Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm 29w (Kammuri), located approximately 169 nm northeast of Yap, is tracking west-southwestward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

DR Congo – Forty-one people died in the DR Congo capital Kinshasa after torrential overnight rains, with some swept away by landslides. Three of the city’s 26 districts were especially hit. A bridge connecting the districts of Lemba and Ngaba collapsed, and another was destroyed in the district of Kisenso. In Lemba, a gigantic hole appeared, about 10 meters (30 feet) deep and 20 meters (70 feet) across, where a road had been swept away. More than 300 homes have been flooded. There are many houses which have been destroyed.

Niger – 70,000 people have been affected by floods that have ruined homes and food reserves in Niger. The disaster has claimed over 40 lives and destroyed nearly 5,500 houses. Hitting during the country’s lean season, it has ruined livelihoods and precious food reserves.

Wildlife

Bison Beneficial to USA Grasslands

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Bison aren’t simply grazing as they move across the meadows of Yellowstone National Park. They are engineering the environment, manipulating the forage on the landscape and changing the way spring green-up occurs, researchers recently found, essentially rolling back spring as the migrate through the high country.

Their presence makes for longer, greener plant life in the spring, they found, and more nutritious grasses.

When bison head to the high country in the summer, researchers found, they graze so intensively that the grasses revert to an earlier stage of growth, essentially returning springtime conditions.

They found that areas where bison grazed heavily were more productive than areas where they kept bison out. Even NASA satellites can detect the difference between areas that are lightly grazed and heavily grazed.

Baby Pangolin Rescued

A rescued young Sunda pangolin takes his first tentative steps after being released back into the wild in Thailand. The Critically Endangered animal was being illegally kept in cramped conditions and constant darkness by a poacher, before being saved by local park rangers.

Believed to have been snatched at night by poachers searching for pangolins to sell, experts think he kept alive as the meat and scales of live pangolins reach a higher price on the black market than those of dead animals.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

More thunderstorms have rolled in across NSW bringing with them lightning strikes and the concerns they may have sparked more bushfires. Aircraft on Monday were kept busy searching for new bushfires from lightning strikes during thunderstorms at the weekend as firefighters continuing to battle dozens of blazes across the state.

More than 80 fires were burning at 7pm on Monday, 50 of them uncontained. More than 1300 firefighters remain in the field across NSW.

Wildfires – California

A new wildfire has been blazing near Santa Barbara ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Cave Fire quickly burned through 4,367 acres since it started Monday afternoon—and it remains 10% contained as of Tuesday evening, according to Cal Fire. Approximately 600 firefighters have been assigned and evacuation orders have been issued for more than 2,280 residents, while still other areas are under evacuation warning.

Disease

Measles – Samoa

In an update on the measles outbreak in Samoa, the Samoan government reported an additional 249 cases in the last 24 hours. This brings the outbreak total to 2,686 measles cases to date. An additional measles related death was reported, bringing the death tally to 33.

Measles – Global

Many countries around the world are experiencing measles outbreaks. As of 5 November 2019, there have been 440,263 confirmed cases reported to WHO through official monthly reporting by 187 Member States in 2019.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.4 earthquake hits the Adriatic Sea.

5.6 earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.4 earthquake hits the Adriatic Sea.

5.3 earthquake hits Myanmar.

5.3 earthquake hits Albania.

5.2 earthquake hits Bosnia and Herzegovina.

5.1 earthquake hits Albania.

5.1 earthquake hits offshore Atacama, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the Adriatic Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm 29w (Kammuri), located approximately 215 nm southeast of Andersen AFB, is tracking west-northwestward at 20 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 01p (Rita), located approximately 229 nm north-northeast of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking south-southwestward at 04 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Greece – Two people have been killed and hundreds of homes have been flooded following an overnight storm in Greece. Bodies of two tourists have been recovered near the port of Antirio, 250 kilometers (155 miles) west of Athens. The highway linking the Greek capital to the western port city of Patras has been closed following mudslides caused by heavy rainfall.

Djubouti – Since 21 November, Djibouti has experienced heavy rains which triggered flash floods across the country. In Djibouti city alone, initial estimates indicate that over 30,000-40,000 families (150,000-250,000 people) have been somewhat affected by the floods, and 9 people (7 children) have reportedly been killed. Reports indicate that between 21 and 24 November, almost 300mm of rain were recorded in Djibouti city alone, or over three times the annual average.

Global Warming

Global Coal Power Generation Falls

Electricity generated from coal-fired plants is set to fall by a record 3% this year, raising chances for slowing global carbon dioxide emissions growth, according to a report released by Carbon Brief.

The global usage rate for coal-fired generation this year is about 54% and suggests that electricity from the plants, which are built to run at or near capacity for extended periods, is more expensive, according to the report, which was written by researchers from several climate research groups, including the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. The decline comes even as new coal-fired generation capacity in places including China and Southeast Asia is rising.

Reindeer Herders at Risk From Vanishing Ice Due to Global Warming

Deep in the Sayan Mountains of northern Mongolia, patches of ice rest year-round in the crooks between hills.

Locals in this high tundra call the perennial snowbanks munkh mus, or eternal ice. They’re central to lives of the region’s traditional reindeer herders, who depend on the snowy patches for clean drinking water and to cool down their hoofed charges in summer months.

Now, a new study led by archaeologist William Taylor suggests that this eternal ice, and the people and animals it supports, may be at risk because of soaring global temperatures. The research team discovered, the once-reliable munkh mus is melting faster than at any time in recent history.

Reindeer are cold-loving animals and can overheat when the weather gets too warm. To compensate, the Tsaatan bring their herds to the ice to give them a break from the heat and the tundra’s abundant insects.

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Largest global assessment of ocean warming impacts

Climate change is reorganizing the life in our oceans in a big way: as waters warm, cold-loving species, from plankton to fish, leave the area and warm water species become more successful. So say an international group of scientists in the most comprehensive assessment of the effects of ocean warming on the distribution fish communities.

The results showed how subtle changes in the movement of species that prefer cold water or warm water, in response to rising temperatures, made a big impact on the global picture.

While the global warming trend was widely seen, the North Atlantic showed the largest rise in average temperature during the time period. However, for fish communities in the Labrador Sea, where the temperature at 100 meters deep can be as much as five degrees Celsius cooler than the surface, moving deeper in the water column allowed the cold-water species to remain successful.

Most of the data collected were targeted surveys of commercial fish stocks, so the changes seen reflect those likely to be seen in fish markets as cold-water fish like cod and haddock decline, while warm-water species like red mullet increase with warming.

There has been a temperature rise of almost one degree Celsius in some parts of the ocean since 1985.

Wildlife

Malaysia Says Goodbye to its last Sumatran Rhino

The last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia, a female dubbed “Iman,” died on Saturday (Nov. 23) at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary in Sabah, Malaysia. Her death at age 25 marks the extinction of her species in that country and is a grim reminder of the animals’ vulnerability; fewer than 80 wild Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) remain in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature

Disease

Plague – DR Congo

In a follow-up on the plague cluster reported in Ituri Province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), health officials have reported seven additional cases. Through November 3, 38 cases of bubonic plague including eight deaths have been reported.

Lassa Fever – Sierra Leone

This week, the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone formally notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of the Lassa fever outbreak in the country. To date, the Lassa fever cluster has accounted for eight cases, including three deaths.

Measles – DR Congo

In a follow-up on the measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), health officials have now reported 250,270 total cases through November 3. In addition, the measles death toll has risen to 5,110 in 2019. During the most recent week, officials saw an additional 7,559 measles cases including 172 deaths.

Measles – Tonga

In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Tonga, health authorities are reporting 310 confirmed or suspected measles cases through November 19.

Dengue Fever – Vietnam

Through October 11, the General Department of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health, Vietnam has reported 241,863 cases, including 43 deaths since the beginning of the year.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Costa Rica.

5.0 earthquake hits Guangxi, China.

5.0 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits western Mongolia.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Obi, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Post Tropical Cyclone Sebastien is located about 230 mi…370 km nnw of the Azores with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…ne or 55 degrees at 40 mph…65 km/h.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 01p (Rita), located approximately 344 nm north-northeast of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking southeastward at 08 knots.

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NewsBytes:

India – Eight hundred houses have been inundated on Sunday afternoon, after the bund of Hulimavu lake in Bengaluru breached. More than 200 people were evacuated.

France – Flooding and mudslides caused by heavy rainfall has claimed the lives of two people and left two missing in southern France. The area absorbed the equivalent of two months of average rainfall in 24 hours. The Nice airport was briefly closed.

Italy – A 30-meter section of highway along a viaduct in the coastal city of Savona has collapsed after heavy rains leaving cars perched perilously on a precipice.. A woman was found dead after the surging Bomida river swept away her car in northern Italy.

Italy – Venice has continued to be swamped by floods this weekend just 11 days after the city’s highest water levels in 50 years killed two people and caused chaos. New images show the floods continuing to plague the city as people wade through the streets and try to salvage their businesses as residents braced themselves for another, though smaller, high tide today.

Disease

Measles – Samoa

Authorities say the measles epidemic sweeping through Samoa continues to worsen with the death toll rising to 25, all but one of them young children.

The government of the South Pacific nation said Monday that more than 140 new cases of people contracting the virus have been recorded within the past day, bringing the total to about 2200 cases since the outbreak began last month.

Ebola – Malawi

An eight-year-old boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo who has shown signs of Ebola has been put under quarantine in Karonga. Malawi. The boy together with his parents travelled to Malawi from DRC through Burundi and Tanzania. In DRC, the family lived in South Kivu.

Karonga environmental officer Lewis Tukula said the family members attempted to evade Kaporo Immigration post but were intercepted at Iponga in the district. “He has all the signs of Ebola disease, he is vomiting, he has vomited six times, he has body weakness and high fever,” said Tukula. Medical samples of the child have been sent to Lilongwe for tests where it will be established if the child has the disease or not.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

6.1 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.8 earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

5.7 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 earthquake hits the west Chile rise.

5.1 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Tropical Storm Sebastien is located about 730 mi…1175 km w of the Azores with maximum sustained winds…65 mph…100 km/h. Present movement…ne or 50 degrees at 33 mph…54 km/h.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 01p (One), located approximately 452 nm north of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking eastward at 08 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Mozambique – Severe weather in Gondola district of the Manica province in Mozambique has claimed the lives of at least three people. Two people died when a lightning struck the house in Nhachoco and Maguiguane regions of Mozambique. One woman died after swept away by the flooded Mussatua River.

Kenya – Landslides caused by severe weather have claimed the lives of at least 24 people in in West Pokot county, Kenya. Seven children died in the landslide disaster and severely affected Nyarkulian and Parua villages of Kenya. According to the Kenya Red Cross, in Mikinduri, Meru County, a number of houses have been reportedly swept away after river Thanantu broke it’s banks.

UK – Flash floods caused sudden road closures, car crashes and left entire villages cut off in the south west of England. Exton has also been ravaged by flooding and villagers in Kennford in the early hours were forced to pump out water outside their homes in a battle to protect their community. The River Teign is subject to a flood warning issued by the Environment Agency over fears it may rise above its banks and flood homes.

Wildlife

Koalas ‘Functionally Extinct’ After Australia Bushfires

As Australia experiences record-breaking drought and bushfires, koala populations have dwindled along with their habitat, leaving them “functionally extinct.”

The chairman of the Australian Koala Foundation, Deborah Tabart, estimates that over 1,000 koalas have been killed from the fires and that 80 percent of their habitat has been destroyed.

Recent bushfires, along with prolonged drought and deforestation has led to koalas becoming “functionally extinct” according to experts.

Functional extinction is when a population becomes so limited that they no longer play a significant role in their ecosystem and the population becomes no longer viable. While some individuals could produce, the limited number of koalas makes the long-term viability of the species unlikely and highly susceptible to disease.

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