Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.6 earthquake hits south-east of the Loyalty Islands.

6.3 earthquake hits south-east of the Loyalty Islands.

5.5 earthquake hits northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.5 earthquake hits the central mid-Atlantic Ridge.

5.4 earthquake hits northern Xinjiang, China.

Two 5.4 earthquakes hit south-east of the Loyalty Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 earthquake hits new Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Two 5.2 earthquakes hit south-east of the Loyalty Islands.

Five 5.1 earthquakes hit south-east of the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits central Peru.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Panama.

5.0 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

Five 5.0 earthquakes hit south-east of the Loyalty Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Tara is located about 25 mi…40 km ssw of Manzanillo Mexico with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…nnw or 335 degrees at 1 mph…2 km/h.


France – Flash floods tore through towns in southwest France, turning waterways into raging torrents that killed at least 13 people, nine of them in just one town, authorities said Monday. People had to be helicoptered to safety from the roofs of their homes as overnight storms dumped the equivalent of several months of rain in just a few hours. Worst hit was the town of Trebes, east of the medieval walled city of Carcassonne. The rains that swept in from the Mediterranean killed nine people there.

Spain – Hurricane Leslie is keeping Spain on alert for floods. Despite somewhat weakening, Leslie landed in Spain yesterday, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. The storm is currently passing over northern Spain. Up to four inches of rain is forecast to fall, with nine provinces in Spain on alert as the storm heads toward Navarra, north of Aragon and Catalonia.


Global insect populations declining at alarming rate

An article in PNAS (National Academy of Sciences) has highlighted research from around the world that has found that insect populations are declining significantly.

A number of studies indicate that tropical arthropods should be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. If these predictions are realized, climate warming may have a more profound impact on the functioning and diversity of tropical forests than currently anticipated. Although arthropods comprise over two-thirds of terrestrial species, information on their abundance and extinction rates in tropical habitats is severely limited. Here we analyze data on arthropod and insectivore abundances taken between 1976 and 2012 at two midelevation habitats in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest. During this time, mean maximum temperatures have risen by 2.0 °C. Using the same study area and methods employed by Lister in the 1970s, we discovered that the dry weight biomass of arthropods captured in sweep samples had declined 4 to 8 times, and 30 to 60 times in sticky traps. Analysis of long-term data on canopy arthropods and walking sticks taken as part of the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research program revealed sustained declines in abundance over two decades, as well as negative regressions of abundance on mean maximum temperatures. We also document parallel decreases in Luquillo’s insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds. While El Niño/Southern Oscillation influences the abundance of forest arthropods, climate warming is the major driver of reductions in arthropod abundance, indirectly precipitating a bottom-up trophic cascade and consequent collapse of the forest food web.

Research from 2014 estimated that in the last 35 years, populations of insects such as beetles and bees have decreased by 45%, and that the number of insects in Europe is in rapid decline. In a separate study published in 2017, flying insect numbers in German nature reserves were found to have decreased by 76% over 27 years.


Wildfires – California, USA

Power was shut off to about 118,500 customers in parts of more than a dozen Northern California counties late Sunday in an unprecedented move to pre-empt wildfires with strong winds and extreme weather conditions.

Utility company Pacific Gas and Electric, or PG&E, said it was shutting off power to help reduce the risk of wildfires. Some of the deadly infernos that engulfed the state this time last year were caused by downed power lines and damaged electrical equipment.

The National Weather Service warned Sunday of critical fire-related weather conditions in the North Bay Mountains and East Bay Hills continuing through Monday morning due to a combination of strong, gusty offshore winds and low relative humidity.

Wildfires – Oregon, USA

Oregon’s largest wildfire has flared up, prompting new evacuations. Gov. Brown on Monday declared the Klondike fire, which started three months ago in southern Oregon, a conflagration. That clears the way for the state fire marshal’s office to send firefighters and equipment to help with the blaze, which covers over 167,000 acres. About 40 homes are under level three (“go”) evacuations as of Monday morning.


Dengue Fever – Bangladesh

Since the beginning of the year through Oct. 15, Bangladesh has reported 7,450 dengue fever cases and at least 17 fatalities, according to the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research (IEDCR). This is a record for the number of dengue cases in a year.

Cholera – Zimbabwe – Update

The Zimbabwe cholera outbreak that began over a month ago continues to grow with 9,116 cases , including 54 deaths as of Friday. Fortunately, the weekly case incidence has been on a downward trend in recent weeks.

African Swine Fever – China

China reported a new African swine fever case on a farm with nearly 20,000 pigs on Monday, the largest farm yet to report the highly contagious disease in the world’s top pork producer.

The new case, one of numerous to be reported in northeast Liaoning province in recent days, underlines the escalating threat to the country’s $1 trillion pig industry from the disease despite a slew of initial measures imposed to curb its spread.

Pig prices have plunged in China’s northeast after farmers were unable to transport their herds out of infected provinces, while prices in the south have surged.