Wildlife

Kangaroo Cull – Australia

Several nature preserves around the Australian Capital Territory will be closed from late afternoon until dawn through Aug. 1 so as many as 2,000 eastern gray kangaroos can be killed.

Officials say an overabundance of the marsupials can have a devastating impact on the local environment.

But the cull has been denounced by animal-rights advocates who say the killing is cruel, and the methods used often cause the animals to suffer.

Environment

100 Million Suffer Food-Water Shortages From El NIño

One of the strongest El Niños on record has left nearly 100 million people in southern Africa, Asia and Latin America with acute food and water shortages since late last year.

The ocean warming has also made many populations vulnerable to diseases such as Zika, according to various governmental, U.N. and relief agencies.

UNICEF warns that nearly 1 million children in eastern and southern Africa are suffering from “severe acute malnutrition” after two years of drought, preceding the current near-record El Niño.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network said in a statement that rainfall in southern Africa “has so far been the driest in the last 35 years.”

Millions of other people in various parts of the world have suffered from heat waves, water shortages and wildfires since El Niño’s weather disruptions emerged in mid-2015.

El Niño’s warmth is fading across the Pacific, but its influence on the world’s weather will linger for months.

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Disease

Lassa Fever Outbreak in Nigeria – Update

The growing Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has killed 101 people, as West Africa battles to contain a flare up of the virus, according to data from the nation’s health authorities released Saturday.

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) statistics show that reported cases of the haemorrhagic disease — both confirmed and suspected — stood at 175 with a total of 101 deaths since August.

While health authorities assure Africa’s most populous country of more than 170 million they have the virus under control, there are fears the actual scale of the outbreak is under-reported.

The outbreak of Lassa fever was only announced in January — months after the first case of the disease happened in August — with subsequent deaths reported in 10 states, including Abuja.

In neighbouring Benin at least nine people have died in a Lassa outbreak, with a total of 20 suspected cases, health authorities said Tuesday.

The number of Lassa fever infections in West Africa every year is between 100,000 to 300,000, with about 5,000 deaths, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lassa fever belongs to the same family as Marburg and Ebola, two deadly viruses that lead to infections with fever, vomiting and, in worse case scenarios, haemorrhagic bleeding.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits the Bouvet Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

S Pacaya (Guatemala): During our visit at the volcano this morning, the first direct observation of the crater was possible following a period of 5 days of bad weather. When we climbed the crater rim, we observed violent, continuous lava spattering from the central vent on an intra-crater cinder cone inside Mackenney crater. Activity was fairly regular in intensity, but went through alternating periods of stronger and weaker overall strength, lasting 10-20 minutes each. During the strongest phases, some stronger spattering events, resembling strombolian explosions (except that this activity was continuous), lava bombs were ejected to heights of 150-200 m, i.e. well above the crater rim, but mostly fell back inside. Only few fresh (days to few weeks old) bombs were seen on or near the (eastern) crater rim. Around the main vent at the bottom of the the approx. 100 m deep crater, a small intra-crater cinder cone, about 15 m tall, has formed, obviously containing a small boiling lava lake in its main vent. A small secondary vent is located at the eastern side of the cone and also showed spattering occasionally, mainly during phases of elevated activity at the main vent. Parts of the crater floor have been covered by presumably fresh lava flows.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

6.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

6.0 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.4 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.3 Earthquake hits offshore Maule, Chile.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the South Indian Ocean.

5.0 Earthquake hits Seram, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tajikistan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits the Owen Fracture Zone.

5.3 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Talaud, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Talaud, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits central Turkey.

Disease

Dengue Fever in Hawaii

Four more people were diagnosed with dengue fever on Hawaii’s Big Island today (Nov. 5), raising the number of locally transmitted cases to 19 people, according to the Hawaii State Department of Health.

Health officials say these “locally transmitted” cases are concerning because, although dengue has popped up sporadically in Hawaii before, in most previous cases, the disease was imported, meaning travellers brought it to the islands from elsewhere. In the new cases, people are contracting dengue from the bites of local mosquitoes.

Scarlet Fever Re-Emerges In Asia and Europe

Despite having been largely eliminated from countries for almost a century, outbreaks of the childhood disease known as scarlet fever (scarlatina) have been tracked in Europe and Asia in the past five years and is showing an increased resistance to antibiotic treatment.

Over the past five years there have been more than 5000 cases in Hong Kong (a 10-fold increase) and more than 100,000 cases in China. An outbreak in the UK has resulted in 12,000 cases since last year.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), scarlet fever can affect individuals from different age groups, but the disease is mostly seen in children between 5 years old and 12 years old.

Disease

Cholera – Tanzania

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) of the United Republic of Tanzania has notified WHO of new foci of cholera outbreaks in the country. As of 13 October, 13 regions have been affected, namely Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Pwani, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Iringa, Dodoma, Geita, Mara, Singida, Shinyaga, Mwanza and Zanzibar. As of 19 October, the cumulative number of cases is 4,835 cases, including 68 deaths. The region of Dar es Salam accounts for 72% of all reported cases (3,460). Zanzibar has reported 140 cases.

Hand, foot and mouth disease outbreak – USA

An outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease has been reported at Princeton University, affecting 13 students, according to a University spokesman.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Hurricane Joaquin is located about 250 mi…400 km SW of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…120 mph…195 km/h. Present movement…NE or 40 degrees at 20 mph…31 km/h.

Tropical Storm Mujigae is located approximately 252 nm east of Hanoi, Vietnam, and is tracking northwestward at 13 knots.

Tropical storm 23w (Choi-Wan), located approximately 905 nm east-northeast of Andersen AFB, Guam, and is tracking west-northwestward at 18 knots.

Tropical Storm Oho is located about 405 mi…655 km SSE of South Point Hawaii and about 605 mi…970 km SSE of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…NE or 50 degrees at 5 mph…7 km/h.

Tropical Depression Eight-C is located about 440 mi…710 km SSW of Johnston Island and about 1160 mi…1865 km SW of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…30 mph…45 km/h. Present movement…ESE or 110 degrees at 2 mph…4 km/h.

Invest 94E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

Invest 95E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

Invest 90L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for tropical development.

Invest 98C is an area of disturbed weather in the Central Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

France – At least 16 people died when storms caused severe flooding on the French Riviera. His office said in a statement that The victims were found dead in the towns of Cannes, Biot, Golfe-Juan and Mandelieu-la-Napoule in the southeast of the country, following severe weather Saturday night. Three people were still missing. Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the dead included people trapped in a parking lot, a campsite and a retirement home. Helicopters were searching for victims Sunday and 27,000 homes had no electricity.

Thailand – Heavy floods have hit Bangkok on Saturday after heavy rains. 11 areas of the city were flooded according to local authorities.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits Pakistan.

5.3 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 Earthquake hits northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kuril islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Liaoning, China.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Bulgaria

A state of emergency has been declared due to raging wildfire in the Harmanli municipality in southern Bulgaria on Thursday. The wildfire has affected Mladinovo, Dripchevo, Oryahovo and Izvorovo villages. Hundreds of firemen are working to control the blaze.

Wildfires – Calirofrnia

More than 500 firefighters and multiple helicopters and planes are battling the 6,900-acre Wragg Fire near Lake Berryessa in Napa County.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.4 Earthquake hits Barbados in the Windward Islands.

5.7 Earthquake hits offshore Maule, Chile.

5.2 Earthquake hits Barbados in the Windward Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of the Mariana Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

Environment

‘Antarctic Vortex’ Chills New Zealand and Australia

Southeastern Australia and much of New Zealand were chilled by the coldest midwinter Antarctic blast in five years as press reports warned of even more biting cold and snow ahead from the “Antarctic vortex.”

Snow fell at low elevations across many parts of Australia’s Victoria and New South Wales states, while icy conditions in New Zealand downed power lines and forced road closures.

But the shift in Southern Hemisphere weather patterns also brought Melbourne its wettest July day since 1990.

About 30 areas across New Zealand experienced either their lowest daily maximum temperature or lowest daily minimum temperature ever for July.

Snowfalls were welcomed by ski resort operators, even though some tourists had trouble navigating the icy conditions on the way to the slopes.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits east of the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.