Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits northern and central Iran.

4.9 Earthquake hits Sakhalin, Russia.


Mass Escape of Crocodiles into Limpopo River – South Africa

About 15,000 crocodiles have reportedly escaped from a farm in South Africa’s far north amid heavy rains and flooding along the Limpopo river. The owner was forced to open the crocodile farm’s gates on Sunday to prevent a storm surge. Many of the crocodiles have been recaptured, but more than half are still on the loose.


Intense Radiation in Fish Caught Near Japan Nuclear Facility

A fish contaminated in waters off Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was found to have levels of radiation over 2,500 times the legal safe limit for seafood. Scientists from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) say the murasoi fish had 10 times higher radiation than that measured last August in a scorpion fish caught near the crippled reactor complex.

TEPCO says massive nets are being installed about 15 miles offshore to try to prevent contaminated fish from migrating.

The plant was pummeled by a titanic tsunami in 2011 that was generated by a massive undersea earthquake. It resulted in reactor meltdowns that caused radioactive contamination that will linger for decades to come.

Fishing around Fukushima has since been halted and the government has also banned farming, dairy and livestock production indefinitely.

Marine Radiation Japan

Top: Murasoi fish captured by TEPCO appeared to have no mutations despite carrying 2,500 times the safe level of radiation. Bottom: Cleanup crews removing contaminated material from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.


Antibiotic ‘Apocalypse’ Warning

The rise in drug resistant infections is comparable to the threat of global warming, according to the chief medical officer for England. Bacteria are becoming resistant to current drugs and there are few antibiotics to replace them. Experts say it is a global problem and needs much more attention. Antibiotics have been one of the greatest success stories in medicine. However, bacteria are a rapidly adapting foe which find new ways to evade drugs. MRSA rapidly became one of the most feared words in hospitals wards and there are growing reports of resistance in strains of E. coli, tuberculosis and gonorrhoea. While the full effects of global warming lie some time in the future, the apocalyptic scenario is that when someone needs a new hip in 20 years he might well die from a routine infection because we’ve run out of antibiotics.

The World Health Organization has warned the world is heading for a “post-antibiotic era” unless action is taken. It paints a future in which “many common infections will no longer have a cure and, once again, kill unabated. Research is not happening quickly enough. “We need resources for surveillance, resources to cope with the problem and to get public information across.” The drugs companies have run out of options as all the easy drugs have been made. “We have to be aware that we aren’t going to have new wonder drugs coming along because there just aren’t any.”


Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in Melbourne, Australia

Victoria’s health department has ordered the testing of cooling towers in the busy Melbourne suburb of Footscray, after a fatal outbreak of legionnaires’ disease. A man aged in his 50’s died in hospital this morning and four others have been admitted.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 115.7 degrees Fahrenheit (46.5 degrees Celsius) at Penrith, NWS, Australia, (western suburb of Sydney,) which broke its all-time record high with 114.4 F (45.8 C) the same day.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 66.1 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 54.5 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian outpost of Oimyakon.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Reventador (Ecuador): The volcano has now entered a full-scale eruption. Lava flows descending on the flanks and glow at the summit were observed. A tall steam and ash plume rises 1.5 km above the volcano and drifts west. Additionally explosions have been reported which were heard in the sector of Reventador. Seismic activity is strong and characterized by strong tremor and explosion signals. Interestingly, but probably nothing than coincidence, Reventador and Tungurahua which is now calm, two of Ecuador’s currently most active volcanoes, seem to alternate each other with phase of strong activity.

Ruapehu (North Island, New Zealand): Current level of earthquakes remains low.

White Island (New Zealand): GeoNet has raised the alert to orange. Over the last 20-30 hours the style of seismic activity has changed. Although the level of volcanic tremor has started to decrease, hybrid volcanic earthquakes have appeared. Hybrid earthquakes are typically associated with the movement of molten material (magma) within an active volcano.

Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): A new, relatively large explosion occurred this morning at 5am local time. The online newspaper KabarCepat mentioned that the explosion was heard up to 6 km away. Following the initial eruption, the volcano continued to produce a strong steam plume, interrupted by smaller explosions for almost all day. More than 3 mm of ash were deposited 4 km to the NE in Kinilow.

Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): Thermal hot spots and SO2 plumes are often visible on satellite data. This indicates that some (weak) activity is present at the volcano.

Taal (Luzon, Philippines): Philvolc’s seismic network recorded seven (7) volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours. Increased numbers of earthquakes have now been occurring for several days and this is certainly something to monitor. Although other parameters show no significant changes, it could be an early harbinger of something in the making.

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Activity, judged from tremor and explosion signals remain lower than during past week. The latest evaluation by INGV from 22 Jan described medium-low tremor levels.

Storms and Floods

Flooding in North Queensland, Australia

-Heavy rainfall caused flooding in north Queensland, mainly in Ingham, Halifax and Tully and parts of Townsville.

-Ex-cyclone Oswald also caused heavy rainfall on the Central Queensland coast and Capricornia region. In Rockhampton many streets in the city are now under water, and “very destructive winds” are also being felt.

-Water levels in southeast Queensland dams will be reduced to protect urban areas from any flooding associated with ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

-The Bruce Highway, a major highway in Queensland has been cut in several places.

-A rail link between Cairns and Townsville has been closed by Queensland Rail due to flash flood.

-Gale warning is issued for Bowen to Burnett Heads.

-Rainfall between 100 mm to 300 mm is predicted in the southeast over the next four days.

Floods Queensland

Landslide in Skardu, Pakistan

-Landslide blocked Baltoro river flow in Skardu, the main town of the region Baltistan of Pakistan.

-A 300 x 800 mountain landslide has changed the course of water. River water has also flooded adjacent areas in Skardu.

Landslide has destroyed about 80m of road in Matang, Malaysia.

Nearly 50 flood warnings have been issued across Britain. A combination of heavy downpour and a rapid thaw of snow and ice cold may cause problem.

Venice, Italy Floods Again

Tourists arriving for Venice Carnival are wading through water in St Mark’s square on Thursday after unusually high levels cause flooding. Water is spilling over canal walls in the city in the run up to festivities, for which hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come.

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