Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Philippines.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tajikistan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kyrgyzstan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific: Hurricane Dora is located about 170 mi…275 km SSW of Manzanillo Mexico and about 255 mi…415 km S of Cabo Corrientes Mexico with maximum sustained winds…80 mph…130 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 295 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

NewsBytes:

India – Flash floods and landslides, triggered by incessant rains, have continued to create havoc in the northeast, claiming several lives and displacing thousands of people besides damaging crops, properties and all means of communication. The water level in many states has reached waist level while power cuts and lack of water supply has further affected daily lives.

Global Warming

Coastal Louisiana Is Sinking Faster Than Expected

The rich wetlands of southern Louisiana are sinking faster than previously thought, new data reveals, worsening a decades-long ecological disaster that authorities are struggling to reverse.

“What previous studies have called the worst case is the case that right now is the average,” said Jaap Nienhuis, a geologist at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Nienhuis and his colleagues at Tulane have found the coast is subsiding on average about 9 mm (1/3 inch) a year. Some areas, such as those near the mouth of the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya River delta to the west, are settling closer to 12 mm a year.

Periodic flooding of the Mississippi River used to dump fresh soil into those marshes, bolstering the wetlands. But the levees that now prevent those floods keep that soil straitjacketed in the river. The area is also home to a major oil and natural gas industry, and canals cut through the marshes allowed salt water to kill grasses that held the land in place.

As a result, coastal Louisiana has been losing a roughly Manhattan-sized chunk every year to a combination of sea-level rise, erosion, and subsidence. That threatens a rich ecosystem that provides more than 1 billion pounds of seafood a year and provides a buffer when hurricanes spin onto shore from the Gulf of Mexico.

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Wildlife

Wasted Fish

Fishing fleets dump about 10 percent of the fish they catch back into the ocean in an “enormous waste” of low-value fish despite some progress in limiting discards in recent years, scientists said on Monday.

Almost 10 million tonnes of about 100 million tonnes of fish caught annually in the past decade were thrown back into the sea, according to the “Sea Around Us” review by the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Australia.

Industrial fleets often throw back fish that are damaged, diseased, too small or of an unwanted species. A trawler with a quota only to catch North Atlantic cod, for instance, may throw back hake caught in the same net.

Discards are an “enormous waste … especially at a time when wild capture fisheries are under global strain amidst growing demands for food security and human nutritional health,” they wrote in the journal Fish & Fisheries.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Utah, California, USA

Better weather conditions have limited the growth of a wildfire in Utah that has prompted the evacuation of 1,500 people from hundreds of homes and cabins, officials said Sunday night. In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a car crashed on a freeway and prompted evacuations of nearby homes in the city of Santa Clarita.

Firefighters on Sunday put in barriers against the flames and air tankers dropped fire retardant in anticipation of winds coming in from the southwest on Monday, officials said. The blaze, which is being battled by about 1,000 firefighters, covers nearly 67 square miles (174 square kilometers) and is 10 percent contained.

The fire in California started Sunday afternoon in Santa Clarita north of Los Angeles, prompting authorities to shut down all lanes of a highway and send crews to fight the blaze that quickly grew to more than 1 square mile (2.6 square kilometers), fed by tinder-dry brush and driven by winds in stifling heat. One structure was destroyed but authorities did not say if it was a home.

Disease

Nigeria: After six months, meningitis outbreak over

The meningococcal meningitis C outbreak in Nigeria that began in mid-December 2016 in Zamfara State has been declared over, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Friday. The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) responding to the epidemic has stepped down as the outbreak has been in constant decline for eight weeks.