Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.3 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

A powerful earthquake that rattled south and central Mexico caused little apparent destruction but rekindled fears in a population that still sees daily reminders of deadly earthquakes five months ago which killed more than 300 people.

5.8 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.1 earthquake hit North of Severnaya Zemlya, Russia.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Africa.

5.0 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 09p (Gita), located approximately 170 nm south of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking west-southwestward at 08 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 10s (Kelvin), located approximately 119 nm west-southwest of Broome, Australia, is tracking east-southeastward at 02 knots.

Newsbytes:

Ohio, USA – Emergency officials found themselves busy with area flooding in creeks, streams, and even streets in the city of Wheeling, Thursday night after a drenching downpour brought flash floods to the Ohio Valley; while the potential for the Ohio River to overflow this weekend concerns those in both West Virginia and Ohio.

Wildlife

Climate Change Affecting Bat Migrations

What started out as a simple study of how to safely monitor migrating bat colonies turned into a major discovery. Climate change is causing bats to migrate sooner, and in some cases, not migrate at all.

When they travel, bats usually do so in a swarm consisting of millions. When Mexican free-tailed bats bats migrate from Mexico to the Bracken Cave in San Antonio, Texas, the size of the swarm is so large it can be tracked using weather radar.

The researchers found that the bats are migrating to Texas roughly two weeks earlier than they were 22 years ago. They now arrive, on average, in mid March rather than late March.

Additionally, as of 2017, roughly 3.5 percent of the bat population is staying through the winter. Climate change is causing spring to begin sooner, in turn prompting insects to move to Texas sooner and giving the bats something to eat without having to migrate.

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Environment

Light pollution – Chile

It seems nothing can escape the inexorable spread of light pollution — not even the giant telescopes probing the heavens above northern Chile, a region whose pristine dark skies, long considered a paradise for astronomers, are under increasing threat.

The Atacama desert, 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) north of the capital Santiago, provides ideal conditions where astronomers study the stars in darkness so profound they appear like diamonds on velvet.

Scientists estimate that by 2020, Chile — a critically important country for optical and radio astronomy — will host 70 percent of the globe’s astronomical infrastructure.

But the ever-expanding use of cheap light-emitting diode (LED) lighting in the booming South American country is starting to concern astronomers desperately trying to safeguard some of the world’s darkest skies.

“Unfortunately, as we have more and more white lights, the deterioration of the skies has increased by up to 30 percent compared to the end of the last decade,” said scientist Pedro Sanhueza.

Chile takes the problem of light pollution so seriously that Sanhueza heads up an organization called the Office for the Protection of Quality of the Sky (OPCC).

Its main task is to make the people of northern Chile aware of the particularly high night-sky quality and the negative impacts of light pollution.

At the Paranal Observatory deep in the Atacama desert, staff are doing all they can to limit light leaking out into the atmosphere

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Disease

Rabies – Democratic Republic of the Congo

An outbreak of rabies has killed at least 11 displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and African media reports that thousands are at risk. Dogs are the main source of the rabies in the conflict-torn North Kivu Province where a lack of capacity to respond to the disease has been noted.

Novovirus – Olympics

In a follow-up on the norovirus outbreak at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, Korean health officials now put the number of confirmed cases at 261, as of Friday, with 111 cases reported from the Horeb Youth Centre, 74 from PyeongChang and 76 from Gangneung. Forty-four of the cases remain under quarantine, according to officials. The Swiss Olympic team reports that two of its athletes have been affected.