Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.1 earthquake hits the south-west Indian Ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit the Nicobar Islands off India.

5.0 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean/Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression (td) 04w (Four), located approximately 131 nm northwest of Agrihan, is tracking west-northwestward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Eastern Washington, USA – Flooding caused by recent rains and snow melt has fouled water and sewage treatment facilities, threatened state highways and local roads, and caused some people to leave their homes. Continued higher temperatures are predicted to increase snow melt and cause additional flooding as rivers and streams continue to rise to record or near record levels. The Okanogan River, which runs through Tonasket, reached a level of 19 feet early Friday morning, which is above the 15-foot flood stage. The Pend Oreille River is forecast to reach a flow of more than 118,000 cubic feet per second by next Thursday, which hasn’t occurred since 2011. The Kettle River reached a crest of 22 feet Friday and is expected to remain above record levels for the next week, according to the National Weather Service.

Sri Lanka – Over 8,000 people were affected as heavy rains caused flash floods in Sri Lanka’s southern districts of Galle and Kalutara last Sunday, the Disaster Management Center said in a statement on Monday. A number of homes had been evacuated.

Global Warming

How We are Changing Our Plant

Global warming, deforestation, coral bleaching, urbanisation… the list of ways that we’ve managed to damage Earth in our time here isn’t a pretty one, and a new online map called EarthTime brings all those effects into sharp focus.

You can watch the world change before your eyes between 1984 and 2016 – forests and glaciers disappear, coral gets damaged, and sea levels creep up, mostly thanks to the increased amount of carbon dioxide we’re putting into the air.

To see EarthTime click here.

Environment

Mexico City – Water Shortage

One of the world’s largest cities, Mexico City is home to about 21 million people – rising to 27 million if you include the surrounding areas. About 20% of Mexico’s population lives there. By the year 2030, the authorities estimate that the population will grow to 30 million people.

Among other challenges, such a large population puts a costly strain on Mexico City’s water supplies. In fact, the parts of Mexico City’s infrastructure that supply water are crumbling. Its natural water reserves are also at risk; if trends continue, they are expected to dry out as soon as in 30 years. With so many people affected, this means one of the world’s largest water crises is in the making on the doorstep of the US.

Located more than 2,000m above sea level, the city is subject to heavy rainfall. The wet season between June and September, in particular, brings frequent flash floods.

Burst pipes aren’t the only reason that Mexico City’s sewage overflows. Rubbish disposed of on the streets often clogs pipe drains, backing up the system. That can have serious consequences quickly, since Mexico City produces about 40,000 litres of sewage every second.

Despite flooding events and heavy rainfall, the city is facing a water shortage. Much of this is because of the inefficient and ageing infrastructure of Mexico City’s water networks: some 40% of the water is lost.

As a result, many of the city’s inhabitants have an interrupted water supply, perhaps only being able to turn on the tap and get water twice a week.

Given Mexico City’s original geography, its lack of water may seem strange. The city was built on an island surrounded by a large natural lake basin. But when the Spanish colonised Mexico in the 1500s, they dried out the lake to build a bigger city.

This means that deep underground, Mexico City has fresh water reservoirs – which the city still depends on for about 40% of its water. But the shortage of water in the city means these natural water reserves are being emptied at a rate faster than they can be filled, especially during months of prolonged drought in the dry season. Projections show that the aquifers could be depleted in 30 to 50 years, if current exploitation trends continue.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

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A large wildfire on a hill near Komsomolsk-on-Amur has stifled the far-east city in smoke. Locals say the authorities have failed to tackle the fires. A train confronted by the fire was abandoned by the driver.

Wildfires – Alberta, Canada

Firefighters on the ground near Bruderheim, Alta., have been working hard to keep raging wildfire flames away from homes but dry, windy conditions are complicating their efforts after multiple large grassfires ignited Saturday.

Wildfires – Texas, USA

Firefighters in the Texas Panhandle are working to contain a wildfire that has blackened more than 69,000 acres. Nearly 300 firefighters are at the blaze, which began last week about 40 miles southeast of Amarillo and not far from Palo Duro Canyon, the Texas A&M Forest Service reported Sunday. The fire was about 15 percent contained Sunday afternoon.

Disease

HIV – Philippines

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) situation continues to be a serious public health problem in the Philippines as health officials reported 912 new HIV cases in March 2018.

In fact, with a 140% increase in estimated annual new HIV infections from 2010 to 2016, UNAIDS said that the “the Philippines has become the country with the fastest growing HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific, and has become one of eight countries that account for more than 85% of new infections in the region.”

Ebola Advisory – Democratic Republic of Congo

Following the confirmation of a new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last week, several African countries have taken steps to prevent Ebola from crossing their border and Nigeria is just one of several.

Since the publication of the first Disease Outbreak News on the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province, Democratic Republic of the Congo on 10 May 2018, an additional seven suspected cases have been notified by the country’s Ministry of Health.

In other news, at least 93 children below the age of 15 years have been confirmed dead from the outbreak ravaging internally displaced people’s (IDPs) communities in Kandoyi, some 350 km from Bunia, the capital of Ituri Province. The causes of these community deaths are yet unknown but fever and anemia are the most common symptoms among casualties. Authorities said most victims have died at home following the near-collapse of the health system. The local inter organizations committee of aid agencies said the death rate was unusually high.