Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits the eastern Sea of Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the central Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic Ocean: Invest 90L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that may have potential for further tropical development.

In the South Pacific Ocean: Tropical Cyclone Debbie located approximately 108 nm southeast of Townsville, Australia, is tracking southwestward at 05 knots.

Monster cyclone Debbie smashed into northeast Australia Tuesday, cutting power, damaging buildings and uprooting trees, with coastal residents battling lashing rain and howling winds. Great Barrier Reef islands popular with foreign tourists were battered by the category four storm which slammed into the coast of Queensland state with destructive wind gusts of up to 270 kph (167 miles) near its broad core. By late evening it had been downgraded to category two and was expected to weaken further.

NewsBytes:

Indonesia – Floods claimed four lives and rendered one missing in Padang Sidimpuan, North Sumatra, on Sunday evening. Five residents were swept away by the flooding, of which four were found dead, while another is still missing. Several homes were flooded in the sub-districts of Padang Sidimpuan Angkola Julu, Padang Sidimpuan Batunadua, South Padang Sidimpuan, and North Padang Sidimpuan. Also at least 2,500 people in five sub-districts in Bima, East Nusa Tenggara, have fled their homes to escape flash floods, following heavy rain on Sunday.

Kenya – Floods cause traffic jam on Kampala roads. Floods caused heavy traffic jams on all major city roads following a heavy Monday afternoon downpour. Along the Kampala-Jinja Road, floods cut off the road at Kyambogo junction.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Ireland

The current dry spell in Ireland has brought with is a host of wild fires across the country. Since Friday the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) says it has recorded 15 wild fires from counties Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Galway, Donegal, Louth and Mayo.

It says eight of these were in areas protected for nature conservation – all are illegal as setting fire to vegetation is prohibited between March 1and August 31 each year.

Disease

New cholera outbreak flares up in Malawi

Malawi health officials reported a new cholera outbreak in Nsanje district, located in the southern region of Malawi. The outbreak began on Mar. 11 and laboratory testing revealed that the agent was Vibrio cholerae Ogawa O1. As of 24 March 2017, a total of 14 cases with no deaths have been reported.

Lassa fever in West Africa: Outbreaks confirmed in 5 countries

Lassa fever outbreaks have been confirmed across five West African countries, including Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Burkina Faso.

Nigeria – In Nigeria, the index case emerged on 16 December 2016 in Ogun state. Since then, the outbreak has remained active. During the week ending 19 March 2017), 15 suspected cases were reported, with two testing positive for Lassa fever. Between 16 December 2016 and 19 March 2017, a total of 283 suspected cases including 56 deaths (case fatality rate of 19.8%) have been reported. Of the suspected cases, 99 were confirmed by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Lassa laboratory in Nigeria. The cases have been distributed across 13 states: Ogun, Bauchi, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ondo, Edo, Taraba, Nasarawa, Rivers, Kaduna, Gombe, Cross-River and Borno.

Benin – The outbreak of Lassa fever in Benin started on 12 February 2017 from Tchaourou district, Borgou province, close to the border with Nigeria. It was established that this case had epidemiological link with the ongoing Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria. On 23 February 2017, another suspected case from L’Atacora province was reported. Samples obtained from the two cases tested positive for Lassa fever in the laboratory in Cotonou, Benin and in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Lassa laboratory. Both cases died, giving a case fatality of 100%.

Togo – In Togo, Lassa fever was confirmed on 23 February 2017, with the case having established epidemiological linkage to Benin. A total of 12 suspected were subsequently reported, seven of them were confirmed at the Institut National d’Hygiène in Lomé, Togo. Four of the confirmed cases died, giving a case fatality rate of 57%. The cases originated from Oti and Kpendjal districts.

Burkina Faso – On 26 February 2017, the Ministry of Health of Burkina Faso notified WHO of a confirmed Lassa fever case admitted in a hospital in the northern part of Togo. The case originated from Ouargaye district, central eastern part of Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso has not had any other case.

Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone has been reporting sporadic suspected cases of Lassa fever since 28 December 2016. However, the outbreak situation escalated in the months of February and March 2017 when a cluster of 24 cases were reported and investigated. Out of these, four cases were laboratory confirmed and all of them died, thus giving case fatality rate of 100% among the confirmed. The outbreak has since subsided.

Measles in Damascus, Syria

A “major outbreak” of measles is hitting the encircled, rebel-controlled Damascus suburbs of East Ghouta, with doctors telling Syria Direct that vaccine shortages are to blame for more than 350 cases of the easily preventable disease in under two months. As a result, hundreds of East Ghouta children now suffer from dangerously high fevers, severe respiratory issues and, in at least two instances, death.

In patients with access to quality health care, measles can be managed. But for populations with malnutrition and inadequate health care, “mortality can be as high as 10 percent,” the France-based Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) reported earlier this month. Children affected by measles within East Ghouta face an added risk of serious health complications given the dire food and medical shortages resulting from the opposition-held area’s five-year encirclement.