Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits near the south coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits the central mid-Atlantic Ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits offshore Antofagasta, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 09p (Gita), located approximately 501 nm northwest of Wellington, New Zealand, is tracking southwestward at 28 knots.

Newsbytes:

Hawaii – Flash flood watches have been issued for the entire state as Hawaii continues to be drenched by a Pacific storm front. Heavy rainfall – in some cases record-setting for the date – fell across much of the state Saturday. Vehicles were reportedly stranded in two to three feet of water with a current moving at about 17 mph.

Global Warming

Carbon Dioxide Turns Oceans Acidic

Sea creatures are literally being eaten away and ‘dissolved’ by pollution, scientists have discovered.

It’s feared that high levels of carbon dioxide in the water could cause irreparable damage to marine ecosystems after tests found acute levels of the gas cause starfish to dissolve.

A team of marine scientists conducted a four-day experiment at Loch Sween on Scotland’s west coast to measure the response to short-term carbon dioxide exposure.

Previously, tests had focused on the effect high levels of the gas had on individual plants or animals, leaving a gap in knowledge about how whole marine ecosystems respond to sudden influxes of carbon dioxide.

When high levels of carbon dioxide enters the oceans it causes them to become more acidic.

The experiment revealed acute exposure led to net dissolution, meaning calcified organisms such as the coralline algae and starfish were dissolving.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

A wind-driven wildfire in rural central California threatened hundreds of buildings Monday, including a historic railroad station, but officials said they made some gains after the flames exploded in size.

The blaze scorched 3½ square miles of chaparral bush and shrub oak in the small town of Bishop on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada that is popular for hiking, fishing, climbing and hunting.

Officials ended most evacuations that were ordered near the town but warned that strong winds were expected in the area and urged residents to remain vigilant.

Disease

Cholera – Mozambique

On 27 October 2017, the Ministry of Health in Mozambique notified WHO of an outbreak of cholera. From 14 August 2017 through 11 February 2018, 1799 cases and one death (case fatality rate = 0.06%) of cholera were reported from the two provinces; Nampula (1580 cases) and Cabo Delgado (219 cases). Underreporting of the number of cases and deaths is likely.

Fiji: Dengue Fever

Fiji health officials have declared a dengue fever outbreak in the subdivisions of Nadi and Ba in the Western Division, according to local media reports. A total of 312 confirmed cases have been recorded and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services says the confirmed cases continue to rise.