Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits southern Alaska.

5.1 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of Ecuador.

5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits Antigua and Barbuda.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Greece – Update – Greek authorities on Monday raised to 23 the death toll from heavy flooding near Athens this month, after one more body was found and an injured woman died in hospital.

Gaza – Dozens of homes and shops flooded and many roads in Gaza City were blocked yesterday night due to heavy rainfall in the Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses reported that the areas most affected by the heavy rainfall were Al-Shuja’iyya, Al-Zaytoun, Al-Tuffah, Sheikh Radwan, and Muftaraq Al-Sahaba, as rain water flooded homes and shops in these areas and dragged many cars away.

New Zealand – Homes flooded and a school sustained “significant” damage after 42.2 millimetres of rain fell in Roxburgh within a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon. The flash flooding closed roads, leaving the small town isolated on Monday and residents cleaning up mud and silt. Residents of a Central Otago town recovering from widespread flooding are being told to expect to be without water until at least Wednesday.

Global Warming

Migrating birds winter in Israel as climate change makes desert too dangerous

Climate change is turning Israel into a permanent wintering ground for some of the 500 million migrating birds that used to stop over briefly before flying on to the warm plains of Africa, Israeli experts say.

The birds now prefer to stay longer in cooler areas rather than cross into Africa, where encroaching deserts and frequent droughts have made food more scarce.

Cranes are one of the most abundant species to visit the Hula wetlands and Agmon said that the number that prefer to stay in Israel until the end of March has risen from less than 1,000 in the 1950s to some 45,000 currently.

Although migrating birds are a welcome attraction for ornithologists and tourists, their hunger for food from crop fields makes them a menace to farmers.

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Climate change threatens olive trees across Mediterranean

Environmental groups have warned that the olive oil industry across the Mediterranean, worth billions of dollars, is under threat due to climate change.

From Italy to Tunisia, and Lebanon to Greece, increasingly hot summers and unpredictable winters have seen yields decline by as much as 20 percent.

Wildlife

Mexico’s New Ocean Reserve Protects Biodiversity

The Revillagigedo Archipelago, a chain of four volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean near Mexico, is home to a spectacularly diverse community of sea life, including dozens of fish species found nowhere else on Earth. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto recently designated these islands and the surrounding waters as a marine reserve and national park, prohibiting natural resource extraction, commercial fishing and development, to preserve the island ecosystems and marine life.

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Disease

Scarlet Fever – England

The age-old killer scarlet fever is on the rise in England and East Asia, according to research published Monday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, and investigators don’t know why.

Since 2009, cases have been steadily increasing in several East Asian countries, including Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong and mainland China.

An outbreak then hit England, where cases tripled in one year, from 4,700 in 2013 to 15,637 in 2014. Infections continued to rise to nearly 20,000 in 2016, a 50-year high for the United Kingdom, according to the analysis.

Typhoid – Zimbabwe

Since the beginning of Oct. 2017, Zimbabwe has seen more than 1,000 typhoid fever cases in and around the capital city of Harare. Reports indicate however, that the incidence of new cases is declining.

Lassa Fever – Liberia

Since the beginning of the year, the Liberia Ministry of Health has reported a total of 70 suspected Lassa fever cases including 21 deaths (case fatality rate 30%) from nine counties in Liberia. Out of this, 28 cases have been confirmed as Lassa virus infection, including 10 deaths from six counties.

Rabies – Florida, USA

Last month, a human rabies case and fatality was reported in Highlands County, the first human case of rabies acquired in Florida since 1948.

Today, the Florida Department of Health reported that from Jan. 1 to Sep. 30, 60 animal rabies cases were reported across the state. Twenty-six cases were reported in raccoons, followed by bats (16), cats (9), foxes (6), skunks (2) and one dog.