Disease

The number of U.S. cases of meningitis from tainted injections of a steroid medication has reached 304, with total fatalities in the outbreak at 23.

Italy has banned the sale and use of anti-influenza vaccines produced by Novartis pending tests for possible side effects, prompting authorities in Switzerland to also take precautionary steps.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storm Sandy Prompts Hurricane Warning for Jamaica. Jamaicans have taken refuge in shelters and their homes. Schools and airports are closed and a curfew has been imposed in major towns to keep people off the streets and deter looting.

Flooding kills 3 people in Anatolia in northwestern Turkey.

A tornado touched down north of Sacramento, California on Monday, ripping shingles off rooftops and blowing down trees and power lines.

Earthquakes

6.0 Earthquake hits south of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia.

5.9 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Iceland region.

5.2 Earthquake hits west of the Macquarie Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Antofagasto, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Federated States of Micronesia region.

Wildlife

Pollution and bush fires choke honey production in the Rift Valley, Kenya.

The heavy presence of pesticides in the air and environmental degradation in bee keeping areas is affecting production. Some of the agrochemicals being used to spray large-scale farms and ranches are harmful and have affected production of honey by poisoning pollen which is the main food of the bees.

Sporadic fires in Mt Kenya forest worsened matters for bee keepers in Laikipia East as heavy smoke was swept into hives, killing millions of bees.

Volcanos

Global volcanic activity:

The seismic swarm at the Tjörnes Fracture Zone in Iceland continues but at lower pace.

Popocatépetl in Mexico had 85 weak to moderate explosions during 21-22 October, a bit less than previously. Only some of them were accompanied by fine ash emissions. Small earthquakes continue to be recorded under the volcano and a strong SO2 plume is regularly visible on satellite data.

An SO2 plume from Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica could be seen on yesterday’s NOAA SO2 monitoring image for Central America, suggesting elevated degassing activity.

Fuego volcano’s lava flow is 800 m long and some weak explosive activity has resumed.

Occasional ash emissions with plumes up to 1200 m high have been observed and photographed at Galeras volcano in Colombia on 19 and 21 October. Seismic activity, however, remains low with only few occasional events visible on the seismograms.

Raung volcano in East Java shows increasing seismic activity including strong volcanic tremor and the alert level of the volcano was raised to 3 out of 4 (Siaga, “eruption warning”). The Indonesian Volcanological Survey recommends not to approach the volcano’s summit within 3 km.

Strong SO2 emissions are visible from Bagana volcano in Papua New Guinea.

Disease

An outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus in Uganda has spread to the capital Kampala after an infected woman travelled to the city.

Outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease Chikungunya in the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storm Sandy forms south of Jamaica; system will likely strengthen.

A tornado flattened an old wooden theatre, tore roofs off houses and shattered windows as it ripped through the small West Coast towns of Hector and Ngakawau, New Zealand overnight.

Wildfires

Two separate blazes combined into the one raging inferno in the Macleay River region in New South Wales, Australia on Sunday. The blaze, which has been burning since Friday, has destroyed more than 28,000 hectares. An out-of-control bushfire is burning near the Bargo State Forest, with the owners of adjacent properties on alert and firefighting reinforcements travelling to the area 100 kilometres south of Sydney. A severe thunderstorm has sparked a dozen bush and grass fires in New South Wales’ far west, and another out of control blaze has begun near Brewarrina, in the state’s northwest

Firefighters keep on battling a wildfire Bulgaria in the Rhodope mountains and another one in the Vitosha mountains.

Earthquakes

5.5 Earthquake hits off the coast of Nicaragua.

5.4 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands region.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

Storms and Floods

Heavy rains bring floods to the Eastern Cape, South Africa. At least 8 people have died and numerous bridges and roads have been washed away.

A tornado blew through central Pennsylvania, USA, causing a pavilion to collapse at a park, injuring 15 people.

Storms and Floods

Floods caused by days of non-stop rain in southwest France forced the closing of the Catholic sanctuary of Lourdes and the evacuation of more than 450 pilgrims. The Gave de Pau, the river passing through Lourdes, France, floods parts of the city in front of the Grotto and Basilica.

Lourdes

Earthquakes

6.6 Earthquake hits Vanuatu. No tsunami alert issued.

5.3 Earthquake hits central California, USA.

5.2 and 4.8 Earthquakes hit Iceland.

5.1 Earthquake hits Sakhalin, Russia.

4.9 Earthquake hits south-west of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Wildlife

Outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has produced more than 8,500 confirmed deer deaths in Michigan, USA this year.

Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the malaria outbreak in Greece continues to grow, reaching areas of the country where the parasitic disease has not been previously reported.

Earthquakes

5.1 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

4.9 Earthquake hits southeast of Honshu, Japan.