Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits central Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the East Pacific: Invest 90E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the South Pacific: Tropical cyclone 18p (Donna), located approximately 150 nm west of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking southeastward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

Canada: Quebec – Flooding caused by unusually persistent rainfall has driven nearly 1,900 people from their homes in 126 municipalities in the Canadian province of Quebec. Ontario also is seeing flooding.

Canada: British Columbia – The province’s spring snowmelt and recent rain has led to three local state of emergency declarations, evacuations and flood watches. Two men are missing, homes have been damaged and more evacuation orders are in place as flooding and mudslides wreak havoc across southern British Columbia. An evacuation alert is in effect for 90 properties in the Fintry Delta area in Kelowna, and several roads are closed throughout the Okanagan. The search is on for the bodies of two men missing and presumed dead, as British Columbia’s Interior braces for the possibility of further rain and snowmelt.

Environment

Pollution causes rise in cancer cases

Air pollution contributes to a 10 per cent rise in people being diagnosed with cancer, a study has found.

US researchers believe it causes an extra 44 cases per 100,000 people – equivalent to more than 28,600 cancer diagnoses in Britain.

The study, published in the journal Cancer, is the first to examine the link between environment and cancer, although previous research has found diesel fumes could cause women to give birth prematurely.

Its authors say developing the disease is 50 per cent due to genetics, but environment also damages our DNA, changes the way genes work and can even alter important hormones.

They examined the populations of almost 2,700 counties across America, where cancer affected an average of 451 people in every 100,000 between 2006 and 2010.

The extra 44 cases found in the worst polluted counties compared to the cleanest represents a rise of around 10 per cent, while socio-economic circumstances and roads also increased risk.

Lung cancer had already been linked to diesel exhausts and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, produced by cars and also thought to cause asthma and heart disease. But an extra ten cases of prostate cancer per 100,000 men were also attributed to air pollution, with almost four extra cases of breast cancer per 100,000 women. The reasons behind this increase are still being examined, but the study states: ‘Environmental exposures can alter or interfere with a variety of biological processes, including hormone production and function, inflammation, DNA damage and gene suppression or over-expression.’

Previous research has suggested particles of pollution can mimic oestrogen, which is known to fuel breast cancer.

They can also make women’s breasts denser, which raises their danger of the cancer.

To investigate the effects of overall environmental quality, the researchers looked at air, water and land quality, as well as the built environment and social factors. When adjusting for age, the annual incidence was 451 cancer cases per 100,000 people.

But counties with poor environmental quality had on average 39 more cases per 100,000 people than those of high quality.

Water quality had little or no effect on cancer rates when taken in isolation, with land quality, including the use of pesticides, having a small effect.

Air quality alone was found to cause an extra 44.19 cases per 100,000 over the four years.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Southern Georgia, USA

Seventy-nine people in St. George in Georgia’s southernmost county have been evacuated after a wildfire in the Okefenokee Swamp began encroaching onto private property.

Firefighters are battling the blaze, on the Georgia-Florida line. There are 60 bulldozers, eight helicopters and three heavy air tankers on the scene to help fight the fire in the tiny, rural town.

The wildfire started by lightning on April 6 and has since burned more than 150 square miles (389 sq. kilometers) on public lands.

Wildfires – South Korea

Wildfires swept through roughly 130 hectares of forest in Gangneung and Samcheok, Gangwon, from Saturday burning down about 30 homes and at least 500 people were evacuated.

Another fire broke out in Sangju, North Gyeongsang, on Saturday, and was put out by Sunday morning. It burned down about 13 hectares of forests, killing one hiker and injuring two more.

Disease

Kenya – Dengue Outbreak

A dengue fever outbreak has left more than 100 people infected in Mombasa, county health officials said. The disease has spread to all six sub counties in the county. Kisauni recorded the highest number of cases at 37, followed by Mvita at 25. Both Changamwe and Likoni recorded 21 cases respectively.

Somalia – Cholera

Nearly 32,000 cholera cases and 618 related deaths have been reported since the start of 2017, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Coordination OCHA said in a report.

The outbreak of cholera continues to spread across Somalia regions, in part due to widespread water shortages, food insecurity and displacement that have stretched sanitation facilities beyond their capacity.

The OCHA report mentioned that the Acute Watery Diarrhea is now affecting 13 out of 18 regions in Somalia.