Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits eastern Sichuan, China.

5.1 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Sumbawa region, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific: Tropical Storm 36w (Pabuk), located approximately 301 nm south-southwest of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is tracking northwestward at 09 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 08p (Penny), located approximately 470 nm east-northeast of Cairns, Australia, is tracking east-southeastward at 15 knots.

Tropical cyclone 09p (Mona), located approximately 330 nm north of Suva, Fiji, is tracking southward at 12 knots.


Space Events

China Makes 1st-Ever Landing on Moon’s Mysterious Far Side

China’s robotic Chang’e 4 mission touched down on the floor of the 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) Von Kármán Crater Wednesday night (Jan. 2), pulling off the first-ever soft landing on the mysterious lunar far side.

Chang’e 4 will perform a variety of science work over the coming months, potentially helping scientists better understand the structure, formation and evolution of Earth’s natural satellite.


African swine fever: Large outbreak – China

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported today on a large African swine fever (ASF) outbreak on a Suihua City farm in Mingshui County in Heilongjiang Province. The farm, which has 73,000 pigs, reportedly had 4,686 confirmed cases in pigs and 3,766 confirmed dead.

Ebola – DR Congo – Update

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reached a grim new milestone in the Ebola outbreak that began August 1: The total number of probable patients is 608 as of Wednesday, with 368 deaths, the Ministry of Health said. An additional 29 people who doctors suspect may be sick with Ebola are under investigation. The ministry also reported that 207 people have recovered from the life-threatening illness.