Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

6.1 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.2 Earthquake hits Coquimbo, Chile.

5.2 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Niger – Torrential rainfall has claimed the lives of at least three people in the desert in northern Niger. Fatalities are from Bazagor locality. The heavy rainfall also killed more than 8,000 goats, sheep and cows.

Japan – Landslides and floods in southern Japan have claimed the lives of three people and left three others missing. Nearly 2,000 residents have also been evacuated from their homes in the southern prefecture of Kumamoto.

India – Lightning strikes during torrential rain during India’s monsoon have killed dozens of people in northeastern India, officials said.

Thailand – Bangkok commuters were hit by flooded streets and traffic congestion Tuesday morning with pedestrians struggling to wade through the water .

Wildlife

‘Zombie corals’ pose new threat to world’s reefs

Zombie corals, which look healthy but cannot reproduce, have been discovered by researchers, dashing hopes that such reefs could repopulate areas destroyed by bleaching.

Scientists have also found that a common ingredient in sunscreen is killing and mutating corals in tourist spots.

The new evidence of harm to corals comes as the most widespread coral bleaching event in recorded history is sweeping the world’s oceans. Water temperatures have been driven up by a run of record-breaking hot years, caused by climate change and the El Niño phenomenon. Very warm water causes corals to lose the algae that normally live inside them and help them feed.

Corals in every major reef region have already experienced severe bleaching. About 93% of the reefs on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have been affected, and almost a quarter of the reef is now dead. Corals are hotspots of biodiversity and crucial nurseries for fish, upon which 1 billion people rely for nourishment.

The new research, presented at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii, sampled 327 coral colonies across the Caribbean to assess the reproductive ability of apparently healthy elkhorn coral, which is a threatened species.

In some places, including two sites in the Florida Keys, the coral had no eggs or sperm and therefore zero ability to reproduce. The scientists said this indicates these elkhorn corals are are essentially walking dead and will eventually die out, dubbing them “zombie corals”.

Another study found that oxybenzone, a common UV-filtering compound in sunscreen, is common in Hawaii, Florida and the US Virgin Islands.

The chemical kills coral but also causes DNA damage in adult coral and deforms the larval stage, making normal development unlikely. An earlier study showed that the highest concentrations of oxybenzone were found on the reefs most popular with tourists.

Dead coral in shallow waters at Cygnet Bay in Western Australia.

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Disease

Namibia – Measles

The outbreak of measles and rubella – also known as German measles or three-day measles – during the months of August to November over the past four years has prompted the Ministry of Health and Social Services to conduct a mass vaccination campaign in July.

Tanzania – Mystery Disease

At least 10 people have died and 21 others hospitalized following an outbreak of an unidentified disease in central Tanzania’s Dodoma region.