Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
5.1 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich islands.
5.0 Earthquake hits Crete.
5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.
Ecuador – Update
Rescue crews searched desperately through rubble for survivors of a magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck coastal Ecuador.
The death toll has soared to 272, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said Sunday evening. That number is expected to rise as rescue teams dig through the rubble, he said. Earlier that day, Vice President Jorge Glas had estimated that at least 2,527 people were injured.
The hardest-hit area was the coastal Manabi Province, where about 200 people died, said Ricardo Peñaherrera of Ecuador’s national emergency management office. The cities of Manta, Portoviejo and Pedernales, a tourist destination, saw the most devastation but damage was widespread throughout the country.
“The first hours are crucial,” Correa said. “We’re finding signs of life in the rubble. We’re giving this priority. After, we’ll work to find and recover bodies.” People looking for family and friends frantically dug with their hands and tools until excavation equipment arrived.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
Tropical cyclone (tc) 19s (Fantala), located approximately 783 nm northwest of Port Louis, Mauritius, and is tracking west-northwestward at 04 knots.
Chile – Heavy rains battering central Chile have now left an estimated 4 million people without drinking water, as landslides wreaked havoc and rivers breached their banks, leaving at least one person dead and closing the world’s largest underground copper mine.
Uruguay – Massive storms and floods have killed at least 7 in Uruguay and driven 2 000 from their homes when rivers burst their banks in recent days. Four of the victims died on friday when a rare tornado hit the western city of Dolores and three others were found to have died when trying to cross flooded rivers in the region.
March smashes global temperature records
The global temperature in March has shattered a century-long record and by the greatest margin yet seen for any month.
February was far above the long-term average globally, driven largely by climate change, and was described by scientists as a “shocker” and signalling “a kind of climate emergency”. But data released by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) shows that March was even hotter.
Compared with the 20th-century average, March was 1.07C hotter across the globe, according to the JMA figures, while February was 1.04C higher. The JMA measurements go back to 1891 and show that every one of the past 11 months has been the hottest ever recorded for that month.
Data released released later on Friday by Nasa confirmed last month was the hottest March on record, but the US agency’s data indicated February had seen the biggest margin. The Nasa data recorded March as 1.65C above the average from 1951-1980, while February was 1.71C higher.