Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.7 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.6 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Atlantic:

Hurricane Gaston is located about 850 mi…1365 km E of Bermuda and about 1335 mi…2150 km W of the Azores with maximum sustained winds…120 mph…195 km/h. Present movement…NE or 50 degrees at 9 mph…15 km/h.

Tropical Depression Eight is located about 75 mi…120 km ESE of Cape Hatteras North Carolina with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…NE or 45 degrees at 5 mph…7 km/h.

Tropical Depression Nine is located about 405 mi…655 km SSW of Apalachicola Florida and about 425 mi…680 km SW of Tampa Florida with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…N or 360 degrees at 2 mph…4 km/h.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Hurricane Lester is located about 1160 mi…1865 km E of Hilo Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…140 mph…220 km/h. Present movement…W or 265 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

Hurricane Madeline is located about 235 mi…380 km E of Hilo Hawaii and about 440 mi…705 km ESE of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…90 mph…150 km/h. Present movement…W or 260 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

In the Western Pacific:

Typhoon 12w (Lionrock), located approximately 246 nm northwest of Misawa, Japan, is tracking northwestward at 35 knots.

In the Central Pacific:

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

Invest 93C is an area of disturbed weather in the Central Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

Gl sst mm


Japan – Typhoon Lionrock made landfall Tuesday evening near the city of Ofunato, 310 miles northeast of Tokyo on the Pacific coast and crossed the main island of Honshu before heading out to the Sea of Japan. It was the first time a typhoon has made landfall in the northern region since 1951, when the Japan Meteorological Agency started keeping records. At least 11 people were found dead in Japan on Wednesday, most of them elderly residents at a nursing home, as heavy overnight rain from Typhoon Lionrock left towns flooded across the country’s north.

India – The monsoon floods in India’s Ganges river this year have broken previous records, according to local officials. They said water levels reached unprecedented levels at four locations in northern India. The highest record was in Patna, the state capital of Bihar where flood waters reached 50.52m (166ft) on 26 August, up from 50.27m in 1994. Floods across India this year have killed more than 150 people and displaced thousands. “We have also recorded unprecedented flood levels at Hathidah and Bhagalpur of Bihar state and Balliya of Uttar Pradesh,” chief of India’s Central Water Commission GS Jha said.


Elephant Numbers Decline Across Africa

A pan-African survey of African savannah elephants has revealed declines of a staggering 30% – 144 000 elephants, between 2007 and 2014 in the areas covered by the survey. The Paul G Allen’s Great Elephant Census (GEC) is the first continent-wide aerial survey of African elephants using standardized methodology.

Among the worst declines were Angola (22% decline), Mozambique (53% decline) and Tanzania (60% decline).

Extremely low numbers of elephants were also found in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, northern Cameroon and southwest Zambia. The “populations there face local extinction.

Regional areas in both Zimbabwe and Zambia, especially along the Zambezi valley, are showing that poachers are decimating elephant numbers. Zimbabwe’s overall population was down by 6% with a carcass ratio of 8%, which is bad enough, but within the Sebungwe region, on the Zambezi River and Lake Kariba north of Hwange National Park, populations were down a whopping 74% while Zambia experienced a startling 85% carcass ratio in Sioma Ngwezi Park on the border with Namibia and Angola.

In contrast, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, parts of Malawi, and the W-Arli-Pendjari conservation complex of protected areas that span Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso were found to have stable or slightly increasing elephant populations. The W-Arli-Pendjari area is the only large savannah elephant population left in West Africa.

Namibia also showed increasing numbers of elephants especially in the Zambezi-Caprivi area, but this is possibly because the territory runs the length of the unfenced border with Botswana, the country with the largest single population of elephants, which stands at about 130 000 strong. The bulk of Botswana’s elephants are in the north close to Namibia. And since elephants are not confined by national boundaries there is a constant movement of large herds between the two countries.

American Pika Is Disappearing Due to Climate Change

The American pika, a pint-size rabbit relative, is feeling the heat: Hotter summers induced by climate change are threatening these cute creatures’ habitats throughout the western United States.

The small herbivores make their home in rocky slopes, known as taluses, across the West’s mountain ranges. A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that whole populations of the tiny mammal are disappearing due to climate change. The pika’s mountainous habitats have become hotter and drier in the summer and harsher in the winter, with less snow cover to insulate their burrows in the ground, the researchers said.

According to the survey, American pikas have completely disappeared from Zion National Park in Utah, where there had been sightings of the animals as recently as 2011. In Cedar Breaks National Monument, also in Utah, pikas were found within only one-quarter of their historical range. And in northeastern California, the animals were found in just 11 of their 29 confirmed habitats.

According to the USGS, the pika is also seen as an “indicator species,” meaning the animal can offer scientists an early warning about ecosystem changes.

American pika usgs


Zika Virus – Miami, Florida, USA

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) reported today on three additional locally acquired Zika virus cases. The cases were reported in Miami-Dade County, one is associated with the Miami-Beach investigation. This brings the total in the state to 46. In addition, 16 new travel related cases were reported today.

Zika Virus – Singapore

A local Zika outbreak is blooming in Singapore, as 82 cases of the disease without links to travel have emerged on the island city-state in less than a week.

The country’s first locally transmitted Zika case was announced on Saturday when a 47-year-old Malaysian woman living in the neighborhood of Aljunied Crescent tested positive for the virus. Since then, disease detectives used surveillance techniques to identify additional cases. A second cluster of cases appeared at a nearby construction site in Sims Drive, and health officials added a batch of 26 to the tally this evening.