Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.6 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Alaska.

5.0 earthquake hit off the coast of Oregon.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Tanimbar, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storm systems.

Newsbytes:

Colombia – Long-term heavy rainfall caused a massive landslide in the department of Cauca, southwestern Colombia , on 09 January 2023. Homes were destroyed and hundreds of victims were displaced. The landslide occurred during the early hours of 09 January 2023 in the municipality of Rosas, Cauca Department. Disaster authorities said huge volumes of debris fell from slopes onto part of Highway 25 below, covering a 900-meter stretch of the road. Highway 25 is an important transport route between the cities of Pasto (Nariño department) and Popayán (Cauca department). The road is likely to remain closed for the next 2 weeks.

Indonesia – Disaster authorities in Indonesia report at least 2 people have died after flash floods in Central Java Province on the island of Java. Flooding has also affected parts of Banten Province over the last few days. Flooding struck in Tembalang District, Semarang City, on 06 January 2023 after heavy rain caused an embankment along the Pengkol River to break, folding a housing complex. Flooding struck in Tembalang District, Semarang City, on 06 January 2023 after heavy rain caused an embankment along the Pengkol River to break, folding a housing complex.

Angola – Several incidents of severe weather were reported in the province of Huambo during December 2022. Authorities reported at least 11 people lost their lives, many as a result of electrocution after power lines came into contact with rain or flood waters. On 15 December 2022, flooding struck in the city of Soyo, province of Zaire, damaging over 100 homes. On 28 December 2022 around 100 homes and several public buildings were flooded in the city of Menongue, in Cuando Cubango Province. Strong winds were also reported at the time. Around 160 people were displaced. On 02 January 2023, a hospital was damaged by floods after heavy rain in the city of Moçâmedes, the capital of Namibe Province. Around 300 patients were affected. More than 100 homes in the city were also damaged.

Global Warming

Rapidly Warming World

The last eight years have been the eight warmest on record as the growing concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere pushes global temperatures toward a dangerous tipping point, a new report shows.

An analysis by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service published on Tuesday said that 2022 was the fifth-warmest year for the planet since records began. It also reported Europe recorded its warmest summer last year.

The report said that annual average temperature reached 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, marking the eighth year in a row of temperatures at least 1 degree above the 1850 to 1900 reference period.

Before humans started to burn large quantities of fossil fuels, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was around 280 parts per million. According to Copernicus, it hit an annual average of 417 parts per million in 2022, an increase of 2.1 parts per million compared to 2021. Records show the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere has not been this high in around 2 million years, Copernicus added.

Environment

Utah, USA – Great Salt Lake on Verge of Collapse

Utah’s Great Salt Lake is on the verge of collapse, and could expose millions to arsenic laced dust. Scientists say excessive water use is to blame, with 74% of diverted lakewater being used for unsustainable agricultural practices.

Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, could be set to disappear within the next five years, exposing millions of people to the toxic dust trapped in the drying lake bed, according to scientists.

The lake has lost 73% of its water and 60% of its surface area since 1850 and is facing “unprecedented danger.” Without emergency measures to add an additional 326 billion gallons (1,234 billion liters) of water to the lake per year, or enough water to fill nearly 500,000 Olympic-size swimming pools, it could pass the point of no return by the end of 2024.

Besides removing water needed for farms, houses, reservoirs and the extraction of critical minerals from brine, such as lithium and magnesium, the rapid drying of the lake would also pose severe hazards to both the environment and human health. The lake bed contains toxic dust mixed with dangerous metals such as antimony, copper, zirconium and arsenic that could be kicked up and carried by gusts of wind to damage crops; degrade soil; melt snow; and, if inhaled, increase the risks for illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and cancer. Dust from the Great Salt Lake has already been recorded in southern Utah and Wyoming.

Disease

Measles – DR Congo

Health authorities announced that more than 12,000 cases of measles, including 109 deaths were recorded during 2022 in the province. This epidemic currently affects the 17 health zones that make up this province located in the center of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Cholera – Haiti

Since the notification of the first two confirmed cases of Vibrio cholerae O1 in the greaterPort-au-Prince area on 2 October 2022, to 7 January 2022, the Haiti Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (MSPP) reported a total of 23,044 suspected cases in 10 departments of the country, including 1,576 confirmed deaths.