Disease

Plague – Madagascar

In Madagascar, there is a “plague season” which occurs every year, usually between September and April. We’re not even half way through August and 13 suspected human plague cases have been reported in the matter of a few days.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 7 August – 13 August 2019

Asamayama | Honshu (Japan) : JMA reported that at 2208 on 7 August a small phreatic eruption at Asamayama produced an ash plume that rose higher than 1.8 km above the crater rim and drifted N. Blocks were ejected 200 m from the crater. The eruption lasted about 20 minutes and was the first since 19 June 2015. The Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-5). Ash fell in Tsumagoi Village and Naganohara Town, in the Gunma Prefecture. White plumes rose as high as 700 m above the crater rim during 8-13 August, and the amount of sulfur dioxide released was 90-200 tons per day.

Sarychev Peak | Matua Island (Russia) : SVERT reported that an ash plume from Sarychev Peak rose to 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 50 km SE on 11 August, based on Tokyo VAAC notices. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow.

Shishaldin | Fox Islands (USA) : AVO reported that during 7-13 August continuous, low-level tremor at Shishaldin was recorded by the seismic network and elevated surface temperatures were visible in satellite images. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Slamet | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that seismicity at Slamet significantly increased beginning in June, with 51,511 signals indicating emissions and 22 tectonic earthquakes recorded through 8 August. White plumes with variable density rose as high as 300 m above the crater rim.Tremor began to be recorded at the end of July with gradually increasing amplitude. In addition, notable inflation was detected at the end of July and long-term temperatures of hot springs showed an upward trend. The Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay outside a radius of 2 km.

Tangkubanparahu | Western Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 5-11 August phreatic events at Tangkubanparahu’s Ratu Crater continued to produced sometimes dense, gray-to-white plumes that rose as high as 200 m above the vent and ash plumes rose as high as 100 m. The emissions were accompanied by roaring. Ashfall was localized around Ratu Crater. The seismic network recorded continuous tremor. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay 1.5 km away from the active crater.

Ulawun | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) :RVO reported that during 7-8 August minor emissions of white vapor rose from Ulawun’s summit crater. Seismicity was dominated by low-level volcanic tremor and remained at low-to-moderate levels. RSAM values fluctuated between 400 and 550 units; peaks did not go above 700.

Veniaminof | United States : AVO reported that seismic unrest at Veniaminof continued during 7-13 August with low-frequency earthquakes being common. Satellite and webcam views showed nothing unusual. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits the Bouvet Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Aru, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Post Tropical Cyclone Henriette is located about 410 mi…660 km wsw of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…30 mph…45 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 285 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm 11w (Krosa) is located approximately 298 nm south of Iwakuni, Japan, is tracking northward at 05 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Sudan – Flooding triggered by heavy rains inundated hundreds of houses in the Sudanese capital Khartoum and elsewhere in the country, killing at least six people Tuesday, the state-run news agency said.

India – The death toll from India’s monsoon floods climbed to 202 on Tuesday as heavy rainfall kept pounding coastal regions in the west and south. Authorities have already moved more than 1.2 million people to relief camps.

Wildlife

Cyanide Bombs Banned in Some States

Notwithstanding the Trump administration’s reauthorization of the use of sodium cyanide in wildlife-killing devices called M-44s “cyanide bombs”, wildlife advocacy groups in a number of States have successfully campaigned to ban their use, including Wyoming (2019), California (2019 and 2017), Oregon (2018), Colorado (2017), Arizona (2017) and Idaho (2019 and 2018).

Disease

Leishmaniasis – Kenya

Disease outbreaks continue to plague Kenya and according to the Ministry of Health, outbreaks of cholera and measles continue in the country. In addition, Kenya is reporting a large outbreak of the parasitic disease, visceral leishmaniasis (Kala Azar). Since January through the first week of August, a total of 1,986 cases of leishmaniasis have been reported.

Dengue Fever

Sri Lanka – Health officials in Sri Lanka report that dengue-related fatalities have been reported in the dozens this year to date and additional dengue strains have been identified as circulating this season. Through today, Sri Lanka has reported 36,858 dengue fever cases with Colombo, Gampaha and Galle RDHS reporting the most.

Philippines – The latest numbers show 115,986 cases of dengue, including 491 deaths, many children.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake4 hits Chiapas, Mexico.

5.4 earthquake hits Kyrgyzstan.

5.2 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits the south Indian Ocean.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Depression Henriette is located about 360 mi…580 km wsw of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…30 mph…45 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 290 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm 11w (Krosa) is located approximately 422 nm south-southeast of Iwakuni, Japan, is tracking west-northwestward at 06 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Myanmar – Burmese troops have been deployed to flood-hit parts of Myanmar to help with relief efforts after rising flood waters have left thousands stranded, mostly in the southern parts of the country. The death toll from the landslide has jumped to 51. This year’s monsoonal floods have tested the government’s ability to respond after a the fatal landslides on Friday in southeastern Mon state. That was then followed up with deluges that submerged houses, displacing thousands. Floodwaters have submerged more than 4,000 houses in the state and displaced more than 25,000 residents who have sought shelter in monasteries and pagodas.

Flood 1

Wildlife

Trump Administration Guts Endangered Species Act

The new rules, which the administration says will benefit businesses, tell regulators not to consider science alone when making decisions about endangered species.

Back in May, the United Nations warned that 1 million species are at risk of extinction, and that time is running out to save them — posing a severe risk to human life. Now, the Trump administration has significantly weakened the Endangered Species Act, a bipartisan 1973 law designed to prevent the most threatened species from going extinct.

The Endangered Species Act bans harassing, hurting or capturing species deemed endangered, and it requires agencies to enact rules designed to protect their ecosystems. Its goal, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is to help species recover to the point that they no longer need federal protection. The most famous species that ecologists credit the FWS with preserving is likely the bald eagle. There were just a few hundred breeding pairs left in the U.S. in the 1970s, according to the American Bird Conservancy. Now, there are thousands.

The Trump administration’s argument for scaling back the act rests on the idea that it’s a burden to businesses.

The first key change to the act, according to The New York Times, involved requiring regulators to take economic costs into account when making decisions related to protecting species from extinction. The law previously required regulators to rely entirely on science in their decision-making.

The second key change has to do with the term “foreseeable future” that’s used in the act, according to the Times. Currently, regulators can take into account the effects of heat and drought and other impacts that result from ongoing climate change as part of making decisions related to the foreseeable future. The tweak, according to the Times, could lead to disregarding climate science as part of decision-making to protect endangered species.

“Over the objections of nearly everyone, the Trump Administration has eviscerated one of our nation’s foundational environmental laws. Poll after poll shows Americans support the Endangered Species Act as a lifeline to the wildlife it protects. The Administration ignored the hundreds of thousands of objections from scientists, wildlife experts and the American people who overwhelmingly support the Endangered Species Act,” Rebecca Riley, legal director for the Nature Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in the statement.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Greece

Wildfires spread quickly overnight outside of Athens, Greece, before firefighters rushed in to keep the fire under control. A huge blaze prompted early morning evacuations in a suburb of the Greek capital. At least 140 firefighters and 46 vehicles were dispatched to battle the wildfire. 

Disease

Tularemia – Sweden

The number of reported cases of human tularemia has increased significantly in Sweden during the end of July and the beginning of August, according to the Public Health Agency of Sweden, or Folkhälsomyndigheten. A total of 212 confirmed cases have been reported, significantly more than reported during an average year.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits South Island, New Zealand.

5.2 earthquake hits the Azores.

5.0 earthquake hits Palau.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Java, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits off the coast of Costa Rica.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Henriette is located about 265 mi…430 km sw of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 295 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm 11w (Krosa) is located approximately 236 nm west-northwest of Iwo To, Japan, is tracking northwestward at 10 knots.

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NewsBytes:

India – The death toll from a fresh spell of monsoon-driven floods in India has jumped to 190 and affected more than a million residents, officials said on Monday. Heavy rain and landslides have also forced hundreds of thousands of people in southern and western India to take shelter in relief camps, while train services were canceled in several flood-hit areas. Officials warned that fuel shortages were widespread in districts that were cut off from larger cities. The states of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat were the worst-hit, but others like Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Andhra Pradesh have also reported flooding.

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Wildlife

Droves of Blacktip Sharks Are Summering in Long Island for the First Time

Sharks making their annual northward migration from Florida have a new summer vacation destination: Long Island.

Blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus), which range from 4 to 8 feet (1.2 to 2.4 meters) long, spend much of the year in Florida before heading north to cooler waters. In the past, the Carolinas were the sharks’ destination of choice. But not anymore. Because of climate change, the waters off North and South Carolina are no longer cool enough in the summer. So blacktips are seeking waters farther north — and Long Island fits the bill.

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Space Events

Perseid Meteor Shower

It’s that time of year again, when the spectacular Perseid meteor shower rains fire across the night sky. The days-long fireball fiesta is expected to peak this evening with an estimated 80 shooting stars per hour at its height. Widely seen as one of the most entertaining celestial events of the year, the Perseids meteor shower is caused by meteoroids from the debris trail of the Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle which orbits the sun once every 133 years.

Those in the Northern Hemisphere will be treated to the best views, provided they can escape the light pollution from towns and cities. The moon will frustrate proceedings somewhat as a full moon is due on Thursday, meaning the sky will likely be washed out for the majority of viewers, but fear not, as the Perseids have an ace up their sleeve. Instead of shooting stars, stargazers can hunt for bright ‘fireballs’ which can last up to a second rather than merely fractions of a second like their shooting star brethren.