacific island nation of Tonga was raked by winds of more than 90 mph from Category-2 Cyclone Ula. The storm caused widespread damage, with roofs ripped from homes and utility lines downed by strong winds. Ula later skirted Fiji, but spared that country significant damage. There were no reports of fatalities in either Tonga or Fiji. Tonga was hit a year ago by Cyclone Ian, which left one person dead, 4,000 homeless and destroyed crops on outlying islands.
Tropical Storm Pali is located about 1410 mi…2275 km SW of Honolulu Hawaii and about 760 mi…1225 km SSW of Johnston Island with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…NW or 325 degrees at 8 mph…13 km/h.
California – The last in a powerful string of El Niño-driven storms lashed coastal areas of California on Thursday, stirring waves that flooded some low-lying streets and crept toward ocean-front homes in Malibu. The storm created waves that forecasters said could reach 16 feet while sending scattered thundershowers across inland areas.
Global Temperature Extremes
The week’s hottest temperature was 113.7 degrees Fahrenheit (45.4 degrees Celsius) at the Telfer Mining Center in Western Australia.
The week’s coldest temperature was minus 63.9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53.3 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian outpost of Oimyakon.
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.
Wildfires – Australia
The historic Western Australian town of Yarloop has been wiped out by a bushfire that razed at least 95 homes, with another six towns under immediate threat as authorities warn the disaster is “far from over”.
Lightning sparked the blaze in a forest reserve south of Perth on Tuesday night, but by late Friday it had raged through 50,000 hectares, virtually cut off the WA capital from the state’s South-West, and left shattered homeowners sifting through the ashes.
Rubbing salt in the wounds were reports of youths on trail bikes looting and breaking into homes left abandoned by those who fled the flames, prompting Cookenup resident Janelle Ryan to say offenders should be “put into a pine box, covered in concrete and taken to the ocean”.
More than 400 firefighters continue to tackle the blaze head on, strength perimeter lines and protect homes and other infrastructure, with Acting WA Premier Kim Hames saying the latest blaze would have a “massive impact” on the state.
Temperatures in the mid-30s and increasing gusty northeast winds were fanning the fire late Friday as it burned within 6km of the town of Harvey and also threatened the farming and coastal communities of Waroona, Hamel, Cookenup, Preston Beach, Lake Clifton and Myalup.
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Oman
On 3 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Oman notified WHO of 1 additional case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.
Bubonic Plague in Madagascar – Update
The latest outbreak of bubonic plague on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar has killed 63 people since August, the Health Ministry said.
At least 174 cases of the disease have been detected, Maherisoa Ratsitorahina, head of disease surveillance at the ministry, said in a statement Thursday in the capital, Antananarivo. Madagascar notified the World Health Organization of the current outbreak in September.
Efforts to curb the spread of the disease are being impeded by a build-up of garbage in Antananarivo amid a dispute between the municipality and the national government over who is responsible for waste management in the city.