Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

6.0 earthquake hits the northern east Pacific rise.

5.5 earthquake hits northern Peru.

5.2 earthquake hits north of Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.


Malaysia – Flash floods brought by heavy rain and overflowing rivers have inundated several parts of Santubong and Bako housing areas near Kuching. Several kampung are under about two feet of water as of Saturday (Jan 19) morning.

California, USA – At least six people are now reported dead after torrential rains flooded roadways, downed trees and sent massive boulders tumbling down hillsides in California. A boulder severely injured a hiker in Malibu and emergency workers found their vehicles pummeled by rocks. Neighborhoods scorched by recent wildfires were evacuated and some streets looked more like rivers in Malibu. Further east, debris from one of the burn areas rushed through a community, but caused only minor damage.

Collapsing Polar Vortex

The blast of Arctic weather headed for the United States this weekend could be a first sign of still worse things to come this winter, with signs that a circular low-pressure system of swirling winds that normally keeps frigid air locked up at the North Pole has been disrupted and split into smaller parts.

The disruption in this counterclockwise-spinning beast, called the polar vortex, is thought to be caused in part by a warm summer over the Arctic and a relatively cold fall over Siberia. The result for the United States and northern Europe? A severe winter lasting throughout February and possibly into March.

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Global Warming

Climate Change A Threat to US Military Bases

The US defence department has issued a dire report on how climate change could affect the nation’s armed forces and security, warning that rising seas could inundate coastal bases and drought-fueled wildfires could endanger inland ones.

The 22-page assessment delivered to Congress on Thursday says about two-thirds of 79 mission-essential military installations in the US that were reviewed are vulnerable to current or future flooding, with more than half vulnerable to current or future drought. About half also are at risk from wildfires, including the threat of mudslides and erosion from rains following the blazes.


Bovine Companions

Delhi’s development minister announced a controversial plan to house abandoned cows alongside senior citizens, who will care for the animals — considered holy by many in India.

Gopal Rai points out how the Indian capital’s cow shelters are teeming with bovines abandoned by their owners once they dry up, while old people are put into nursing homes to live out their remaining days virtually alone.

He proposes adding an old-age home to a modernized 18-acre cattle shelter in southwestern Delhi, where “cows and senior citizens will coexist, taking care of each other.”

But a leading animal rights advocate says the scheme is “unethical because the government will be using the senior citizens living there for their labor.”