Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits eastern Kazakhstan.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Maug Islands in the Mariana Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Panama.


HIV Aids in South Africa

At least 28% of South African schoolgirls are HIV positive compared with 4% of boys because “sugar daddies” are exploiting them, according to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

He said 94,000 schoolgirls also fell pregnant in 2011, and 77,000 had abortions at state facilities.

About 10% of South Africans are living with HIV, official statistics show.


Monarch Butterfly Populations Under Pressure

Monarch butterflies — one of the sure signs of spring and summer — may not be as plentiful this year across the USA, in part because of the ongoing drought and recent wildfires in Texas that ravaged their food sources.

Similar conditions have affected Monarch butterflies in New Zealand. See Post.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): A new lava flow has started from the NE crater and is descending the Sciara del Fuoco. The activity is accompanied by continuous spattering from the northern hornito and strong tremor.

Rabaul (Tavurvur) (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): Intermittent mild explosive activity at the Tavurvur vent continues. A small eruption yesterday produced an ash plume rising several 100 m.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): The dome has been becoming more active, INSIVUMEH details in its latest report. 40-60 small to moderate explosions have been occurring daily, producing a fine ash plume rising about 500-1000 m above the dome. 4 lava flows are active on the flanks of the dome, and produce near-constant avalanches and sometimes small pyroclastic flows.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Occasional weak gas and ash emissions have been reported by INSIVUMEH who believes that a return to magmatic, likely strombolian activity from the Mackenney crater is a probable scenario for the near future (weeks).

Fuego (Guatemala): Weak to moderate explosions accompanied by rumbling sounds audible in up to 6 km distance produce a fine ash plume drifting about 10 km to the west, and causing light ash fall in the areas of Panimache and Morelia. INSIVUMEH mentions in its latest, unusually predictive daily report, that the sound of the explosions indicates that in the coming days a new lava flow will be visible again.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Cyclone Tim located approximately 240 nm north-northeast of Cairns, Australia.

Cold and Snow in Russia

Central Russia is bracing itself for a powerful snowy cyclone, one that may prove the most powerful for March in the past half a century, according to weather forecasters. Anomalous snowfalls with gusts of wind are due in the Moscow Region later today. The peak of bad weather is expected on Friday and Saturday. Up to 25 centimetres of snow may fall summarily. All public utilities in Moscow have been alerted.

But weather has uncorked some unpleasant surprises in other Russian regions, too.

An avalanche has engulfed a small town of Ust-Katav in the Chelyabinsk Region, luckily, without any loss of life. In Voronezh, a powerful snowfall caused numerous road accidents.

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At least eight people have died in landslide in Mofala of Sinja region in Jumla, Nepal. The landslide collapsed a house killing eight, including five members of same family.

Landslide in Sylhet, Bangladesh has killed three people and injured 10 others.

Landslide in Kudpora Waghama, in Bijbehara area, India has killed a 15 years old girl and injured 2 others.

Mudslide in Heilongjiang, China

At least eight miners are trapped in a mudslide in Zhenxing coalmine in Heilongjiang province of Northeast China.

Chinese mine disasters are the deadliest in the world.

Other News:

Thunderstorm in Kulim, Malaysia has damaged around 30 houses.

Traffic along Grandjean Junction and Banner Summit has been closed by Idaho Transportation Department, USA due to an avalanche.

Great Lakes in Australia has been declared a flood disaster zone. Natural disaster recovery assistance will now include Gloucester, Great Lakes, Shoalhaven, Upper Hunter and Walcha areas.