Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.6 earthquake hits south of Java, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Nicobar Islands off India.

5.0 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits offshore Tarapaca, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the Jilin-Heilongjiang border, China.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Mali – The Malian capital of Bamako was on Thursday struck by heavy floods which claimed at least 15 lives and inflicted serious property damage, authorities said. Flooding is common in Mali, located in the semi-desert Sahel region.

West Virginia, USA – Overnight rainfall in excess of five inches in some areas closed roads and schools, flooded homes and stranded motorists, displacing residents and washing away bridges.

Environment

Heavy metals and harmful chemicals ‘poison Europe’s seas’

Heavy metals and a cocktail of dangerous chemicals continue to poison Europe’s seas, with more than three-quarters of areas assessed showing contamination, according to a report.

The sea worst affected was the Baltic, where 96% of the assessed areas showed problematic levels of some harmful substances, according to the European Environment Agency. Similar problems were found in 91% of the Black Sea and 87% of the Mediterranean. In the north-east Atlantic, unsafe levels of chemicals or metals were found in 75% of assessed areas.

However, in most areas the situation was improving, as many of the toxic substances that have washed into the seas – such as the pesticide DDT and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – are now subject to bans or severe restrictions. The improvement in the breeding success of the white-tailed sea eagle in the Baltic, for instance, is attributed to the decline in DDT. A continuing problem is with flame-retardant chemicals, which are still used and still found in waterways, and DDT from Africa is still leaching into the Mediterranean.

Disease

Measles – Japan

In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Japan, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Tokyo reports 467 cases through May 9. This is the highest number of measles cases recorded during the same time period in a decade.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

From 9 through 30 April 2019, the National International Health Regulations (IHR) Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported nine additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including three deaths.