Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.2 Earthquake hits the Iran-Iraq Border.

At least 332 people were killed in Iran and Iraq when a magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolted the region on Sunday, state media in the two countries said, and rescuers were searching for dozens trapped under rubble in the mountainous area. The earthquake was felt as far away as Turkey, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates

State television said more than 328 people were killed in Iran and at least 2 500 were injured. Local officials said the death toll would rise as search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran.

The earthquake was felt in several western provinces of Iran but the hardest hit province was Kermanshah, which announced three days of mourning. More than 236 of the victims were in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah province, about 15 km (10 miles) from the Iraq border.

Iranian state television said the quake had caused heavy damage in some villages where houses were made of earthen bricks. Rescuers were laboring to find survivors trapped under collapsed buildings.

The quake also triggered landslides that hindered rescue efforts, officials told state television. At least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected, Iranian media reported.

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6.7 Earthquake hits Costa Rica.

Three people suffered fatal heart attacks that coincided with the time of the earthquake. At least one building in Jacó had been evacuated due to apparent damage and there were reports of walls collapsing and objects falling in other parts of the country, but there were no reports of any further injuries.

5.9 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the north coast of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Atlantic Ocean: Invest 96L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Invest 94E is an area of disturbed weather in the Eastern Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

Newsbytes:

Kenya – More than 10,000 residents of Kiganjo in Thika constituency have been displaced by floods following heavy rains that hit the area on Saturday night. The rains have interrupted harvesting of maize and wheat while horticulture farmers cannot access markets for their produce after floods rendered most roads in the region impassable.

Global Warming

Climate Change Is Destroying World Wonders

From the Everglades in the US to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, climate change is destroying the many of the greatest wonders of the natural world.

A new report on Monday from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reveals that the number of natural world heritage sites being damaged and at risk from global warming has almost doubled to 62 in the past three years.

Those at high risk include iconic places from the Galapagos Islands to the central Amazon and less well known but equally vibrant and unique sites such as the karst caves of Hungary and Slovakia and the monarch butterfly reserves in Mexico.

Coral reefs are particularly badly affected by rising ocean temperatures, from the Seychelles to Belize, where the northern hemisphere’s biggest reef is situated. Global heating is also causing mountain glaciers to rapidly shrink, from Kilimanjaro in Kenya to the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch – home to the largest Alpine glacier.

Other ecosystems being damaged are wetlands, such as the Everglades, where sea level is rising as the ocean warms and salt water is intruding. In the Sundarbans mangrove forest on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal, two islands have already been submerged and a dozen more are threatened. Fiercer storms are also increasing the risk of devastation.

Rising numbers of wildfires are damaging the beautiful Fynbos flowerscapes in the Cape region of South Africa and the Monarch butterfly site in Mexico. Elsewhere, warming is melting the permafrost in the newly declared Qinghai Hoh Xil heritage site, which is at 4,500m altitude in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

Australia is especially exposed as it has 10 natural heritage sites where climate change damage is rated as high or very high risk, from its Gondwana rainforests to Shark Bay in western Australia and islands such as Fraser and Macquarie.

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