Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.5 earthquake hits south-west of Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.4 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.3 earthquake hits the island of Hawaii, Hawaii.

5.2 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.2 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake is south-west of Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Mayotte region.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Bud is located about 270 mi…435 km sse of Cabo San Lucas Mexico with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…nnw or 330 degrees at 2 mph…3 km/h.


Switzerland – Torrential rain continued to hit Switzerland for a second night running, this time focusing on the north-western canton of Jura. Villages in the area were flooded as the river Schuelte burst its banks and several roads were closed. The heavy rainfall also affected parts of eastern Switzerland. It was responsible for an avalanche and landslide that cut off the St Bernard Pass in canton Valais overnight – which reopened during the morning. No fatalities or injuries have been reported. Jura took the brunt of the downpour where more than 100 firefighters spent the night pumping out flooded cellars. Some 76 millimetres of rain fell on Movelier overnight, according to the authorities. The villages of Courroux and Vicques were left practically unreachable by road on Wednesday morning.

India – Incessant rainfall in past 48 hours has triggered landslides and floods in various parts of Mizoram. The land is now unstable around the hilly areas cuts across National Highway 54. It is the area located near Hunthar, Aizawl and its the road to the airport too. Even areas just outside the Aizawl city located near the Tlawng river had been badly affected. Several houses have collapsed in landslides.


Ancient baobabs are dying

Baobabs are dying across southern Africa‚ and climate change may be to blame.

Some of the oldest and largest baobabs in South Africa‚ Zimbabwe‚ Namibia‚ South Africa‚ Botswana‚ and Zambia have abruptly died in the past decade‚ say a team of international researchers. The trees‚ aged between 1‚100 and 2‚500 years‚ may have fallen victim to climate change‚ said the team.

While the cause of the deaths is unknown‚ the researchers “suspect that the demise of monumental baobabs may be associated at least in part with significant modifications of climate conditions that affect southern Africa in particular”.

The dead trunks were only 40% water‚ instead of the 75-80% they should have been. Their condition meant they could no longer support the tree’s weight. Between 2005 and 2017‚ the researchers dated “practically all known very large and potentially old” African baobabs – more than 60 in total. After studying data on girth‚ height‚ wood volume and age‚ they noted the “unexpected and intriguing fact” that most of the oldest and biggest trees died during the study period.

The oldest tree which suffered the collapse of all its stems was the Panke tree in Zimbabwe‚ estimated to have existed for 2‚500 years. The biggest‚ Holboom‚ was from Namibia. It stood 30.2m tall and had a girth of 35.1m.

The most famous victim of the die-off was the Chapman’s baobab‚ a national monument and tourist attraction in central Botswana that bore the carved initials of explorer David Livingstone. It was named after South African hunter James Chapman‚ who visited it in 1852. On January 7‚ 2016‚ its six trunks all collapsed and died.



Plague: Idaho, USA

Idaho state health officials are reporting on the first confirmed human case of plague identified in the state since 1992. A child in southern Idaho’s Elmore County is currently recovering from the bacterial disease. Health officials say it is not clear whether the child was exposed to plague in Idaho or during a recent trip to Oregon.

Hepatitis A: USA

Hepatitis A outbreaks have struck a number of cities and states since the beginning of 2017 to include San Diego and other areas of California, Detroit and other areas of Michigan, Kentucky,especially Louisville, Utah and West Virginia.

Since Jan 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received more than 2,500 reports of hepatitis A infections associated with person-to-person transmission from multiple states, including dozens of deaths. Of the more than 1,900 reports for which risk factors are known, more than 1,300 (68%) of the infected persons report drug use (injection and non-injection), homelessness, or both.