Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Simeulue, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Atlantic:

Invest 97L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Storm Howard is located about 1185 mi…1910 km WSW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 295 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

Invest 92E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Western Pacific:

Typhoon 06w (Nida), located approximately 49 nm northwest of Hong Kong, is tracking west-northwestward at 15 knots.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled, schools and shops shut and the stock market closed for the day as the storm brought violent winds and torrential showers. Gusts of 151 kilometres (93 miles) per hour whipped the city and rain lashed down during the night, leaving three people injured and a trail of fallen trees and torn-down scaffolding. The storm triggered a Typhoon 8 signal — the third-strongest category — which was taken down a notch around midday Tuesday as winds eased and the typhoon passed onto mainland China. It was the strongest typhoon to hit the Pearl River delta in 30 years. Pictures showed roadside trees blown over, murky brown water filling the streets and a skyscraper with several glass panels blown off. After sweeping past Hong Kong, Nida made landfall early Tuesday in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, with winds still blowing at up to 151 kilometres per hour.

Gl sst mm

Wildlife

Rare Whale Species

A corpse of a dead whale washed up on the beach of St. George Island in the Bering Sea has proven an old Japanese legend to be true. The said whale, which could not be identified by scientists, fits the description of karasu or “raven,” an extremely rare beaked whale species.

According to the National Geographic, the mysterious whale is 7.3 meters long with dark flesh, floppy dorsal fin and yellow teeth.

Researchers first thought that the animal was a Baird’s beaked whale. However, upon close examination, they could not identify it. The animal is said to belong under the genus Berardius.

The study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science says that the black whale or karasu is so rarely that there are only eight documented samples of the species, which the researchers obtained via a DNA analysis.

“The challenge in documenting the species was simply locating enough specimens to provide convincing evidence,” said Phillip Morin, lead author of the study. “Clearly this species is very rare, and reminds us how much we have to learn about the ocean and even some of its largest inhabitants.”

Popular Science notes that there is little information known about the new whale species except for the Japanese legend about it. Also, scientists have not been able to observe a karasu alive.

Despite this, Morin is still positive in the new discovery and hopes to find more karasu in the future. “It’s just so exciting to think that in 2016 we’re still discovering things in our world—even mammals that are more than 20 feet long,” he said. “We don’t know how many there are, where they’re typically found, anything. But we’re going to start looking.”

Dead whales

Disease

Siberian Anthrax Outbreak – Update

A 12-year-old boy is the first fatality in the anthrax outbreak that recently struck the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia, Russia, according to a Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region government news release. The child died over the weekend from gastrointestinal anthrax, one of the three forms of the serious bacterial infection.

In addition, eight other people have been confirmed positive for the causative agent, Bacillus anthracis. In total, 72 people are now hospitalized at Salekhard hospital with confirmed or suspected anthrax

In addition to the human anthrax cases, the number of reindeer with suspected anthrax that died has nearly doubled to almost 2,400.

Zika Virus – Miami, Florida, USA

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issued an unprecedented travel warning Monday, advising pregnant women and their partners not to travel to a small community just north of downtown Miami, where Zika is actively circulating.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Rinjani (Lombok): The volcano had a sudden explosive eruption this noon, it seems. An ash plume was detected at 12:20 local time (04:20 UTC) that rose from the volcano to originally estimated 32,000 ft (10 km) altitude and drifted south. Lombok’s Praya Airport was closed today from 16:55 and is expected to reopen tomorrow morning at 10:00 am. It seems likely that the ash plume, which appears not particularly dense and smaller than originally reported by Darwin VAAC, was the result of a sudden explosive event (perhaps phreatic) of the volcano whose last eruption was last year between Oct-Dec. Other causes of the ash plume are possible, too, e.g. a major collapse event inside the caldera. More details will be added as they come in.