Wildlife

Zimbabwe ready to sell elephants to ‘anyone who wants wildlife’

Zimbabwe plans to sell elephants to Angola and is prepared to ship wild animals to any other interested countries as the southern African nation seeks to reduce its elephant population due to growing conflict between people and wildlife.

“We have no predetermined market for elephant sales, we are open to everyone who wants our wildlife,” tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira said in an interview on the sidelines of a wildlife summit in Victoria Falls. “`the country has ‘excess’ of 30,000 of the animals.”

“The main problem is landmines in Angola, so we are trying to assist them by having a fund to deal with those before we send the animals.”

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.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 282 nm northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking southwestward at 11 knots.

NewsBytes:

Crete – Four people are missing after floods sweep through Crete. A search operation is currently underway in the area of Mires in Heraklion, Crete, as four people in a car were swept away by flood waters at the passage of Geropotamos.

Zimbabwe – Floods that have affected Chiredzi following heavy rains on Wednesday last week claimed the lives of two schoolchildren at Muhlanguleni Primary School in Chiredzi South, who drowned in a flooded pit latrine.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 275 nm west-northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking west-southwestward at 02 knots.

NewsBytes:

Zimbabwe – Thirty-eight miners are feared dead after water from a collapsed dam flooded two mines in Zimbabwe. While panning for gold, 34 miners went underground at Silver Moon Mine and four miners entered Cricket Mine in Battlefields near Kadoma Tuesday evening before both mines flooded. Heavy rains overnight Tuesday led to the collapse of the dam wall. An emergency was declared after the dam burst. The flooding from the collapsed dam flooded mine shafts, which the miners entered illegally.

South Africa – Bloemfontein in the Free State has been experiencing heavy rains for the past few days resulting in floods across the city.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Lebanon – A winter storm battering Lebanon has displaced hundreds of Syrian refugees and flooded tented settlements while further bad weather threatens thousands more. The UNHCR in Lebanon has launched an extreme weather response as thousands of refugees across the country are in need of supplies, food and temporary accommodation after refugee settlements in low lying areas flooded. Winter storm Norma has submerged streets across Beirut, closed roads and forced thousands of schools to shut their doors.

Zimbabwe – AS flash floods continue to hit parts of the second capital city, Bulawayo, City officials, in an effort to prevent the recurrence of flooding, have warned residents against obstructing the free flow of water.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Michigan, USA – In the wake of heavy rainfall, metro Detroiters are coping with major flooding affecting roads, causing sewage overflows and the evacuation of entire neighborhoods in some parts of the state.

Midwest, USA – Crews used boats to help residents evacuate their homes in northern Indiana after rainstorms sweeping across the Midwest on Wednesday combined with melting snow to flood rivers, roads and other low-lying areas in several states. The storm system starting pushed heavy rain, snow and ice into the region this week, and the weather has already been blamed for hundreds of car crashes and several fatalities, including the deaths of four people in a crash along a slippery interstate in Nebraska. About 19 people had been evacuated from homes in Elkhart, a town just east of South Bend, by early Wednesday. The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for parts of several states in the central and southern U.S., spanning from Texas to Illinois and Ohio to Arkansas, where strong winds topped power lines and damages buildings. Winter weather advisories also were issued, including in for Oklahoma and Kansas.

Illinois, USA – Officials in the city of Marseilles, in LaSalle County, have ordered mandatory evacuations for dozens of homes, as the Illinois River continues to flood in the wake of heavy storms over the past couple days.

Ontario, Canada – A three-year-old boy is missing in the Orangeville, Ont., area after a van left a roadway and wound up in the Grand River as southern Ontario communities deal with flooding. Heavy rains and a deep thaw are behind the flooding and high water along rivers and streams across southern Ontario, with the Grand River watershed seeing the worst of the effects so far.

Zimbabwe – Several people, including 85 school pupils, have been left stranded in Mashonaland Central province following floods that hit some areas recently after successive days of rains.

Wildlife

Hippo’s Poisoned in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe officials have launched an investigation into how 11 hippos died from suspected poisoning along the country’s Mlibizi River.

Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told reporters she feared the use of chemicals in agriculture to kill weeds and invading worms could have polluted the waters in which the hippos live and feed.

“So, whatever that is put on the ground ends up in our water,” she said. “It affects our fish, our crocodiles, our hippos, and we are seeing that this is a feature that we ignored in the past.”

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the South Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 09s (Enawo), located approximately 395 nm north of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking southwestward at 04 knots.

Newsbytes:

California, USA – Shocking Images Reveal Massive Damage to California Reservoir. New images reveal the dramatic extent of damage to the Oroville spillway from the recent floods, an outlet for the Oroville Dam in northern California.

Oroville debris feb 27

Zimbabwe – Floods in Zimbabwe have killed 246 people and left nearly 2,000 homeless since December, according to the government. The southern African country has appealed to international donors for $100 million to help those affected by the floods, which have washed away some bridges and roads and cut off some communities from surrounding areas. President Robert Mugabe, currently in Singapore for a medical checkup, declared the floods to be a national disaster this week.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Zimbabwe – The Bulawayo-Masvingo highway was closed to traffic yesterday after the Nkankezi bridge was washed away by raging floodwaters after the Sukasihambe dam burst it wall upstream on Sunday night flooding the Nkankezi river.

Massachusetts, USA – Conway, a small town in western Massachusetts is recovering after an EF-1 tornado cut a path of destruction through it Saturday night, destroying a barn, severely damaging several houses, and ripping apart hundreds of trees. It was the first-ever tornado to touch down in the Bay State in February.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the South Pacific: Tropical cyclone 06p (Alfred), located approximately 396 nm east-southeast of Darwin, Australia, is tracking east-southeastward at 03 knots.

Newsbytes:

PAY Torrential rains in Malaga

Malaga, Spain – Malaga, the city on Spain’s Costa del Sol is suffering from the effects of flash flooding – after a storm brought torrential rain to the area. Roads collapsed, buildings flooded and cars were washed away as the storm lashed the tourist resort last night, according to local media. There were also a number of landslides as heavy rain – and hail – struck the city.

Zimbabwe – The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Dineo have brought welcome relief to the drought stricken Bulawayo area. The city’s dams, which were almost empty are starting to overflow.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Floods2 630x393Philippines – Forced evacuation and rescue operations are ongoing in several areas in the Caraga region in Mindanao due to widespread floods caused by days of continuous rain from a low-pressure area. Waist-deep to above-roof-level floods hit several areas in the region as its river systems overflow. Floodwater has swamped a national highway in Agusan del Sur’s Rosario town. Residents in flooded towns of San Francisco and San Luis have been forced to use bamboo rafts as their means of transportation. Houses in some areas in the municipality of Lapaz have been submerged, especially those in Barangay Panagangan. Also, low-lying areas in Agusan del Norte’s Buenavista town are flooded.

Zimbabwe – At least 70 people have died in floods since October last year. More than 1038 rural homesteads have been damaged, 40 schools destroyed and hundreds of families rendered homeless. Floodwaters breached more than 67 small dams countrywide while numerous rivers burst their banks. The heavy rains have also had a detrimental affect on the chickpea crop which is rotting, while the maize crop is waterlogged.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Zimbabwe – The Zimbabwean government has urged villagers to evacuate from low-lying areas after flooding swept away more than 30 people and destroyed homes and schools in parts of the country. About 400 homesteads and 13 schools were swept away following the heavy downpours in areas such as Bulilima, Mangwe and Nkayi in the south and the northern Guruve.

Disease

Typoid and Diarrhoea in Zimbabwe

Approximately 50 000 cases of diarrhoea have been reported in Zimbabwe in 2016 alone, with 30 deaths resulting from the deadly epidemic, the country’s ministry of health and child care has revealed.

The health ministry disclosed that 48 843 cases of diarrhoea had been recorded since the beginning of 2016, with 10 604 of these having been reported last week, along with 8 deaths. 312 new cases of suspected typhoid were reported last week, with one death having been reported.

The revelation comes just one month after reports indicated that a deadly outbreak of typhoid fever had hit the country’s capital, Harare.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 27 December 2015 and 13 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 4 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1,630 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 586 related deaths.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – United Arab Emirates

Between 11 and 14 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates notified WHO of 2 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus – China

On 18 January 2016, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 1 additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus.

Typhoid in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s capital city Harare has been rocked by a typhoid outbreak and authorities have deployed medical experts to determine the magnitude of the spread of the disease.

A report in Zimbabwe’s state-owned Herald newspaper on Wednesday said since last Friday health authorities in that country had confirmed three cases in Glen Norah, two in Hopley and one in Hatfield.

Swine Flu Outbreak in Eastern Europe

An outbreak of swine flu has killed 72 more people and is putting thousands more lives in danger as the deadly virus continues to spread across eastern Europe.

Up to 40,000 people are expected to contract the disease in the Ukaine capital Kiev, where residents are covering their faces with masks or scarves.

Schools have been closed for more than a week and some public gatherings have been banned as authorities struggle to head off the outbreak.

The Ukrainian health ministry has confirmed 72 swine flu deaths, of which 47 were in the past week.

The number of fatalities in areas of the Donetsk region held by pro-Russian rebels could be as high as 300, according to the intelligence service.

The virus has spread to many former Soviet countries, reaching epidemic levels in St Petersburg, Russia, where at least 30 people have died.

At least 18 people have also died in Armenia.

The respiratory disease, caused by a strain of the influenza type A virus known as H1N1, can be spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.

El Salvador issues Pregnancy Advisory – Zika Virus

As worries intensify about the Zika virus due to its association with a rare paralysis syndrome and rise of birth defect called microcephaly, health officials are taking drastic measures to stop the disease.

In a stunning development in El Salvador, health officials have advised all women of reproductive age to delay pregnancy until 2018 due to concerns about possible birth defects linked to the virus. Earlier this month, the El Salvador Health Department disclosed they had found 492 Zika cases.

The spokeswoman for El Salvador health department confirmed they are advising women from becoming pregnant but have not issued any official guidelines or policy statements.

The El Salvador advisory comes after thousands of children in Brazil were born with a dangerous birth defect called microcephaly, where head and brain are not fully developed. In Brazil, the government has called in the military to assist with a nationwide push to eradicate the virus. The health minister said that the military and civil defence services would be called in to help health workers combat the virus, which is spread my mosquitoes.

Disease

Anthrax Outbreak in Zimbabwe

An anthrax outbreak has been reported in Umzingwane District in Matabeleland South Province with 36 people getting infected and at least 45 head of cattle dying, amid fears that contaminated meat could have been sold to butcheries in Bulawayo.

The disease, which can be fatal if not treated, can be transmitted through eating the meat of infected animals.