Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Santa Cruz Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Super Typhoon 02w (Wutip), located approximately 237 nm north of Ulithi, is tracking north-northwestward at 04 knots.

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Wildlife

Poaching Pangolins

Conservationists are concerned over the rate at which a group of unique African and Asian scaly mammals called pangolins are being trafficked and hunted for their meat.

It’s estimated that 21 pangolins are taken out of the wild every hour and about a million have been removed from their natural habitats in the last decade.

In mid-January, Hong Kong seized more than eight tonnes of pangolin scales and nearly two tonnes of ivory. Two weeks later, Ugandan authorities seized 762 pieces of ivory and 423 kilograms of pangolin scales bound for Vietnam.

Just a few days later, a shipment of close to 30 metric tonnes of both dead and live pangolins, pangolin scales and pangolin meat was seized in Malaysia. The shipment also included two legs of a sun bear. The seizure in Hong Kong alone would have been supplied by hundreds of elephants and thousands of pangolins. All of these animals were illegally poached and trafficked by transnational organised criminal networks.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Corsica

French authorities say firefighters are trying to contain a wildfire that spread overnight near a small village on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

Authorities in Haute-Corse, the prefecture covering the northern part of the island, said strong winds fed 20 wildfires that started in several places on Saturday. More than 1,500 acres were burnt near the town of Calenzana but no damage was caused to houses and no serious injuries have been reported.

Disease

Wild Poliovirus – Asia

Officials with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) reported three additional wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases in the past week–one in Afghanistan and two in Pakistan.

Measles – Philippines

The Department of Health in the region of CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces) has been one of the hardest hit regions in the Philippines this year when it comes to the measles epidemic. According to health department data, a total of 3,384 measles cases with 83 deaths in the region from January 1 to February 23. Meanwhile the number of measles deaths in the Philippines has risen to 203.

African Swine Fever – China

China on Sunday (Feb 24) confirmed two new outbreaks of African swine fever, one in the northern province of Hebei and the other in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, as the highly contagious disease spreads through the world’s largest hog herd.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said the first outbreak is on a farm in the Xushui district of Baoding city which has 5,600 hogs, some of which died because of the swine fever, though it did not give a death toll. The farm has been quarantined and the herd slaughtered, it added.

The second outbreak is in the remote Greater Khingan Mountains in Inner Mongolia, where 210 of the 222 wild boar raised on the farm died, the ministry said in a separate statement. The rest have been slaughtered, it said.

China has reported more than 100 cases of the disease in 27 provinces and regions since last August. The disease is deadly for pigs but does not harm humans.