Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Globa

6.1 Earthquake hits Crete.

Local authorities said there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Crete.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Crete.

5.0 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

India – Record rain in Chennai. The city was bracing for the hottest part of the year and had a sudden swing in weather on Wednesday, a rarity for April. For the first time in 70 years, Meenambakkam received 103.2 mm rainfall.

Kenya – At least three people have been confirmed dead after flash floods in Mandera swept away a Nairobi-bound bus. 

Mandera kenya flood

Kazakhstan – Floods in Karaganda Oblast in Kazakhstan have affected 1,760 houses in 35 villages. A sharp rise in temperature caused melting of snow and triggered flooding in the Semey and Ayagoz districts. All of the residents of Aksu village in Shet district and Zhastlek in Bukharzhyrau district have been evacuated.

Kazakhstan flood damage

Utah, USA – A windstorm in Salt Lake City has claimed the life of a person and injured 25 others. Low visibility from blowing dust caused many crashes on Interstate 80 leaving a person dead and injured 25 others. Salt Lake City also recorded its largest snowfall with 15 inches of snow.

Brazil – A Sao Paulo suburb has been hit by severe flooding following heavy rains. Houses were destroyed and whole districts turned into rivers. The country’s southeastern region is experiencing its worst drought for 80 years but the floods – the latest of several this year – will do little to alleviate it. Across the state thousands have had to leave their homes because of floods and mudslides.

Environment

Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

A blanket of fog lifts, exposing a band of rainbow sheen that stretches for miles off the coast of Louisiana. From the vantage point of an airplane, it’s easy to see gas bubbles in the slick that mark the spot where an oil platform toppled during a 2004 hurricane, triggering what might be the longest-running commercial oil spill ever to pollute the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet more than a decade after crude started leaking at the site formerly operated by Taylor Energy Company, few people even know of its existence. The company has downplayed the leak’s extent and environmental impact, likening it to scores of minor spills and natural seeps the Gulf routinely absorbs.

An Associated Press investigation has revealed evidence that the spill is far worse than what Taylor — or the government — have publicly reported during their secretive, and costly, effort to halt the leak. Presented with AP’s findings, that the sheen recently averaged about 91 gallons of oil per day across eight square miles, the Coast Guard provided a new leak estimate that is about 20 times greater than one recently touted by the company.

Outside experts say the spill could be even worse — possibly one of the largest ever in the Gulf. Taylor, a company renowned in Louisiana for the philanthropy of its deceased founder, has kept documents secret that would shed light on what it has done to stop the leak and eliminate the persistent sheen.

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Wildlife

Prairie Dogs Perishing From Plague Bacterium

An outbreak among prairie dogs of the same bacterium that caused the Black Death threatens to alter the American grassland habitat in profound ways, biologists warn.

Many black-tailed prairie dogs have already died from the infection, and Arizona health officials said in early April that they had found a den with an unusually large number of dead or dying prairie dogs.

Samples taken from the site near Flagstaff tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for bubonic plague.

The pathogen first arrived in the Great Plains around 1900.

The resulting deaths of prairie dogs since then have caused a decline in other native species that depend on the animal for its burrowing activities and for food.

Efforts are underway to eradicate the flea that spreads the bacterium among the prairie dogs, using an insecticide called delta dust.

If you normally see prairie dogs then next day they’re gone, there is a good chance plague is coming.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113.0 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) at Linguere, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 99.2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 72.9 degrees Celsius) at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

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.

Disease

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 2 and 12 April 2015, 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, including 2 deaths. Cases are listed by date of reporting, with the most recent case listed first.

Infectious Disease Outbreak – Nigeria

An outbreak of a strange ailment has claimed more than twenty five lives in Ode Irele in Irele local government area of Ondo State. It is not ebola.