Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits the Ceram Sea.

Two 5.7 earthquakes hit New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.6 earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.5 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.5 earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.4 earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Two 5.2 earthquakes hit New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits Unimak Island, Alaska.

Three 5.1 earthquakes hit New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Four 5.0 earthquakes hit New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits Mindoro in the Phillippines.

At least 14 people have died after yesterday’s powerful earthquake caused landslides in a remote region of Papua New Guinea (PNG), officials say. The 7.5-magnitude quake rattled villages and a large gold mine in the country’s Enga province on Monday morning. There are unconfirmed reports that the death toll could be as high as 30, with details of “extensive” damage emerging. The tremor caused ExxonMobil to shut its $19bn (€15bn) liquefied natural gas plant, PNG’s biggest export earner. A number of buildings collapsed and roads were blocked by the landslides. Some phone lines were also cut, Reuters news agency reports.

Global Warming

Unusually Warm Arctic

During the Arctic winter, when the sun hides from October to March, the average temperature in the frozen north typically hovers around a bone-chilling minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 degrees Celsius). But this year, the Arctic is experiencing a highly unusual heat wave.

On Feb. 20, the temperature in Greenland not only climbed above freezing — 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) — it stayed there for over 24 hours and on Saturday (Feb. 24) the temperature on Greenland’s northern tip reached 43 degrees F (6 degrees C) – much warmer than it was in most of Europe at the time.

Weather conditions that drive this bizarre temperature surge have visited the Arctic before, typically appearing about once in a decade, experts told Live Science. However, the last such spike in Arctic winter warmth took place in February 2016 — much more recently than a decade ago. And climbing Arctic temperatures combined with rapid sea-ice loss are creating a new type of climate feedback loop that could accelerate Arctic warming, melting all Arctic sea ice decades earlier than scientists once thought.

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Disease

Rift Valley fever – Gambia

On 3 January 2018, the Ministry of Health (MoH), Senegal notified WHO of a case of Rift Valley fever, a 52-year-old Korean man who was a resident of Gambia. The case was reported from a hospital in Dakar.

Yemen – Diphtheria and Cholera – Update

In an update on the diphtheria and cholera outbreak situation in war-torn Yemen, as of Feb. 10, there are 1,032 probable diphtheria cases, including 64 associated deaths, in 161 districts among 20 governorates in the country.

According to the World Health Organization, 1,068,520 cholera cases and 2,261 deaths as of February 25. The current outbreak started on Apr. 27, 2017. While the outbreak has slowed in recent months, UN health officials say that may change with the upcoming rainy seasons.

Chikungunya – Mombasa, Kenya

From mid-December 2017 through 3 February 2018, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Kenya reported 453 cases, including 32 laboratory-confirmed cases and 421 suspected cases, of chikungunya from Mombasa County.