Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 Earthquake hits northeastern Iran.

The shallow temblor damaged at least four villages near its epicentre in the Sefid Sang district, a remote mountainous area home to 5,000 people, located about 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Mashhad. At least two people were reported to have died in the earthquake.

5.6 Earthquake hits the Kazakhstan-Xinjiang border.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits Mindoro in the Philippines.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits the south Atlantic Ocean.

5.2 Earthquake hits Mindoro in the Philippines.

5.1 Earthquake hits Guam.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Mindoro in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits Botswana.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.


New Zealand – Heavy rain has caused flooding, slips, power cuts and road closures in the North Island. Whanganui and Rangitikei declared local states of emergency on Tuesday. About 200 homes in low-lying areas of Whanganui were evacuated. MetService forecaster Georgina Griffiths said the worst of the weather appeared to be over in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki and Whanganui. Heavy rain was expected in Wellington and, later, the top of the South Island.


Scientists ‘Breathalyze’ Killer Whales

Unfortunately for biologists, it’s not really possible to get wild killer whales to come in for a checkup. But to test the health of orcas, you can apparently give the creatures a breathalyzer.

That’s what a group of scientists did with an endangered population of orcas, known as southern resident killer whales, in the Salish Sea.

Over the course of a few years, scientists snuck up on surfacing killer whales and held out a long aluminium pole topped with a petri dish. The researchers positioned the dish just above each whale’s blowhole so that it would catch any microbes let out by the whale as it exhaled.

The researchers captured microbes spurting out of the whales’ blowholes. Results showed that the species carries some of the same pathogens that cause disease in humans, including Salmonella and staph bacteria. The whales also carried some fungi, like Phoma, which is usually found in soil.

These animals are long-ranging, and as they migrate along the coast, they are exposed to agricultural runoff and urban discharge, which may introduce a variety of microbes into the water.


Malaria in Burundi: 2 million cases in first three months

On March 13, the Burundi government declared a malaria outbreak and the data on the outbreak shows the cases continue to mount in the East African country. According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), the cumulative number of malaria cases reported during the first 10 weeks of 2017 is 1,960,620 with 869 deaths.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 23 February and 16 March 2017 the national IHR focal point of Saudi Arabia reported 18 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) including two fatal cases. Four deaths among previously reported MERS cases were also reported.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Qatar

On 21 March 2017 the national IHR focal point of Qatar reported one additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Zika in US pregnant women

Of the 250 pregnant women who had confirmed Zika infection in 2016, 24 – or about 1 in 10 of them – had a foetus or baby with Zika-related birth defects, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Measles in Nova Scotia

Thirteen measles cases have now been confirmed in the province, all believed to be linked in this most recent outbreak. All of the cases currently confirmed have been linked in some way – primarily with people having been in the same location as someone who was infected with measles.

Leprosy: Rare case reported in Iowa

Leprosy is still found in the United States where a couple hundred cases are reported annually mostly from Florida, Texas, Louisiana and California. It is not an infectious disease you see everyday in Woodbury County, Iowa, or in Iowa generally.

Leishmaniasis outbreak reported in Cameroon

The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) of Cameroon reported in mid-February cases of acute fever and rash syndrome of unknown etiology being reported from the Far North and North regions of the country.

The major clinical manifestations of the illness included skin rash, persistent fever, malnutrition, anemia, hepato-splenomegaly and adenopathy. Laboratory results by the Centre Pasteur of Cameroon in Yaoundé have since shown this illnesses were due to cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Retrospective investigation indicated that 48 cases with similar clinical features including 17 deaths (case fatality rate of 35.4%) had been registered between January 2016 and 24 March 2017.

Space Events

Car-Sized Asteroid Buzzes Earth

Asteroid 2017 GM was first observed by the Mount Lemmon Survey in Arizona on April 3, 2017. On April 4, it came within 10,100 miles from Earth. Gianluca Masi (Virtual Telescope Project) and Michael Schwartz (Tenagra Observatories. Ltd) captured an image of the space rock a few hours prior to closest approach.

SP 170404 2017 GM flyby