Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.2 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.0 earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression 02e (Amanda), located approximately 1798 nm east-southeast of San Diego, is tracking northward at 12 knots.

NewsBytes:

El Salvador – At least seven people have died and hundreds have been moved to makeshift shelters due to the persistent rain across El Salvador since Friday, which has caused flooding and landslides. Hundreds of families continue to be at risk of losing their homes due to landslides and subsidence in vulnerable areas.

Kenya – More than 600 families in Lamu County have been left in the cold after their houses were submerged by ravaging floods. The floods, which mostly affected Chalaluma, Moa and Dide Waride villages in Witu Division, Lamu West were caused by River Tana and the Nyongoro tributary which broke their banks recently due to the ongoing heavy rains.

New Zealand – Parts of the Coromandel Peninsula were closed due to flooding as the first day of winter made its presence felt. Heavy rain and blustery winds hammered the upper North Island on Monday. Coromandel Peninsula got a drenching overnight, causing slips, closing roads and making travel treacherous on the long weekend.

Environment

Trees are Getting Shorter and Younger

The world’s collective forests have become shorter and younger overall in the past 50 years, according to a study published in the journal Science on Friday. This means that forests have less capacity to remove carbon from the atmosphere and are less hospitable to the many species that rely on them for shelter.

The team of researchers reviewed more than 160 previous studies, analysed satellite imagery, and created models to examine how forests changed between 1900 and 2015. They found that over that 115-year period, the world has lost 14 per cent of its forests to tree harvesting alone. That includes 30 per cent of old growth forests, which are home to trees more than 140 years old and are generally tall and biodiverse.

In different places, this loss is happening at different rates and for different reasons. While wildfires are driving forest loss in Australia and Mongolia. California has seen massive wildfires and beetle infestations. And logging in the Amazon rainforest is increasing. There are some rare exceptions. Tree mortality in parts of the Pacific Northwest, for instance, is decreasing.

But though the changes vary regionally, the impact will be felt globally. Eighty per cent of Earth’s terrestrial land-based plant and animal species live in forests. Old growth forests tend to be highly biodiverse and are home to more endangered species. They also store massive amounts of carbon dioxide.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – UK

Firefighters in Scotland, Surrey and Lancashire were tackling ‘significant’ blazes yesterday after warning that scarce rainfall and dry vegetation would provide ‘all of the ingredients’ for wildfires to spread. It comes as one of the country’s driest ever May’s came to an end, in one of the sunniest springs on record. Temperatures reached highs of 28C yesterday – far higher than the average for the time of year, the Met Office said.

Disease

COVID-19

The countries with the 10 greatest number of Covid-19 cases:

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Dengue Fever – Costa Rica

The Costa Rica Ministry of Health has reported 2,689 dengue fever cases year to date. This is triple the number of cases reported during the same period last year (920).