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.

Unnamed

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.

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.

Screen Shot 2019 03 15 at 12 33 54 PM

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.

1024x576 698399

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.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 18s (Idai), located approximately 221 nm north-northwest of Europa Island, is tracking westward at 07 knots.

Tropical cyclone 19s (Savannah), located approximately 1412 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking southwestward at 08 knots.

Screen Shot 2019 03 14 at 1 19 27 PM

NewsBytes:

Mozambique – Update – At least 66 people have been killed and 141,000 affected after heavy rains deluged central and northern Mozambique. The government has decreed a red alert.

USA – A window-rattling late winter storm brought blizzards, floods and a tornado across more than 25 states Wednesday, stretching from the northern Rocky Mountains to Texas and beyond. Hundreds of drivers were stranded on Colorado highways, including 500 in the Colorado Springs area alone. Scores of motorists took refuge at truck stops in eastern Wyoming while blowing snow forced portions of major highways to close in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Iowa, USA – An Iowa city has been evacuated and an interstate shut down as rain and melting snow flood the western portion of the state. Harrison County Emergency Management has ordered a partial evacuation of Missouri Valley. People south of Highway 30 and east of Interstate 29 — about 10 percent of the city — have been told to leave. Parts of Missouri Valley, which is about 22 miles north of Council Bluffs and has about 2,600 people, are already underwater.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the Lombok region, Indonesia.

5.5 earthquake hits Mozambique.

Two 5.4 earthquakes hit the Komandorskiye Ostrova region, Russia.

5.2 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova region, Russia.

5.0 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits Seram, Indonesia.

5.5 earthquake hits Mozambique.

5.4 earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.4 earthquake hits Seram, Indonesia.

5.3 earthquake hits Myanmar.

5.3 earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.3 earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua new Guinea.

5.2 earthquake hits Mozambique.

5.0 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

New Zealand – New Zealand has begun cleaning up after being hit by the remnants of Cyclone Gita, which damaged buildings and left thousands without power. Four regions across the country remain in a state of emergency, though the status has been lifted for the city of Christchurch. Up to 1,000 people are still stranded in Golden Bay on the South Island due to flooding. Authorities say they may send ferries to pick them up. Numerous roads still remain closed across the country as repair efforts begin.

Mozambique – Humanitarian organisations are making frantic efforts to assist thousands of Mozambicans recently displaced by floods that killed at least 14 people. The northern provinces were hit by a tropical depression which brought heavy rains. A total of 80 000 people were affected in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa. In Nampula, following a government request, the World Food Programme (WFP) is providing food support to 37 000 people.

Wisconsin, USA – Several busy roads are closed Tuesday due to flooding across Rock County, Wisconsin. People in areas with flooding are encouraged to drive carefully and slowly on Wednesday, and until the icy roads are cleared up. The cold weather may freeze the flooded areas creating dangerous conditions.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits Mozambique.

5.2 Earthquake hits Zambia.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Mid-Indian ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Santa Cruz Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada.

5.3 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.2 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Mozambique.

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

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

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

5.6 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits Mozambique.

5.3 Earthquake hits western Sichuan, China.

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

5.2 Earthquake hits western Sichuan, China.

Three 5.1 Earthquakes hit near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

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

5.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

Wildlife

Two Humpback Whales Rescue a Seal Under Attack by Killer Whales

According to a first-hand account written by Robert L. Pitman of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

At one point, the team witnessed a pod of killer whales (orcas) trying to knock a Weddell seal off an ice floe, presumably to eat the hapless seal.

The orcas teamed up and swam alongside each other, creating a wave that knocked the tasty-looking seal into the water — a typical hunting strategy used by killer whales.

“At one point, the predators succeeded in washing the seal off the floe,” the scientists wrote. “Exposed to lethal attack in the open water, the seal swam frantically toward the humpbacks, seeming to seek shelter, perhaps not even aware that they were living animals.”

Next thing they knew, one of the humpback whales rolled over, scooping up the seal onto his chest just before the killer whales reached their prey.

“Then, as the killer whales moved in closer, the humpback arched its chest, lifting the seal out of the water. The water rushing off that safe platform started to wash the seal back into the sea, but then the humpback gave the seal a gentle nudge with its flipper, back to the middle of its chest. Moments later, the seal scrambled off and swam to the safety of a nearby ice floe,” wrote the scientists.

Ep r rlpitman photo 16x9

Mozambican poachers target SA rhinos

The depletion of elephants and rhinos in Mozambique has prompted poachers there to target rhinos in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, a report has revealed.

The report says, besides crossing into South Africa, the Mozambicans also take advantage of rhinos that stray into their country.

“Today, the only rhinos that occur in Mozambique are those that cross the border from the Kruger National Park. Rangers refer to them darkly as ‘the suicidal ones’. There are estimated to be about twenty of them wandering across every day and, on average, ten are killed by poachers on Mozambican soil every year,” the report says.

According to the report, while some conservationists are worried about rhino poaching, Mozambique’s most pressing environmental problems is illegal logging and elephant poaching.

Experts say insatiable demand for timber in China has seen trees harvested on such a scale in Mozambique that some believe the country will be stripped of its forests “in just a few years”.

A report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that 93% of logging in Mozambique in 2013 was illegal and that “without major reforms, Mozambique’s forests and forest economy are staring down the barrel of a very bleak future”.

The report, written by Global Initiative rhino investigator Julian Rademeyer, reveals that elephants in Mozambique have been slaughtered on a massive scale, with numbers falling by 48% in just five years – from more than 20 000, to just 10 300.

“The Niassa Reserve which, at 42 000 square kilometres, is twice the size of the Kruger National Park, was hardest hit. In 2012, there were an estimated 12 000 elephants there. Today only about 4 500 remain,” reads the report.

Branding Mozambique as a country in crisis, the report cites rampant corruption, a weak judiciary, an ineffectual and criminally compromised police force, and powerful criminal syndicates, as factors fuelling poaching and other transnational crimes.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Hurricane Pali is located about 1640 mi…2635 km SW of Honolulu Hawaii and about 1015 mi…1635 km SSW of Johnston Island with maximum sustained winds…45 mph…75 km/h. Present movement…SSW or 205 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

Subtropical Storm Alex is located about 560 mi…905 km SSW of the Azores with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…NNE or 20 degrees at 18 mph…30 km/h.

Alex is just the fourth Atlantic named storm to form in January since record keeping began in 1851.

NewsBytes:

France – The avalanche on Wednesday claimed the lives of two teenage pupils and a Ukrainian man in the French Alps. 17 other school children were saved after a mammoth rescue effort.

Australia – A severe storm in Sydney has claimed the life of at least one person and injured another on Thursday afternoon. The fierce winds, rain and hail struck Sydney causing delays and diversions at Sydney Airport.

Mozambique – Flooding triggered by heavy rainfall has claimed the lives of at least three people in Pemba in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. In Natite, several buildings are underwater due to flash floods.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits Barbados in the Windward Islands.

5.4 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.3 Earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

5.3 Earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Mozambique Channel.

5.0 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Pagan region in the North Mariana Islands.

Disease

Nigeria: 42 dead in meningitis outbreak

Health officials in the north-western state of Kebbi have reported at least 42 fatalities, or a quarter of the 154 people infected from the five local government areas (LGA) reporting cases. In addition, 58 people are still receiving treatment at designated camps.

Reports do not specify the specific type of meningitis implicated in the Kebbi outbreak. It is being attributed to “sleeping in overcrowded and unventilated rooms.”

The countries of the African Meningitis Belt, including parts of Nigeria, face outbreaks of the deadly bacterial disease every year.

Cholera in Mozambique

Mozambique has been experiencing a cholera epidemic since late December and the total case count is now over 4,500. According to an RFI report (computer translated), the outbreak has sickened 4,518 (confirmed cases) and resulted in the deaths of 41 people.

Often people have mild illness or no symptoms. However, about 1 in 20 (5%) of infected people will have severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

Map3 13 frequent epidemics meningococcal meningitis large 1024x680

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 10p (Ola), is located approximately 415 nm southwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, and is tracking south-southwestward at 10 knots.

NewsBytes:

Indonesia – The villages of Simbatan and Gondang in Gondang district, Bojonegoro regency in East Java, have suffered flash floods, inundating dozens of homes and rice fields.

Mozambique Update – The floods that have ravaged northern and central parts of Mozambique have now killed 159 people and affected nearly 160,000.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 08s (Eight), forms in the southern Indian Ocean and is located approximately 732 nm south-southeast of Diego Garcia, and is tracking south-southeastward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Mozambique – The death toll from flooding in parts of Mozambique has risen to 117, with more than 157 000 people affected, official figures showed on Monday. The deaths in the centre and north of the southern African nation were caused by drowning, lightning strikes, or construction collapses caused by the floods.

USA – A blizzard dropped more than a foot (30 cm) of snow across the northeastern United States on Tuesday, falling short of the massive predicted snowfall that prompted officials across the region to close schools and order travel bans. High winds and heavy snow were set to persist throughout the day, with another foot forecast to fall in parts of Boston. Wind-driven seas caused flooding along some low-lying roadways in coastal Massachusetts, state police said.