Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.0 earthquake hits off the coast of Aisen, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the Sumba region, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression (td) 03w (Three), located approximately 170 nm east of Davao in the Philippines, is tracking westward at 16 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 19s (Savannah), located approximately 1115 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking west-southwestward at 08 knots.

Tropical cyclone 20p (Trevor), located approximately 280 nm north of Cairns, Australia, is tracking westward at 07 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Indonesia – Flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua have killed at least 58 people, injured dozens and displaced more than 4,000, authorities said on Sunday. A search for more possible victims was underway in the town of Sentani, which was hit by flash floods late on Saturday. Fifty-one people were killed and 74 injured there. Heavy rain caused landslides in the nearby provincial capital of Jayapura, killing seven there.

Space Events

US detects huge meteor explosion

At about noon local time on 18 December, the asteroid barrelled through the atmosphere at a speed of 32km/s, on a steep trajectory of seven degrees. Measuring several metres in size, the space rock exploded 25.6km above the Earth’s surface, with an impact energy of 173 kilotons 10 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

The blast was the second largest of its kind in 30 years, and the biggest since the fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russia six years ago. It was 40% the energy release of Chelyabinsk, but it was over the Bering Sea so it didn’t have the same type of effect or show up in the news.

A fireball this big is only expected about two or three times every 100 years.

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Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the Lombok region, Indonesia.

5.4 earthquake hits Mindoro in the Philippines.

5.2 earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

5.2 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits Potosi, Bolivia.

5.0 earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression (td) 03w (Three), located approximately 30 nm west of Koror, Palau, is tracking westward at 08 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 19s (Savannah), located approximately 450 nm southwest of Cocos Island, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 06 knots.

Wildlife

US wildlife officials move to strip grey wolves of protected status

US wildlife officials want to strip grey wolves of their remaining endangered species protections and declare the species recovered following a decades-long restoration effort.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service proposal released Thursday would put wolves under state authority and allow hunting in more areas.

Critics argue the move is premature, with wolves still absent across most of their historic range.

Government officials say their goal was to protect against extinction, not restore wolves everywhere.

Trapping, poisoning and hunting exterminated wolves across most of the Lower 48 early last century. They bounced back under federal protection, and more than 6,000 now live in portions of nine states.

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Global Warming

Students Around the World Protest Climate Change

Thousands of school pupils worldwide have abandoned classrooms for a day of protest against climate change. India, South Korea, Australia and the US are among the countries where teenagers are already on strike.

The day of action is expected to embrace about 100 countries. The globally co-ordinated children’s protests – promoted through posts on Twitter and other social media – have been going on for several months.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Spain

A cluster of wildfires in the countryside above Torrox in southern Spain are spreading rapidly towards numerous homes on the mountain above. A wildfire has also been declared in the Alpujarras. Thirty-five specialist forest firefighters are on the scene alongside one firefighting helicopter.

Wildfires – Malaysia

Approximately 100 acres of forested bush land have been razed in wildfires in the Kuala Baram and Miri districts. Five hotspots had been detected as of 5pm on Saturday (March 16). Meanwhile air pollutant levels in Sabah’s state capital have hit the unhealthy mark as bush fires were reported around the city in the current dry spell.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.5 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.1 earthquake hits off the coast of Aisen, Chile.

5.1 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.0 earthquake hits Pakistan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression (td) 03w (Three), located approximately 121 nm south-southeast of Yap, is tracking westward at 12 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 18s (Idai), has dissipated after making landfall in Mozambique, but is still expected to bring substantial rainfall across the area.

Tropical cyclone 19s (Savannah), located approximately 269 nm southwest of Cocos Island, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 05 knots.

NewsBytes:

Mozambique – Update – Cyclone Idai dumped more water and brought destruction on areas where scores of people have already been killed and tens of thousands displaced by floods over the past week. Idai made landfall in Mozambique on Thursday evening, battering Beira, a city of around 500,000 people and a gateway for imports to landlocked countries in southeast Africa.

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Zimbabwe – At least 100 people are missing in parts of eastern Zimbabwe hit by the peripheral effects of tropical cyclone Idai which has lashed Mozambique. Thousands of people have been affected, power cut off and major bridges flooded in parts of the Manicaland province which borders Mozambique.

USA – A harsh late winter storm broadsided a vast swathe of the U.S. agriculture industry this week as heavy snow closed roads and buried cattle in the Plains while excessive rain flooded Midwest farm fields and swamped grain elevators. A “bomb cyclone” hurled hurricane-force winds, sparked tornadoes and dumped heavy snow and rain across the Plains and western Midwest on its march across the United States this week. Recovery from the storm is expected to take days or weeks, if not longer. Prolonged supply disruptions could rattle cattle, hog and feed grain markets around the region and futures on the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The Nebraska Public Power District declared an “unusual event” at its Cooper Nuclear Station power plant on Friday due to the possibility of flooding along the Missouri. Workers filled sandbags along the river levee and procured other materials for flood protection, the agency said. It said the plant continued to operate safely and there was no immediate threat to plant employees or to the public.

Disease

Measles – Philippines

The Philippines government issued an update today on the measles epidemic situation in 2019. Through Mar. 12, 20,308 measles cases have been reported since the beginning of the year. In addition, the measles related death toll has reached 301.

Beware the Mosquito!

It has been suggested that the deadliest animal in the world is the mosquito. When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close. According to the World Health Organization, about 725,000 people are killed every year by mosquito-borne diseases.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression (td) 03w (Three), located approximately 295 nm east-southeast of Yap, is tracking westward at 14 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 18s (Idai), located approximately 340 nm west-northwest of Europa Island, is tracking westward at 07 knots.

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Tropical cyclone 19s (Savannah), located approximately 1375 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking southwestward at 04 knots.

NewsBytes:

Mozambique – Update – Category 3 cyclone Idai has made landfall in Mozambique on Thursday evening, bringing with it high wind speeds of up to 224km/h and rain. There are reports of damage and power cuts as the tropical cyclone made landfall. The storm is expected to deliver a massive punch to the country when it hits, as pre-storm flooding in Mozambique has already killed 66 people. The cyclone is gathering strength over the Indian Ocean and is predicted to hit the country in the city of Beira in Sofala Province.

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Malawi – The number of people killed in floods in southern Malawi has risen to 56, an official said on Wednesday, with the country now also on alert for an approaching tropical cyclone. Almost 83,000 people have been displaced since storms that began more than a week ago caused rivers to break their banks, leaving villages underwater, and knocked out power and water supplies in some areas.

USA – Numerous towns in Nebraska and western Iowa were inundated by rising floodwaters Thursday, and the flooding was blamed for at least one death. Residents across the region are being evacuated as levees break or rivers overflow their banks. Roads were closed across the state as they became impassable, and people displaced by the waters took shelter in hospitals, schools and other community buildings. Levels on the Missouri River will surge even higher in the next few days as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tries to ease pressure from flooding by ramping up releases from Gavins Point Dam.

Global Warming

Glacial Break

The most significant glacial ruptures at Chile’s Grey Glacier in Patagonia since the 1990s saw two new icebergs break off in the last three weeks, sparking concerns that such ruptures are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

A larger break-off of glacial ice occurred in 2017. Scientists say recent above-normal temperatures and heavy rain could also be factors in the latest ruptures.

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Wildlife

Primate Diversity

Increased contact with humans is causing chimpanzees across a wide range of their African habitats to lose their behavioral and cultural diversity.

Earlier studies found individual groups have unique characteristics, with behavior learned through interaction with others.

But researchers from the Max Planck Institute say that the chimps’ habitats are being lost to agriculture, plantations and human settlements. The nine-year study found that chimpanzee behavioral diversity was reduced by 88 percent when and where human impact was highest.

The illegal trade in African wildlife and poaching for human consumption of bushmeat are also threats to chimp diversity.