Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.4 Earthquake hits off the coast of Jalisco, Mexico.

The U.S. National Weather Service’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the quake was not forecast to cause a tsunami.

5.2 Earthquake hits the southwest Indian ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Strait of Gibraltar.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Talaud, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the southern east Pacific rise.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical Cyclone Victor is located approximately 473 nm east-southeast of Suva, Fiji, and is tracking westward at 09 knots.

Niue, Tonga and the Cook Islands were pounded by high surf and blustery winds as outer bands of Category-1 Cyclone Victor lashed the islands. High winds had downed some coconut palms and blown off shed roofs. The massive storm churned the South Pacific for several days before losing force over cooler waters northeast of New Zealand.

Tropical cyclone 08s (Corentin), located approximately 911 nm east of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking southward at 10 knots.

NewsBytes:

USA – A large winter storm that is expected to bring heavy snowfall to the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region on January 22 and 23. Washington, D.C., and New York City were under blizzard watches January 21, 2016 and states of emergency were declared in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina ahead of a blustery weekend storm expected to slam the East Coast with up to 2 feet (60 cm) of snow.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110.8 degrees Fahrenheit (43.8 degrees Celsius) at Vredendal, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 59.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50.0 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian community of Vitim.

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

Wildfires – Australia

A baby kangaroo is on the slow road to recovery after surviving a ferocious bushfire in Western Australia.

12187664 10153869615893967 2634091189421828555 n

Wildfires – South Africa

A deadly blaze aboard a train sparked a wildfire in Cape Town Thursday, as strong winds and high temperatures also sent flames ripping through vineyards in South Africa’s prime winelands.

A body was found in one of two burnt-out carriages on the commuter train after it made an emergency stop near Fish Hoek village on Cape Town’s southern peninsula, police said.

Water-bombing helicopters and fire crews were battling to prevent the blaze reaching nearby houses.

Helicopters were also in action in the Cape’s scenic winelands, where fires have raged in the Simonsberg area since Tuesday.

Several farms have lost part of their grape crops, just as the harvesting season gets under way.

Disease

Zika virus infection – France – Saint Martin and Guadeloupe

On 18 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point (NFP) for France notified WHO of the first laboratory-confirmed case of locally-acquired Zika virus in Saint Martin, an overseas department of France. On the same day, 1 autochthonous case of Zika virus infection was confirmed in Guadeloupe, another overseas department of France.

The proximity of mosquito vector breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control relies on reducing the breeding of mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people. This can be achieved by reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled habitats that support mosquito larvae, reducing the adult mosquito populations around at-risk communities and by using barriers such as insect screens, closed doors and windows, long clothing and repellents. Since the Aedes mosquitoes (the primary vector for transmission) are day-biting mosquitoes, it is recommended that those who sleep during the daytime, particularly young children, the sick or elderly, should rest under mosquito nets (bed nets), treated with or without insecticide to provide protection.

Zika virus infection – Haiti

On 18 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for Haiti notified PAHO/WHO of 5 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus infection. Of the 5 confirmed cases, 4 are from the Delmas commune while the remaining case is from the Pétion-Ville commune. Samples of the patient were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) laboratory in Trinidad and Tobago for testing. All cases were confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase-chain reaction (RT-PCR).

In addition, between 4 and 12 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for Germany notified PAHO/WHO of 2 cases of Zika virus infection in German nationals who had returned from Haiti to Germany in late December.

Guillain-Barré syndrome – El Salvador

The National IHR Focal Point of El Salvador has notified PAHO/WHO of an unusual increase of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) in the country. In El Salvador, the annual average number of GBS is 169; however, from 1 December 2015 to 6 January 2016, 46 GBS were recorded, including 2 deaths.

Monkey Pox – Central African Republic

Health authorities in the Central African Republic are urging the public to avoid contact with dead animals while an outbreak of Monkey Pox is reported in Mbomou, south of the country.

The Ministry of Health recorded 2 deaths and forty people have been placed in quarantine

The Monkey pox is a viral disease with symptoms similar to that of chicken pox.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Zhupanovsky (Russia) – Russian officials issued a “code orange” alert for the Zhupanovsky volcano after the mountain spewed ash five miles into the air above the Kamchatka Peninsula. The Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reported that the plumes of volcanic debris were drifting eastward into the Pacific Ocean, creating a potential threat to air routes between North America and Asia. TASS reports the volcano is about 45 miles from the nearest community, and no ash from the eruption had drifted into any populated areas.