Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits east of the Kuril Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits Trinidad and Tobago.

5.0 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 earthquake hits Simeulue, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 25p (Harold), located approximately 337 nm west of Suva, Fiji, is tracking east-southeastward at 15 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Solomon Islands – Tropical Cyclone Harold has claimed the lives of at least seven people and left 21 other missing across the Solomon Islands, after a passenger ferry was washed away due to storm surge. Harold made landfall over Vanuatu’s southwest coast of Espiritu Santo Island today.

Wildlife

Great Barrier Reef suffers worst-ever coral bleaching

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has suffered its most widespread coral bleaching on record, scientists said in a dire warning about the threat posed by climate change to the world’s largest living organism.

James Cook University professor Terry Hughes said a comprehensive survey last month found record sea temperatures had caused the third mass bleaching of the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef system in just five years.

Bleaching occurs when healthy corals become stressed by changes in ocean temperatures, causing them to expel algae living in their tissues which drains them of their vibrant colours.

“We surveyed 1,036 reefs from the air during the last two weeks in March to measure the extent and severity of coral bleaching throughout the Barrier Reef region,” Hughes said.

“For the first time, severe bleaching has struck all three regions of the Great Barrier Reef –- the northern, central and now large parts of the southern sectors.”

The damage came as February brought the highest monthly sea temperatures on the Great Barrier Reef since Australia began keeping records in 1900.

Disease

COVID-19

Worldwide fatalities are over 74,870. More than 1,350,841 people have been infected.

USA – The number of people infected with the virus in the United States hit more than 367 758 000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, with the number of fatalities surpassing 10,981.

New York – New York City has reported 2,738 deaths from nearly 68,776 cases. Some 4,758 deaths have been recorded statewide from 130,703 cases.

Italy – The country’s total cases is 132,547. More deaths were also reported bringing the total to 16,523.

Germany – The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has reached 103,375. Meanwhile, the death toll rose to over 1,810.

Spain – Spain reported 13,798 deaths with over 140,000 cases.

France – France has confirmed nearly 74,390 cases of the coronavirus with 8,911 deaths.

UK – The UK has now recorded 51,608 cases and the death toll has risen to 5,373.

Monkeypox – DR Congo

During the week ending March 15, health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reported an additional 73 suspected cases of monkeypox, bringing the total to 1,471 suspected cases including 18 deaths were reported in the country.

Measles – DR Congo

During the first 12 weeks of 2020, a total of 42,143 suspected cases have been reported, with 527 deaths (case fatality ratio 1.3%). As of 22 March 2020, there has been a total of 353,551 cases and 6,558 deaths.