Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits the Bonin Islands off Japan.

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

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

5.2 Earthquake hits near the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits Buryatiya, Russia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Atlantic:

Tropical Storm Otto is located about 155 mi…250 km ENE of Limon Costa Rica and about 200 mi…320 km ESE of Bluefields Nicaragua with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 290 degrees at 6 mph…9 km/h.

Newsbytes:

Australia – A wild storm lashed Melbourne, Victoria last night tearing off roofs and snapping trees in half. There were no reports of casualties.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Monowai (New Zealand): GeoNet reported that on 16 November airplane passengers observed pumice floating in an area W of Minerva Reef, about 600 km SE of Fiji and 500 km SW of Tonga, where there are no known active submarine volcanoes. The nearest active submarine volcano is Monowai (400 km SE) which was active during 10-11 November, though it usually does not produce pumice rafts. Floating pumice was visible in satellite images during 15-16 November, extending more than 100 km. Analysts were not yet able to track the pumice to its source in older images. A larger pumice raft in October 2012 originated from Havre Seamount.

Disease

3 Deaths Attributed to “Thunderstorm Asthma” – Australia

Hundreds of people in Melbourne, Australia, experienced breathing problems during a recent storm, in what’s being called an outbreak of “thunderstorm asthma.” But what’s behind this rare phenomenon?

On Monday (Nov. 21) evening, the ambulance service in Melbourne, called Ambulance Victoria, received more than 1,800 calls during the storm, which is about six times more than usual. About 200 calls were for cases of asthma, and 600 calls were for people with breathing difficulties. There were also three deaths from asthma during the storm.

Similar events have been reported in England, Canada, Italy and the United States. For example, during a heavy thunderstorm in 1994 in London, 640 patients with asthma or breathing difficulties visited the emergency room — a number 10 times higher than the expected number of asthma patients on a given day, according to a 2012 review. About 280 of those patients had never had asthma before.

Many people who experience “thunderstorm asthma” have a common condition known as hay fever, in which they are allergic to pollen or other substances in the air, according to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

It’s thought that these outbreaks occur because, during thunderstorms, pollen grains rapidly absorb water and rupture, leading to the release of hundreds of small particles into the air, ASCIA says. These particles can penetrate deep into people’s lungs and trigger asthma attacks, ASCIA says. Some outbreaks of thunderstorm asthma have also been linked with increased levels of fungal spores in the air.

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