Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Depression Boris forms about 85 mi (140 km) East of Salina Cruz, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 km/h). Boris is moving north at 5 mph (7km/h).

Boris is expected to produce additional rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches with isolated amounts of up to 10 inches over the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.

NewsBytes:

Chile – Thousands of people have been left stranded in southern Chile after unusually intense rainfall this week caused flooding and caused rivers to burst their banks. Some communities are without drinking water or electricity and roads have been cut off in the southern regions of Los Rios, Biobio, Araucania, Los Lagos and Aysen. Around 4,000 people were estimated to be stranded and over 50,000 were without electricity. More rain is forecast for the area, which is where most of Chile’s wood pulp industry is based. There were no reports of deaths or serious damage.

Disease

100 More MERS Cases Found in Saudi Arabia

The number of people known to be infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) just jumped by more than 100 after Saudi Arabian officials reexamined old medical records.

The new review identified 113 additional cases of MERS that had not been previously reported, bringing the total number of cases to 688, according to Reuters. Of these, 282 people, or 40 percent of those infected, died.

The news comes just a day after Saudi Arabian officials announced that the deputy health minister had been fired.

Cases of MERS first appeared in September 2012 in Saudi Arabia, and most cases have been in the Middle East. The virus that causes MERS belongs to the same family as the virus that causes SARS, known as coronaviruses.

Australia – Mysterious virus outbreak worries doctors

Dozens of Australian babies are infected by a virus that has no cure, doctors say.

Professor Theo Sloots says 46 babies are infected with parechovirus, which has spread to Queensland. At least 11 cases have been confirmed in the state since December.

“The outbreak is Australia-wide now and we believe there are at least four types of the virus,” the Queensland Paediatric Infectious Diseases (QPID) laboratory director told reporters in Brisbane.

“We don’t know what type is in Queensland compared to other states.”

Parechovirus is a respiratory and intestinal disease that causes fever, irritability, rash and diarrhoea, but severe cases can develop into hepatitis or encephalitis.

QPID Associate Professor Michael Nissen said the virus infected mainly infants, but no one was sure where it came from, how often it occurred or how to fight it.

“This virus does not respond to common antibiotics,” he said.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Arizona

Coping with a drought of historic proportions, Arizona staggered through another high-risk weekend with fires burning across the state — but no longer threatening to escape control.

The 21,000-acre Slide Fire in Sedona continues to smoulder and flare, but fire crews’ desperate efforts to use backfires and firebreaks to keep the blaze from spreading north toward Flagstaff appear to have succeeded.

#About 200 firefighters continue to monitor the fire and put out embers and sparks that spread beyond the established boundaries. Crews did call in helicopter drops when a flare-up threatened to move toward the plush Juni­pine Resort. The fire remained mostly confined to the steep canyons on the west side of Oak Creek, one of the most popular tourist areas in the state.

Israel

Wildfires swept across parts of the northeastern Negev on Tuesday, prompting authorities to evacuate residents in the vicinity as the Shavuot holiday approach.

Local authorities were dispatched to towns near the Lahav Forest after blazes raged through some 300 acres near Kibbutz Lahav.