Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the Mayotte region.

5.2 earthquake hits near the East Coast of Kamchatka.

5.2 earthquake hits Guerrero, Mexico.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Sri Lanka – Three people were killed and more than 8,000 affected as heavy rains and strong winds lashed out across Sri Lanka. Flood warnings have been issued to several areas of Sri Lanka as a result of the heavy downpour.

Environment

Biodiversity Under Pressure

In what’s being called a “stunning reality check,” a new study published in the journal Science reveals that despite global efforts to safeguard biodiversity by establishing nature reserves, nearly a third of the world’s “protected land is under intense human pressure.”

While more than 90 percent of protected land worldwide has been degraded to some degree due to human activity, 32.8 percent—more than 2.3 million square miles—has been significantly impacted by human activity, according to the report.

“What we found was massive amounts of high-level human infrastructure, for example mining activity, industrial logging activity, industrial agriculture, townships, roads, and energy,” lead author James Watson, a conservation scientist at the University of Queensland in Australia, told the Guardian.

“These are the places that nations have said they are setting aside for nature’s needs not human needs,” he added. “So for us to find such a significant amount of human infrastructure in places governments have set aside for safeguarding biodiversity is staggering.”

Although the damage was most common in densely populated parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe, researchers emphasized that it is a global issue. Their findings bolster concerns generated from other recent reports that have shown that human activity—most notably, anthropogenic climate change—is causing “a major biodiversity crisis.”

One example of a protected area that has been degraded by human activity is Barrow Island in Western Australia.

Barrowisland 3

Global Warming

German Cities to Ban Diesel Cars

German cities are entitled to ban older diesel vehicles from streets with immediate effect to bring air pollution levels in line with European Union rules, Germany’s top administrative court confirmed on Friday.

Germany opened the door to diesel bans in February when it allowed environmental groups to sue cities which fail to enforce Europe’s clean air rules, despite fierce lobbying to oppose bans from carmakers.

Disease

Newcastle Disease – USA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has detected virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Los Angeles County. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease, previously referred to as exotic Newcastle disease, in the U.S. since 2003.

Anthrax – Uganda

Outbreaks of human and animal anthrax have been reported in the Arua, Kween and Kiruhura districts of Uganda. Goats, sheep and cattle have been affected by the outbreaks. The UN Children’s Fund says ten animal and twelve human cases had been reported.

Ebola – DRC – Update

Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry says there is one new death from Ebola, bringing to 26 the number of deaths from the deadly outbreak in Equateur province in the country’s northwest.

Four new cases have been confirmed as Ebola, said the health ministry in a statement released early on Sunday. A total of 46 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been reported in the current outbreak, including 21 confirmed cases of Ebola, 21 probable and four suspected.

Volcanos

Hawaiian lava eruptions continue

Hawaii residents coping with Kilauea’s volcanic eruption faced a potentially deadly new hazard on Sunday as authorities warned that lava flows reaching the Pacific Ocean could produce noxious clouds of acid fumes, steam and tiny, glass-like particles.

The civil defense notices cautioned motorists, boaters and beachgoers to beware of caustic plumes of “laze” formed from two streams of hot lava pouring into the sea after cutting across Highway 137 on the south coast of Hawaii’s Big Island late on Saturday and early Sunday.

The bulletins also warned that reports of toxic sulfur dioxide gas being vented from various points around the volcano had tripled, urging residents to “take action necessary to limit further exposure.”

Laze – a term combining the words “lava” and haze” – is a mix of hydrochloric acid fumes, steam and fine volcanic glass specks created when erupting lava, which can reach 2 000 degrees Fahrenheit (1 093 degrees Celsius), reacts with sea water, Hawaii County Civil Defense said in a statement.

The lava also started a number of wildfires, which were contained by local authorities.

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Lava on road 1349912