Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.1 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

A magnitude 7.1 powerful earthquake rocked Vanuatu at 06:33 am local time Friday morning on April 29, 2016 prompting a tsunami warning in the area. The National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) warned that the earthquake could generate tsunami waves of up to three metres (10 feet) on parts of the Vanuatu coast within 300 km of the epicentre along the coast of Vanuatu. The NTWC cancelled the tsunami alert in less than two hours, saying “there is no longer a tsunami threat from this earthquake”.

6.8 earthquake hits the northern east Pacific rise.

5.1 Earthquake hits Kodiak Island, Alaska.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.


Guatemala – Landslide triggered by heavy rainfall has claimed the lives of two people and left 20 others missing in a Guatemalan landfill Wednesday afternoon.

Mississippi Gulf Coast, USA – The Mississippi Gulf Coast was inundated with flood waters Thursday morning after severe weather pushed water into some homes and prompted rescues. Roadways were covered in water, and schools in Biloxi, Gulfport and Ocean Springs had to delay opening. Some areas received up to 10 inches of rain in just a few hours.

Viewer-submitted photo of severe flooding in Gulfport

Alaska – Flooding caused by an ice jam on the Yukon River near Eagle appeared to have crested overnight Wednesday — but meteorologists were monitoring the situation as well as the threat it could pose to another village downriver. An initial advisory Wednesday evening reported minor flooding along the road linking Eagle and nearby Eagle Village, as well as yards of homes along the river’s lower banks.


Kenya holds summit to stop elephant slaughter

2016 04 28T121614Z 01 GGGAFR102 RTRIDSP 3 KENYA IVORY 28 04 2016 14 04 36 388

From anti-poaching commandos deployed by helicopter to boosting court prosecutions: Kenya on Friday hosted a summit on how to end ivory trafficking and prevent the extinction of elephants in the wild.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is heading the meeting which groups African heads of state and conservationists in the central town of Nanyuki to boost awareness of the threat of poaching.

On Saturday, the country sets fire to nearly its entire ivory stockpile.

The bonfire will be the largest-ever torching of ivory, involving 105 tonnes from thousands of dead elephants, dwarfing by seven times any stockpile burned before.

Africa is home to between 450,000 to 500,000 elephants, but more than 30,000 are killed every year on the continent to satisfy demand for ivory in Asia, where raw tusks sell for around $1,000 (800 euros) a kilo (2.2 pounds).

The summit aims to raise global awareness and eventually achieve a total ban on ivory trade, while highlighting the multiple methods used in the fight against poachers, from the frontline, where rangers are out on patrol, to the court room.

The Last Dance for Mountain Chicken Frogs

Conservationists will try to bring Montserrat’s two remaining mountain chicken frogs together in the hope they will breed and save the species from local extinction. The male and female are the only known survivors of chytrid fungus disease, which has ravaged amphibian populations worldwide. They currently live about 1,500 feet apart along one of the island’s rain forest streams. Artificial nests will be built to entice the female.

Locust Warnings

The embattled Middle Eastern country of Yemen is bracing for what officials fear will be a large locust plague, which they are afraid to combat with pesticides out of fear of killing the bees that are vital to the country’s agriculture. Ongoing civil conflict, amplified by foreign intervention by the United States, Iran and Saudi Arabia, is also hampering locust control and monitoring. Teams say this resulted in them being unable to kill the locusts before the insects matured enough to swarm.

Global Warming

Deoxygenation Due To Climate Change Threatens Marine Life

A drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world and should be evident across large parts of the ocean between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study.

Scientists know that a warming climate can be expected to gradually sap oceans of oxygen, leaving fish, crabs, squid, sea stars, and other marine life struggling to breathe. But it’s been difficult to determine whether this anticipated oxygen drain is already having a noticeable impact.

The entire ocean—from the depths to the shallows—gets its oxygen supply from the surface, either directly from the atmosphere or from phytoplankton, which release oxygen into the water through photosynthesis.

Warming surface waters, however, absorb less oxygen. And in a double whammy, the oxygen that is absorbed has a more difficult time traveling deeper into the ocean. That’s because as water heats up, it expands, becoming lighter than the water below it and less likely to sink.

Thanks to natural warming and cooling, oxygen concentrations at the sea surface are constantly changing—and those changes can linger for years or even decades deeper in the ocean.

For example, an exceptionally cold winter in the North Pacific would allow the ocean surface to soak up a large amount of oxygen. Thanks to the natural circulation pattern, that oxygen would then be carried deeper into the ocean interior, where it might still be detectable years later as it travels along its flow path. On the flip side, unusually hot weather could lead to natural “dead zones” in the ocean, where fish and other marine life cannot survive.

16 25 Deoxygenation


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 115.0 degrees Fahrenheit (46.1 degrees Celsius) in Boutilimit, Mauritania.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus -88.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 66.6 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research 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.


Salmonellosis – United States of America

On 20 April 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of the United States of America notified PAHO/WHO of an ongoing investigation of four multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to exposure to small turtles (with shell length <4inches/10 centimetres) or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) in the United States.

A total of 124 cases with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 22 U.S. states. Of these, 33% of patients have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. Of the total, 51 cases (41%) were aged less than 5 years. The earliest illness associated with the four outbreaks began on 1 January 2015. Initial investigations have identified four turtle farms in Louisiana as potential sources of the turtles linked to these 2015 outbreaks. Pond water testing from the four farms resulted in the identification of additional non-outbreak Salmonella isolates.

A ‘tropical’ parasitic disease emerges in the Canadian Arctic

An outbreak of an intestinal parasite common in low income areas in the tropics, known as Cryptosporidium, has been identified for the first time in the Arctic. The discovery was made in Nunavik, Quebec.

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestine of mammals, including humans, and is transmitted by the fecal-oral route from ingestion of contaminated food or water or contact with infected individuals. The parasite causes an illness known as Cryptosporidiosis which is characterized by diarrhea, cramps and vomiting.