Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits the State of Yap, Micronesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 Earthquake hits the State of Yap, Micronesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Western Pacific: Tropical Depression 32w (Kai-Tak), located approximately 280 nm south-southwest of Manila, Philippines, is tracking west-southwestward at 07 knots.

Newsbytes:

Philippines – Rescuers used bulldozers to dig through mountains of mud in the eastern Philippines to search for over 30 people missing after a powerful storm triggered landslides on the weekend, authorities said Monday. Tropical Storm Kai-Tak continued to drag its way westward across the archipelago nation Monday after leaving at least 28 dead over the weekend from drowning and landslides, the government monitoring agency said. Most of the dead were in the island province of Biliran, which suffered the worst of the landslides, with many homes buried.

Dubai – Floods hit Dubai yesterday after heavy rain. Schools were closed and more than 541 traffic accidents were reported. Rough seas kept fishing vessels in port.

Malaysia – At least 10 houses in Kampung Pampang collapsed and were swept off in a flash flood which hit the district since yesterday, caused by water from Sungai Pampang overflowing. Meanwhile, in Kota Belud district, 74 flood victims from 37 families were moved to the temporary evacuation centre at Tun Said community hall after their village was flooded following continuous rain since noon.

Keningau

Wildlife

International call for Japan to halt Antarctic whaling

The European Union and 12 other nations condemned Japan’s Antarctic whaling programme Monday, rejecting Tokyo’s argument that the annual slaughter is for scientific research.

Japan’s whaling fleet left for the Southern Ocean again last month, planning to kill 333 minke whales over a four-month period.

Its fisheries agency says the hunt is needed to study whale behaviour and biology, but critics say such lethal research is unnecessary and acts as a cover for commercial whaling.

In addition to the EU, the letter was signed by Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

More than 250 firefighters are battling a large bushfire that’s burning out of control in Victoria’s Gippsland. The blaze is burning in bushland east of Cann River and had spread to almost 10,000 hectares on Monday, forcing some road closures. It currently poses no threat to homes but with hot weather forecast for coming days, authorities are telling locals to be alert.

Wildfires – California

The army of firefighters, heavy equipment and aircraft battling the Thomas Fire which has become the third-largest wildfire in California history faced a forecast of extreme fire danger caused by high winds and dry conditions over the weekend.

The Thomas Fire has burned more than 400 square miles northwest of Los Angeles and is only 35 percent contained. Forecasters expect strong Santa Ana winds to whip the flames with gusts up to 40 mph. No rain is forecast, and the National Weather Service reported the area is enduring its second-driest water season on record.

As of Sunday morning, the Thomas Fire had burned 259,000 acres, with the potential to become the biggest single fire in California history. The current record is held by the 2003 Cedar Fire, which killed 15 people and burned just over 273,000 acres in San Diego. The fire has burned more than 1,000 buildings, including well over 750 homes, authorities said.

As of Sunday morning, about 8,300 firefighters, 29 helicopters and 77 bulldozers were working the fire. Two people have been killed in the blaze.