Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.7 earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.2 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Western Pacific Ocean : Tropical Storm 21w (Neoguri), located approximately 119 nm south-southeast of Yokosuka, Japan, is tracking north-northeastward at 17 knots.

Typhoon Bualoi (22w), located approximately 438 nm south-southeast of Iwo To, is tracking north-northwestward at 12 knots.

NewsBytes:

Somalia – Moderate to heavy rains continued in many parts of Somalia and within the Ethiopian highlands over the last week. River levels at Belet Weyne (Shabelle) are currently very high. Latest reports received in the evening of 21 October indicate that nearly 40 per cent of Belet Weyne town has been affected by flooding with an estimated 72,000 people having moved to Ceel Jaale highlands and surrounding areas. All villages in the north of Belet Weyne town have been affected and humanitarian partners are yet to establish the number of people displaced in these areas.

Texas, USA – A destructive tornado touched down in the northeastern part of Dallas on Sunday night (Oct. 20), knocking out power for more than 150,000 residents and causing significant property damage. Though the tornado cut through a densely populated area, no storm-related deaths have been reported.

India – In less than two months, North Karnataka districts have been hit by heavy rain and floods again. On Monday, the latest spell of torrential rain claimed four lives and two boys were swept away in separate incidents. Flood water inundated agricultural fields and entered houses in several parts of the State.

Global Warming

Climate change making stronger El Ninos

Climate change is making stronger El Ninos, which change weather worldwide and heat up an already warming planet, a new study finds.

Scientists examined 33 El Ninos — natural warming of equatorial Pacific that triggers weather extremes across the globe — since 1901. They found since the 1970s, El Ninos have been forming farther to the west in warmer waters, leading to stronger El Ninos in some cases.

A powerful El Nino can trigger drought in some places, like Australia and India. And it can cause flooding in other areas like California. The Pacific gets more hurricanes during an El Nino and the Atlantic gets fewer.

The shift for the origin of El Nino by hundreds of miles from the east of the International Dateline to the west of that point is important because the water to the west is naturally warmer.

Before 1978, 12 of the 14 El Ninos formed in the east. After 1978, all 11 were more central or western, according a study in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

There have been three “super” El Ninos, starting in 1982, 1997 and 2015 and all started in the west. During each of those El Ninos, the world broke new average temperature records.

Ozone Hole Shrinks

Abnormal weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica dramatically limited ozone depletion in September and October. This resulted in the smallest ozone hole observed since 1982, NASA and NOAA scientists said.

Endangered Antarctic Glacier Could Soon Calve a Massive New Iceberg

Two cracks are growing in western Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier, and they are an ominous warning that major ice loss is on the way. Two large rifts have widened near the edge of Pine Island Glacier on the West Antarctic ice sheet. If they continue to grow, they could release an iceberg four times bigger than Manhattan.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A bush fire east of Narrabri is expected to burn for a number of weeks due to steep terrain, so North West residents may see smoke. The Kaputar fire continues to spread in all directions under variable winds, and approximately 7800 hectares are already burnt in the Kaputar National Park. No properties are currently under threat.

Wildfires – Colorado, USA

The Middle Mamm fire continues to burn, it is about 10 miles east of Rifle. It has burned about 1,235 acres and containment is around thirty-four percent.

The Cow Creek fire is about nine miles east of ridgeway. The Forest Service says it has now grown to 785 acres.

Disease

Rubber Tree Fugal Disease – Thailand

A key rubber tree-growing area in Thailand has been hit by an outbreak of a fungal disease, which could halve the area’s output. Thailand is the world’s top producer and exporter of the natural rubber, accounting for up to 40% of global rubber supply.

The disease, called Pestalotiopsis, has spread into Thailand after hitting plantations in neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia. The three countries account for around 70% of the world’s natural rubber production.

The Rubber Authority of Thailand said the disease, which causes leaves to turn yellow and spotted as it spreads, was recently found in three districts in Narathiwat, a key rubber growing province in southern Thailand.

Measles – Lebanon

Lebanon health officials are reporting a measles outbreak in the country. Since November 2018, a total of 1,171 cases have been reported and no deaths. Measles cases have been reported in all eight Lebanese governorates.

Lassa Fever – Nigeria

Nigerian health officials reported five additional confirmed Lassa fever cases in the week ending Oct. 13. No deaths were reported. This brings the outbreak total for 2019 to 726 confirmed cases, including 154 deaths (21% CFR).