Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer – Kansas

Officials with the Kansas wildlife department released new numbers of the monitoring of the prevalence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Kansas deer in an update and what they report is of the 360 deer tested this year to date, 37 were confirmed positive for the transmissible spongiform encephalopathie (TSE).

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.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the MacQuarie Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits Jujuy, Argentina.

5.0 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

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

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 02w (Wutip), located approximately 172 nm west of Navsta, Guam, is tracking west-northwestward at 04 knots.

NewsBytes:

USA – A tornado smashed into a commercial district in the small Mississippi city of Columbus on Saturday afternoon, shattering businesses as severe storms raked the South amid days of drenching rains and a rising flood threat. Elsewhere around the South, homes, highways, parks and bridges have been flooded or put out of commission amid the heavy rains and severe storms. News outlets report that water rescues have been performed in some Middle Tennessee counties. Flash flood warnings and watches remained in place throughout the South and one Mississippi community reported large hail. Interstate 40 near the Tennessee line with North Carolina was closed by a rockslide, one of the dozens of roads and highways shut down throughout the South region, transportation officials said.

Disease

Disease Outbreaks in Sudan

The Sudan Liberation Movement has reported an increase in the cases of pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles and anaemia, and incidences of miscarriage in several areas of Jebel Marra. The rebel movement holds several areas in Jebel Marra under its control, which is the main reason why the Sudanese government does not allow access there for humanitarian aid assistance. The diseases have led to numerous deaths among children.

“These diseases, of which no causes have yet been identified, are increasing,” the movement claimed, expressing its concern for a larger outbreak of diseases in the rebel-hold areas.

The Sudanese government, after its decision to expel international aid organisations from Jebel Marra and Darfur, has prevented the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) and humanitarian organisations from reaching the areas under the rebels’ control.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 357 nm west-northwest of Kingston Island, is tracking southeastward at 09 knots.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 02w (Wutip), located approximately 170 nm southwest of Andersen AFB, Guam, is tracking northwestward at 09 knots.

NewsBytes:

Guam – The island had already started feeling the impacts of Typhoon Wutip this morning. Typhoon Wutip is pouring rain on the island. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning.

USA – Rounds of rare weather, including floods, snowfall and the risk of a tornado outbreak. have been paralyzing communities across the U.S. this week. The rare phenomenon known as “thundersnow” occurred in both Ohio and Maryland. For the first time in more than a decade, measurable snow fell in Las Vegas, where a half-inch dusted the ground. Flagstaff, AZ, has seen more than 14 inches of snow. The same winter storm that brought the heavy snow triggered an emergency in Prescott, AZ. Torrential rains, up to 6 inches in some places, triggered floods and mudslides in the South. Flooding broke the banks of many rivers that were already at or above flood stage, turning many roads into rivers, and completely destroying some – as the risk of a tornado outbreak threatens a large area of the Southeast this weekend.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Fireball at Yosemite

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As meltwater plunges 1,500 feet (457 meters) to the ground from the El Capitan rock formation in February, the setting sun throws its light against the falls. If the sky is clear and the sun is positioned precisely in the western sky, that setting sunlight paints the the water with fiery orange, yellow and pink light.

Dragon and Phoenix Auroras over Iceland

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Wildlife

Right Whale Baby Boom

Scientists are expressing hope for the recovery of the endangered Atlantic right whale population after seven of the species’ calves were spotted off Florida this winter.

Only about 450 North Atlantic right whales are believed to remain after whaling drove the species to near extinction before hunting them was banned in 1937.

Right whale mothers typically give birth about every four years. Researcher Katie Jackson of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says about 16 to 18 calves need to be born each year just to maintain the current small population.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.7 earthquake hits the Peru-Ecuador border.

5.5 earthquake hits near the coast of Ecuador.

5.5 earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.2 earthquake hits southern Peru.

5.1 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 343 nm east of Brisbane, Australia, is tracking southward at 13 knots.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 02w (Wutip), located approximately 291 nm south-southeast of Andersen AFB, Guam, is tracking northwestward at 13 knots.

NewsBytes:

Pakistan – Pakistani officials say flash floods and heavy winter rains have led to the deaths of 12 people in the country’s southwest and central regions. Flash floods submerged villages near the southwestern town of Lasbella, killing three people there and affecting 200 families. In central Pakistan, nine were killed in three incidents of roofs on houses collapsing amid the rains, four of them in the city of Multan.