Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Queensland, Australia – Australia’s military has been deployed to tackle devastating “once-in-a-century” floods that have inundated homes, schools and airports in the country’s northeast, forcing hundreds to flee and bringing crocodiles onto the streets. The Australian Defence Forces filled sandbags, deployed amphibious cargo vehicles and helped pluck flashlight-wielding residents from their rooftops Monday, as monsoon rains drenched the northern state of Queensland. Australia’s tropical north typically experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season, but the recent downpour has far exceeded normal levels. In Townsville the residents have been warned that the peak of the floods has not yet arrived.

South Africa – Mop-up operations are underway following significant rainfall that led to flooding in the Little Karoo and Garden Route District. The Meiringspoort pass between Oudtshoorn and Beaufort West has also been reopened after it was closed due to streams of water flowing down. Some homes were flooded, while others were damaged by strong winds.

Italy – St Mark’s square and alleyways in Venice’s historic centre were affected by flooding on Saturday, after heavy rains caused an unusually high tide. Tourists and residents were seen using wooden platforms to cross the square, while some braved the high flood levels, walking through the water in rubber boots. Elsewhere in Italy, firefighters used ropes and planks of wood to rescue three teenagers from a muddy river after their car swerved off the road in heavy rain. Flash floods had caused the river Cornea, near the Tuscan city of Pisa, to burst its banks and the teenagers’ car had become blocked after they had attempted to cross the swollen waterway.

Disease

Saudi Arabia – Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health reported an additional four Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection today bringing the total to 20 cases in 2019. The most recent cases are from Riyadh (1) and Wadi Aldwasir (3) and one patient had contact with camels.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.7 earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

5.5 earthquake hits the west Chile rise.

5.4 earthquake hits serum, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

5.1 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Near Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Ecuador.

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.

NewsBytes:

California, USA – The second in a string of powerful storms battered California on Saturday, shutting key highways after water and mud rushed into lanes from bare hillsides in wildfire burn areas where thousands of residents were under evacuation orders. Flash flood warnings were issued for huge swaths of Southern California and forecasters said the system brought more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain at lower elevations and several feet of snow in the mountains, where whiteout conditions closed roads. A wind gust in Santa Barbara County topped 80 mph (128 kph) as the storm moved south and at one point dropped more than a half-inch (1.27 centimeters) of rain in five minutes. Trees and power lines were down across the region.

Queensland, Australia – Once in a century floods have turned streets into rivers and forced thousands to abandon their homes in northeast Australia, with authorities warning of further downpours over the next few days. Australia’s tropical north experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season at this time of the year, but the recent deluge has surged far above normal levels. Thousands of residents in the city of Townsville in northeast Queensland were without power and up to 20,000 homes are at risk of being inundated if the rains continue.

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Disease

Pertussis – Panama

Health officials in Panama are reporting an outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough in the Ngäbe Buglé region since mid-December, according to an El Siglo report. To date, 81 confirmed cases have been reported, including nine fatalities in children under two years of age.

Swine Flu – Morocco

An outbreak of swine flu in Morocco has left nine people dead in the past week, the kingdom’s health minister said Saturday. H1N1 is a respiratory disease contracted through contact between humans and pigs and transmitted between people through inhalation. A major H1N1 outbreak sparked a World Health Organization pandemic alert in June 2009. It killed around 18,500 people in 214 countries before the alert was lifted in August 2010

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.4 earthquake hits Chiapas, Mexico.

6.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.7 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.5 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.4 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.4 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.3 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.3 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits northern Xinjiang, China.

5.0 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Jan Mayan Island.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Midwest USA – Tens of millions of Americans braved Arctic-like temperatures on Thursday as low as minus 56 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 49 Celsius) that paralysed the US Midwest and were blamed for at least 25 deaths. Warmer-than-normal weather was on the way, but that offered little comfort to vulnerable populations such as the homeless and elderly enduring cold that caused frostbite in minutes and made being outside potentially deadly, the most severe cases risked having fingers and toes amputated.

Queensland, Australia – Queensland authorities have said the state’s north was entering “unprecedented territory” as more monsoon rains battered the city of Townsville, setting record flood levels and destroying homes. As the natural disaster entered its four day, the state emergency service confirmed on Saturday that 80 people had been rescued. It was too early to quantify the damage to homes, although some media reports said at least 50 homes had been affected so far. The worst of the conditions were expected over the next two days.

Cold Wave – Algeria

On 11 January, Algeria was hit by a cold wave with heavy snow and rainfalls which further intensified on 13 January. Severe weather conditions were reported to have affected 25 out of 48 governorates of Algeria. Extreme weather has resulted in widespread chaos, leaving 8 people dead, 25 people wounded, damage to powerlines and other key infrastructure, more than 151 roads becoming unpassable due to snow and floods, and to the loss of shelter and livelihoods in more than 300 villages and communes across the country.

Disease

Rift Valley Fever – Mayotte

In the Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and the coast of Mozambique sits the archipelago of Mayotte, a Department of France. Health officials have reported (computer translated) an increase in autochthonous Rift Valley fever (RVF) cases in the past six weeks. Since the first human case was detected on Dec. 11, 2018, health officials have reported 19 human cases.

Hepatitis A – Kentucky, USA

The largest hepatitis A outbreak in the nation continues to get larger as Kentucky health officials reported the updated outbreak case this past week. With the 79 cases reported during the fourth week on 2019, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) now puts the outbreak total at 3,919, since August 2017.

Chikungunya – Malayasia

The Selangor State Health Department reported yesterday that as of January 31, 2019, 14 patients with symptoms of Chikungunya have been detected.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.2 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits Costa Rica.

5.0 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Midwest USA – The blast of Arctic air that brought record-breaking cold, causing at least a dozen deaths and cancelling or delaying thousands of flights in the US Midwest, spread eastward on Friday, bringing frigid misery to the Northeast.

Wildlife

Massive Fish Die Off

Australia’s record heat and severe drought this Southern Hemisphere summer have led to the deaths of more than a million fish in some drought-stricken areas.

Residents along New South Wales’ Darling River report seeing a “sea of white” as dead fish blanketed the waterway near the Outback town of Menindee. Low water levels, toxic algae and oxygen depletion are said to be the main causes of the die-offs.

Australia’s back-to-back heat waves in recent weeks have pushed the endurance of humans and animals, as well as the country’s power grid, to the limit. Many Australians, used to broiling summers, say the season seems to be growing hotter.

Britain’s Hares Dying

Britain’s wild brown hares are being made ill and killed by a pathogen found to be the deadly rabbit hemorrhagic disease type 2.

Numbers of the beloved animals, which have a special place in British folklore, have plummeted by about 80 percent in recent decades, manly due to a shift to intensive agriculture that has destroyed their habitats and food supplies.

Members of the public who come across dead hares are asked to contact biological scientist Diana Bell of the University of East Anglia so the bodies can be tested for disease. She says the hemorrhagic disease is only one of two pathogens being found in dead hares.

EWCOLOR

Vanishing Stars

The once abundant sunflower starfish that lives along the Pacific coast of North America is disappearing at an alarming rate due to a combination of warming waters and infectious diseases.

A new US study found that the population of the species declined by 80 to 100 percent in the waters from Alaska southward to California during the three years beginning in 2013.

Researcher Joseph Gaydos, of the University of California, Davis, says the ravenous manhole-cover-sized starfish are important to the seabed ecology because they keep the sea urchin population under control.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Port Augusta, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53.0 degrees Celsius) at Oimyakon, Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Disease

Measles – Ukraine – Update

Ukraine health officials reported an additional 3,279 measles during the fourth week of the year (1,350 adults and 1,299 children), bringing the total to 11,757 people from December 28, 2018 to January 25, 2019. In addition, another measles fatality was reported, bring the total to six, including two children.

Deaths within 30 Days After Surgery

Around the world, 4.2 million people die every year within 30 days of undergoing surgery – with half of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries, says a study in medical journal The Lancet. There is also a significant unmet need for surgery in these countries.

Researchers at the universities of Cape Town (UCT) and Birmingham say that if all patients who needed operations had them, the number of global postoperative deaths would increase to 6.1 million a year.

Foot and Mouth Disease – India

An outbreak of the highly contagious viral foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has been reported in Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Neighboring States have put quarantine measures in place to prevent the spread of the disease.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Volcanoes Today, 1 February 2019

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Tokyo (VAAC) issued the following report: ERUPTION AT 20190201/0027Z FL260 REPORTED OBS VA DTG:01/0040Z

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Tokyo (VAAC) issued the following report: EXPLODED AT 20190201/0500Z FL060 EXTD SE OBS VA DTG:01/0450Z

Fuego (Guatemala): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: VA EM.

Reventador (Ecuador): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Washington warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 15000 ft (4600 m) altitude or flight level 150.

Sabancaya (Peru): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Buenos Aires (VAAC) issued the following report: INTERMITTENT EMISSIONS OF VA

Planchón-Peteroa (Central Chile and Argentina): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Buenos Aires warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 15000 ft (4600 m) altitude or flight level 150 and is moving at 15 kts in ENE direction.

Nevados de Chillán (Central Chile): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Buenos Aires (VAAC) issued the following report: INTERMITTENT PULSES OF VA