Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.2 earthquake hits east of Severnaya Zemlya, Russia.

5.1 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.1 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.


Worst Locust Swarm to Hit East Africa in Decades

East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said that Ethiopia and Somalia had not seen a swarm this bad in 25 years, while Kenya was facing its largest infestation in 70 years. Vulnerable families that were already dealing with food shortages now face the prospect of watching as their crops are destroyed before their eyes.

The desert locust swarm came across the Red Sea from Yemen and was encouraged by heavy rains in late 2019, according to BBC News. The UN was already warning that the infestation could spread from Ethiopia in November. Some farmers in the country’s Amhara region lost 100 percent of their crops, and a swarm forced an Ethiopian passenger plane off course in December.

Locusts can travel 93 miles a day, and each adult can eat its weight in food in the same time span. A small swarm can eat enough food to feed 35,000 people in 24 hours, The Associated Press reported, and the locusts have already infested around 172,973 acres of land in Kenya.

Rainy conditions expected in March could cause the locust swarms to grow by a factor of 500 before drier weather is expected in June, the UN said.

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Novel Coronavirus

Sri Lanka – Officials in Sri Lanka say they have the first confirmed case of novel coronavirus in a Chinese tourist.

Japan – Two additional novel coronavirus cases have been reported in Japan, bringing the case total in the country to six, with the first case not linked to China travel.

Thailand – Health officials in Thailand reported an additional six confirmed novel coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s tally to 14.

Germany – Health officials in Germany are reporting (computer translated) the first confirmed novel coronavirus (2019-NoCv) case in the country. The patient is from the district of Starnberg in Bavaria.

Canada – Officials in Ontario, Canada confirmed that the wife of the province’s first case of Wuhan novel coronavirus has tested positive for the virus at Ontario’s public health laboratory.

Cambodia – The Cambodia Ministry of Health reported in a press release (see below) the first confirmed case of novel coronavirus. The case was detected Monday in a 60-year-old Chinese man who arrived from Wuhan on last Thursday.