Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 earthquake hits the Turkey-Syria border.

5.8 earthquake hits Kodiak Island, Alaska.

5.3 earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.1 earthquake hits Iceland.

5.1 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 11s (Freddy), located approximately 136 nm west-northwest of St Denis, is tracking west-southwestward at 19 knots.

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Philippines – Disaster authorities in the Philippines report over 30,000 people have been displaced and 2 people have died after heavy rain brought by a low-pressure area (LPA) caused flooding and landslides across 8 regions. In a 24-hour period to `14 February, 242 mm of rain fell in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte. On 18 February, 241 mm of rain fell in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

South Africa – More flooding has affected parts of South Africa in recent days. At least 2 people have died and 5 are still missing. Authorities warn that dam levels are extremely high and floodgates have been opened in several locations. Severe flooding struck in the town of Coffee Bay and surrounding areas on 18 February 2023. Homes, schools and infrastructure were damaged. Six people were swept away by floodwater. Two bodies have since been recovered and four remain missing. Flooding struck in the town of Komani from 18 to 19 February, one person, who had been trapped in the floods with two others, was swept away on the evening of 18 February. Flooding was reported in the city of Ladysmith in the KwaZulu-Natal province after the Klipriver broke its banks on 17 February. Several roads were closed, and homes and commercial buildings were flooded.

Romania – Extensive flooding in northern Romania on Saturday night left roads damaged and disrupted rail services. The worst affected counties were Bistrita and Maramures. Rivers burst their banks, leaving homes and farmland flooded and triggering landslides. In Bistrita, an avalanche blocked the Rodna-Valea Vinului road, leaving motorists with a 30km detour.


Fukushima: Japan prepares to release 1.3 million tonnes of wastewater into the sea

Japan is preparing to release more than a million tonnes of treated wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The nuclear reactors have been decommissioned – a process which will take 40 years to complete. But the shutdown has stalled over the build-up of vast quantities of water used to keep the damaged reactors cool.

The site produces 100,000 litres of contaminated water daily. It is a combination of groundwater, rainwater that seeps into the area and water used for cooling. More than 1.32 million tonnes of treated wastewater is currently stored at the site. That accounts for 96 per cent of storage capacity.

TEPCO says several filtering systems remove most of the 62 radioactive elements in the water, including caesium and strontium, but tritium – a radioactive form of hydrogen – remains. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said the release meets international standards and “will not cause any harm to the environment”.

But neighbouring countries, including China and South Korea, along with activist groups such as Greenpeace and some local residents are strongly opposed to the release. Local fishermen fear the release would once again make consumers wary of buying their catch.


Wildfires – Cuba

A major wildfire in eastern Cuba was spreading closer to a national park on Monday, threatening hundreds of residents in its path. Firefighters were attempting to control the blaze that started this weekend in the mountainous Pinares de Mayari region in Cuba’s Holguin province, some 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of the capital Havana, with strong winds and dry conditions fueling its rapid spread.



The countries with the 10 greatest number of Covid-19 cases:

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Lassa fever – Nigeria

In a follow-up on the Lassa fever situation in Nigeria in 2023, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) report an additional 68 confirmed cases during the week ending February 12. This brings the total confirmed cases to 531 during the first six weeks of 2023.