Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

Two 5.4 Earthquake hit Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.2 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Mindoro in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits Coquimbo, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits northern California.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific: Tropical storm 08w (Conson), located approximately 352 nm south-southeast of Minami Tori Shima, is tracking northwestward at 06 knots.

Gl sst mm

Global Warming

Has global warming killed off the fish in Africa’s deepest lake?

Clmiate change may have been the key cause of the decline of fisheries in east Africa’s Lake Tanganyika rather than just overfishing, a new study has found.

The lake’s fish are a critical part of the diet of neighbouring countries, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia, providing up to 60 percent of the animal protein consumed in the region and it also is an important biodiversity hotspot.

There have been growing concerns about the impact of overfishing, land use changes and changes in climate on this key ecosystem.

But the study by the US’s National Academy of Sciences shows that the abundance of fish began declining in the 1800s when the lake’s temperature began increasing.

Large-scale commercial fishing in the area did not start until the 1950s, so that is why the rising surface temperature is more likely to blame for the decline in fish productivity.

What we’re seeing on the lake now, the fishermen are starting to catch juveniles and, once you start to catch juveniles, the fish population will start to decrease very dramatically and so in a relatively short time period, we could end up with fish stocks that, through a combination of overfishing and this climate change impact, could become very small.

The stratification of the lake has something to do with oxygen concentration that the fish need and so as the stratification moves up and down in the lake, the size of the lake obviously changes as well and so does the amount of oxygen-rich water for the fish.”

As a result, fewer nutrients from the bottom reach the top, making less algae, which serve as food for the fishes.


Wildfires – Madeira, Portugal

Three people are now known to have died in wildfires that have advanced upon Funchal, the capital of the Portuguese island of Madeira.

A thousand people have evacuated from homes and hotels. Several buildings have been destroyed, including the five-star Choupana Hills hotel.

Fires have burned for two days on the holiday island off north-west Africa.

Wildfires have also affected the Portuguese mainland in recent days as temperatures climb above 35C.

There were 109 active fires burning on Wednesday morning, according to Portugal’s civil protection agency, with 11 causing particular concern – mainly in the north-west of the mainland.

In Arouca, dozens of people were forced to flee their homes overnight after strong winds fanned the flames of the fires. Some main roads have also been closed.

More than 3,200 emergency workers are battling the flames across the country.

Wildfires – California, USA

A Southern California wildfire has surged in size and put thousands of homes in potential peril.

Smoke plumes roiling from flaming ridges of the San Bernardino Mountains blew all the way across the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas as the blaze on Monday forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes. People in some 375 homes were ordered to evacuate, authorities said. 5 000 more were warned to be ready to leave their homes.

Firefighters aided by 16 aircraft battled flames that spread across nearly 10 square miles on the northern side of the rugged mountain range east of Los Angeles.


Hepatitis E outbreak in North Darfur

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported an outbreak of suspected Acute Jaundice Syndrome (AJS) in Sortony, North Darfur, in which some 134 cases have been reported since May. Sortony hosts over 21,000 people who were displaced from Jebel Marra following hostilities earlier this year.

Measles in Uganda

The Ugandan health ministry has announced an outbreak of measles in “some parts of the country”.

A number of cases have been confirmed in Kamwenge and Kamuli districts, the ministry said in a statement. Specific areas where measles has been reported include the sub-counties of Butandisi, Nawanago, Balawoli, Nabwigulu and Kamuli Municipality.

Kamwenge is facing a second outbreak of the disease which has been attributed to a number of factors. The ministry says that some of these factors include the high influx of refugees from neighbouring DR Congo, religious cults like the Triple 6, cultural attachments and attitudes towards health services.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Dukono (Halmahera): Ash emissions have been intense recently, suggesting that activity at the (more or less permanently active) volcano is currently elevated. Based on satellite imagery, Darwin VAAC reported a plume at approx. 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude extending up to 200 km NE from the volcano.