Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
5.4 Earthquake hits Fiji.
5.0 Earthquake hits Panama.
5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.
5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia.
5.0 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
In the South Pacific: Tropical cyclone (tc) 07p (Seven), located approximately 190 nm east of Niue, is tracking southeastward at 13 knots over the past six hours.
Jakarta, Indonesia – Torrential rains in the Indonesian capital have overwhelmed drains and flooded roads and thousands of homes. The disaster mitigation agency says more than 50 areas are flooded in Jakarta with waters up to 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) high in East Jakarta. It said the city’s drains couldn’t accommodate the runoff and rivers also overflowed. The city, which has about 30 million people in its greater metropolitan area, says it has reduced the number of flood prone areas since then by dredging rivers and other measures.
Texas, USA – Residents in San Antonio were picking up the pieces Monday after severe overnight storms ripped through south-central Texas, damaging more than 150 homes. The National Weather Service confirmed Monday that at least four six tornadoes hit San Antonio. Five minor injuries were reported, the Associated Press said.
La Niña Ends
The La Niña ocean cooling in tropical Pacific has ended, according to the U.S. Climate Prediction Centre (CPC). Climate experts there also say a fresh El Niño warming may soon return. La Niña appeared last year for the first time since 2012, but was among the weakest and shortest on record. “Even though it was fairly weak and short-lived … it did leave impacts,” said CPC Deputy Director Mike Halpert, pointing to unusual cold in Alaska, western Canada and the U.S. Northern Plains in December and January.
Residents in Singapore were treated to a truly unusual phenomenon, as a so-called fire rainbow lit up the sky in the city-state. NASA says that fire rainbows are actually called circumhorizon arcs, which are created by a unique set of circumstances. A spokesman said: “The sun must be at least 58 degrees high in a sky where cirrus clouds are present. Furthermore, the numerous, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight like a single gigantic prism. Therefore, circumhorizon arcs are quite unusual to see.”
Cholera Found in Travellers from the Philippines
The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) issued a warning Friday (computer translated) concerning a cholera outbreak reported in travellers from Cebu, Philippines.
Travellers that arrived Friday, Feb. 17 on Air Asia Z29048 (Cebu – Incheon, Seoul flight) at Incheon International Airport tested positive for cholera (V Cholerae O1 Ogawa, CTX +). The number infected was not disclosed.
Farmers kill thousands of pigs in disease-hit Latvia
Latvia has culled more pigs in the past two weeks than in the last three years, due to African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks. Nearly 15,000 head of pigs were culled as the result of the two recent ASF outbreaks in the country, according to Latvia’s Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS).
On 23 January, SFVS reported an outbreak of ASF at the Rukas farm of local pig manufacturer Ancers, where veterinary inspectors decided to cull the whole pig population of 5,023 head. This outbreak has been identified as the largest one ever in Latvia.
On 7 February, ASF was also detected at the Bunchi farm, which also belongs to Ancers. Here the total pig population was over 10,000 head and SFVS had to destroy the herd completely. Following these outbreaks, the Latvian government has introduced a state of emergency in several districts of the country for the first time since mid-2014.