Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 earthquake hits Samar in the Philippines.

6.0 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.4 earthquake hits Guerrero, Mexico.

5.2 earthquake hits Vancouver Island, Canada.

5.2 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits Salta, Argentina.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere – Tropical cyclone 24s (Twenty-four), located approximately 716 nm north-northwest of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking west- southwestward at 05 knots.

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South Africa – Emergency rescue and medical services have worked through the night in the wake of torrential rains which have pounded parts of KwaZulu-Natal since Monday, claiming several lives and leaving devastation in its wake. The torrential downpours led to the evacuation of residents in the town of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape on Monday evening. At least five people were confirmed dead and dozens others injured after their homes collapsed during flooding and mud slides in Durban.

Spain – The holiday hotspot of Alicante in eastern Spain has experienced some of the heaviest rainfall in its history, leading to the evacuation of more than 300 people during these Easter holidays. Heavy rainfall and storms have been ravaging the Alicante area since Thursday. As well as the flash floods, wind speeds have reached 100km/h along Spain’s central eastern coastline. In the nearby town of Jávea (Xabia) Sunday’s downpour saw 250 litres of rainfall for every square metre, flooding hundreds of homes and leaving cars floating in the streets like corn flakes in a cereal bowl. Numerous ports in the region have had to stop operations due to waves of up to three metres in height.

Canada – Spring flooding has killed one person and forced nearly 1,700 people from their homes in Canada’s Quebec province, with waters expected to continue rising on Monday due to rising temperatures and more rain forecast for the coming days.


Deforestation in Peru

Years of deforestation in Peru are visible from space, tracked in a new animation created from NASA satellite views. And the forest loss is escalating at an alarming rate.

The image series was captured by satellites Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 from 2013 to 2018. Shared on April 19 by NASA Earth Observatory, the animated sequence reveals devastating depletion in the forests of southeastern Peru’s Madre de Dios region, covering approximately 1,350 square miles (3,500 square kilometers).

Madre de Dios rests near the Amazon basin and is a biodiversity hotspot, home to species that live nowhere else on Earth. But with deforestation on the rise, plants and animals that are endemic to the region face an uncertain future.


Bees take advantage of Wildfires

What looks like total destruction after a wildfire is actually a boon to bees.

Oregon State University researchers found 20 times as many bees in places where trees were wiped out by high-severity fire. Their study published this month is the first to show that the worse fire is for trees, the better it is for bees.

With trees gone, more sunlight hits the ground — triggering an explosion of wildflowers and blooming bushes. The smorgasbord of pollen and nectar sends bee numbers soaring. Trees damaged by wildfire also attracted insects that bore into wood. Cavity-nesting bees were able to turn those holes into homes.


Wildfires – Siberia

Large wildfires that have been burning in grasslands (steppe) in southern Siberia for about a week. A State of Emergency has been declared in the Transbaikal region where about 1,200 personnel are battling the blazes. The province of Khabarovsk is also affected. Satellite images show the extent of the blazes.

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Mayotte – Rift Valley Fever

The circulation of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) continues in Mayotte, according to state services in Mayotte. During the past week, 12 new animal foci and 5 new human cases have been reported, for a total of 104 animal foci and 122 human cases since the first cases occurred at the end of November 2018.

Foot and Mouth Disease – Zimbabwe

Gwenhoro Commercial Farm in Shurugwi has been hit by foot-and-mouth disease, a development which is likely to adversely affect livestock movement and production in the Midlands Province. An official from the Veterinary Services in the province, yesterday said more than 50 cattle have been affected.