Monday, February 8, 2016

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: New Eruption At Santiaguito Volcano In Guatemala - Sends Ash And Gas Clouds Thousands Of Feet High! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

Santiaguito volcano in Guatemala. Twitter
February 8, 2016 - GUATEMALA - A new explosion at Santiaguito volcano, Guatemala was recorded on February 7, 2016.

Look at the pictures of the large ash and gas clouds engulfing the sky. Powerful.


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WATCH: Santiaguito volcano erupts.





- Strange Sounds.



SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Weather Phenomenon - RARE "Light Pillars" Seen Over Fairbanks, Alaska!

Image Credit & Copyright: Allisha Libby

February 8, 2016 - FAIRBANKS, ALASKA - What's happening behind those houses?

Pictured here are not auroras but nearby light pillars, a nearby phenomenon that can appear as a distant one.

In most places on Earth, a lucky viewer can see a Sun-pillar, a column of light appearing to extend up from the Sun caused by flat fluttering ice-crystals reflecting sunlight from the upper atmosphere.

Usually these ice crystals evaporate before reaching the ground.


Image Credit & Copyright: Allisha Libby

Image Credit & Copyright: Allisha Libby

During freezing temperatures, however, flat fluttering ice crystals may form near the ground in a form of light snow, sometimes known as a crystal fog.

These ice crystals may then reflect ground lights in columns not unlike a Sun-pillar.

The featured image was taken in Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks in central Alaska.

- NASA.






PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Papua New Guinea - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

February 8, 2016 - PAPUA NEW GUINEA - A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 has struck off the town of Panguna in Papua New Guinea, seismologists say, but no tsunami warnings have been issued.

The earthquake, at 2:19 a.m. local time on Tuesday, was centered about 94 kilometers (58 miles) southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville Island. It struck about 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake.

Shaking was felt on nearby islands but there was no immediate word on damage or casualties from the remote region. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami threat from Tuesday's earthquake and no tsunami alerts have been issued.


USGS shakemap intensity.


The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially measured the earthquake at 6.7 before it was downgraded to 6.3 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Earthquakes in the mountainous nation of Papua New Guinea, which is on the so-called 'Pacific Ring of Fire', do rarely cause damage or casualties as most structures in the region are light and flexible. This allows them to bend, rather than snap, when a major earthquake occurs. - BNO News.



Seismotectonics of the New Guinea Region and Vicinity


The Australia-Pacific plate boundary is over 4000 km long on the northern margin, from the Sunda (Java) trench in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east. The eastern section is over 2300 km long, extending west from northeast of the Australian continent and the Coral Sea until it intersects the east coast of Papua New Guinea. The boundary is dominated by the general northward subduction of the Australia plate.

Along the South Solomon trench, the Australia plate converges with the Pacific plate at a rate of approximately 95 mm/yr towards the east-northeast. Seismicity along the trench is dominantly related to subduction tectonics and large earthquakes are common: there have been 13 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded since 1900. On April 1, 2007, a M8.1 interplate megathrust earthquake occurred at the western end of the trench, generating a tsunami and killing at least 40 people. This was the third M8.1 megathrust event associated with this subduction zone in the past century; the other two occurred in 1939 and 1977.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Further east at the New Britain trench, the relative motions of several microplates surrounding the Australia-Pacific boundary, including north-south oriented seafloor spreading in the Woodlark Basin south of the Solomon Islands, maintain the general northward subduction of Australia-affiliated lithosphere beneath Pacific-affiliated lithosphere. Most of the large and great earthquakes east of New Guinea are related to this subduction; such earthquakes are particularly concentrated at the cusp of the trench south of New Ireland. 33 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900, including three shallow thrust fault M8.1 events in 1906, 1919, and 2007.

The western end of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary is perhaps the most complex portion of this boundary, extending 2000 km from Indonesia and the Banda Sea to eastern New Guinea. The boundary is dominantly convergent along an arc-continent collision segment spanning the width of New Guinea, but the regions near the edges of the impinging Australia continental margin also include relatively short segments of extensional, strike-slip and convergent deformation. The dominant convergence is accommodated by shortening and uplift across a 250-350 km-wide band of northern New Guinea, as well as by slow southward-verging subduction of the Pacific plate north of New Guinea at the New Guinea trench. Here, the Australia-Pacific plate relative velocity is approximately 110 mm/yr towards the northeast, leading to the 2-8 mm/yr uplift of the New Guinea Highlands.

Whereas the northern band of deformation is relatively diffuse east of the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, in western New Guinea there are at least two small (less than 100,000 km²) blocks of relatively undeformed lithosphere. The westernmost of these is the Birds Head Peninsula microplate in Indonesia's West Papua province, bounded on the south by the Seram trench. The Seram trench was originally interpreted as an extreme bend in the Sunda subduction zone, but is now thought to represent a southward-verging subduction zone between Birds Head and the Banda Sea.

There have been 22 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded in the New Guinea region since 1900. The dominant earthquake mechanisms are thrust and strike slip, associated with the arc-continent collision and the relative motions between numerous local microplates. The largest earthquake in the region was a M8.2 shallow thrust fault event in the northern Papua province of Indonesia that killed 166 people in 1996.

The western portion of the northern Australia plate boundary extends approximately 4800 km from New Guinea to Sumatra and primarily separates Australia from the Eurasia plate, including the Sunda block. This portion is dominantly convergent and includes subduction at the Sunda (Java) trench, and a young arc-continent collision.

In the east, this boundary extends from the Kai Islands to Sumba along the Timor trough, offset from the Sunda trench by 250 km south of Sumba. Contrary to earlier tectonic models in which this trough was interpreted as a subduction feature continuous with the Sunda subduction zone, it is now thought to represent a subsiding deformational feature related to the collision of the Australia plate continental margin and the volcanic arc of the Eurasia plate, initiating in the last 5-8 Myr. Before collision began, the Sunda subduction zone extended eastward to at least the Kai Islands, evidenced by the presence of a northward-dipping zone of seismicity beneath Timor Leste. A more detailed examination of the seismic zone along it's eastern segment reveals a gap in intermediate depth seismicity under Timor and seismic mechanisms that indicate an eastward propagating tear in the descending slab as the negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere detaches from positively buoyant continental lithosphere. On the surface, GPS measurements indicate that the region around Timor is currently no longer connected to the Eurasia plate, but instead is moving at nearly the same velocity as the Australia plate, another consequence of collision.

Large earthquakes in eastern Indonesia occur frequently but interplate megathrust events related to subduction are rare; this is likely due to the disconnection of the descending oceanic slab from the continental margin. There have been 9 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded from the Kai Islands to Sumba since 1900. The largest was the great Banda Sea earthquake of 1938 (M8.5) an intermediate depth thrust faulting event that did not cause significant loss of life.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

- USGS.




FIRE IN THE SKY: The Latest Fireball Sightings - Meteor Explodes Over Denmark With Meteorite Found; And Meteor Fireball Brighter Than Full Moon Filmed Over United Arab Emirates!

© UACN


February 8, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes several of the latest reports of fireballs, seen in the skies, across the globe.

Meteor fireball brighter than full moon filmed over United Arab Emirates

This fireball over the United Arab Emirates had similar brightness than a full moon.It was captured 06 February 2016 at 21:54:23 UT by the cameras of the UACN project.UACN

The UAE Astronomical Cameras Network (UACN) consists of sky-pointed astronomical cameras located at several locations in the United Arab Emirates, which automatically record a video file once a meteor is detected.


© UACN


The UACN is a cooperation between the International Astronomical Center (IAC), the UAE Space Agency, and the SETI Institute.

Phase one of this project consists of three stations called UACN1, UACN2 and UACN3.


WATCH: Fireball over UAE.






Since 28 January 2016, station UACN1 is operational and is contributing data. - Strange Sounds.


Meteor explodes over Denmark with meteorite found

Night sky illuminated in Ballerup, Denmark.
© Frank Weinberger

Hundreds of Danes reported the sky was suddenly lit up and a loud bang followed shortly after what most likely was a meteor streaking the sky over Copenhagen at around 10:08 pm Saturday 6. of February, 2016. The meteor was also spotted from Poland and Sweden.

Bo Michael Hansen from Roskilde wrote on TV 2 News' Facebook-profile:
" Bright flash, very loud boom followed by a long lasting rumble for 20-30 seconds, at Roskilde. Birds awoke and started chirping in the gardens and nearby wetlands. As a part time fire fighter I was on my way out of the door, as I thought it was a powerful explosion."
Anette Glentvor in Vesterbro wrote:
"The sky was gradually lit fully up. After that the sky turned green and ended with a short purple flash. About five minuttes after a long rumbling was heard. It sounded like thunder, except that the sound continued for a very long time."
Mikkel Pedersen from Roskilde told DR:
"We were driving home from Hillerød to Roskilde, when at 10 pm we were just outside Slangerup and a strong light suddenly lit up the sky and a huge fireball with a long tail flew right above our car,".
A meteorite at about 50 g was found by a woman who was out for a smoke in Ejby, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. It will be on display at The Geological Museum between 4-6 PM, today Monday 8. February, before it is sent to Italy for tests.

Unfortunately no recordings of the actual meteor have been published (as far as we know), but several surveillance cameras caught the flash on tape:


WATCH: In Gentofte.



WATCH: In Skovlunde.


- SOTT.




GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano Erupts - Blows Ash And Noxious Gases 500 Meters Into The Air!

Turrialba Volcano. © OVSICORI
February 8, 2016 - COSTA RICA - On Saturday afternoon, geologists at the Observatory on Volcanology and Seismology at the National University of Costa Rica (Spanish acronym: OVSICORI) reported a new eruption at the Turrialba Volcano, the most active colossus in their country.

The volcanic event took place about ten minutes before 2:00 pm during a warm, yet extremely windy, afternoon.

The seismographic sensors of the OVSICORI began stirring after 1:50 pm, at which time the scientists on duty activated their crater cameras to capture the eruption.

In the beginning, the eruption was mostly a slow emanation of volcanic ash and noxious gases.
About ten minutes into the natural event, a more powerful ejection occurred and a solid plume formed about 500 meters into the air.

Thanks to the crisp weather conditions and the clear-blue afternoon skies, the eruption on the western crater was visible from the summit of the nearby Irazu volcano.

Chemistry experts at the OVSICORI combined their observations with data from the Institute of Meteorology to provide a forecast of where the ash clouds were headed yesterday.

To this effect, they used the AERMOD atmospheric dispersion modeling system to create a forecast that indicated a northwesterly direction high over Guapiles and passing over most of the Heredia province on municipal elections day.

Some ash fell on the vegetation and crops of the massive Finca La Picada farm near the volcano. Elsewhere, a strong smell of sulfur was detected by neighbors in Concepcion de Heredia.

As previously reported by The Costa Rica Star, past activity from the Turrialba has disrupted daily life with school and airport closures as well as diminished farming operations; nonetheless, that does not seem to be the case at this time.

The National Committee on Emergencies has kept a yellow alert active through most of the Turrialba Volcano National Park to dissuade tourists and unauthorized personnel from coming close to the crater. - The Big Wobble.





PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Plasmodium Odocoilei - Researchers Discover Native Malaria Parasite In American White Tailed Deer, For The First Time Ever?!

The white-tailed deer is the most abundant and widely studied large mammal in the Americas.
Foxtrot101/iStockphoto

February 8, 2016 - AMERICAS - Two years ago, Ellen Martinsen, was collecting mosquitoes at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, looking for malaria that might infect birds—when she discovered something strange: a DNA profile, from parasites in the mosquitoes, that she couldn't identify. By chance, she had discovered a malaria parasite, Plasmodium odocoilei—that infects white-tailed deer. It's the first-ever malaria parasite known to live in a deer species and the only native malaria parasite found in any mammal in North or South America. Though white-tailed deer diseases have been heavily studied—scientist hadn't noticed that many have malaria parasites.

Martinsen and her colleagues estimate that the parasite infects up to twenty-five percent of white-tailed deer along the East Coast of the United States. Their results were published February 5 in Science Advances.

In hiding
"You never know what you're going to find when you're out in nature—and you look," says Martinsen, a research associate at the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute and adjunct faculty in the University of Vermont's biology department. "It's a parasite that has been hidden in the most iconic game animal in the United States. I just stumbled across it."

The new study, led by Martinsen, was a collaboration with scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Park Service, the University of Georgia, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee—and UVM biologist and malaria expert Joseph Schall.

Though Martinsen and Schall are quick to note that they anticipate little danger to people from this newly discovered deer malaria, it does underline the fact that many human health concerns are connected to wider ecological systems—and that understanding the biology of other species is a foundation to both conservation and public health management. Zika virus is recently making worrisome headlines and "there's a sudden surge in interest in mosquito biology across the United States," says Schall. "This is a reminder of the importance of parasite surveys and basic natural history."

In 1967, a renowned malaria researcher reported he'd discovered malaria in a single deer in Texas. But the received understanding was that "malaria wasn't supposed to be in mammals in the New World," says Schall, who has studied malaria for decades. "It was like the guy was reporting he saw Big Foot," and no other discoveries were made after that.

But now Martinsen and her colleagues have discovered that the deer malaria is widespread—though it's "cryptic" she says, because the parasites occur in very low levels in many of the infected deer. "Ellen spent days and days looking through a microscope at slides that were mostly empty," Schall says, but eventually found the parasites. Combined with sensitive molecular PCR techniques to understand the genetics, the team confirmed a high prevalence of the disease—between eighteen and twenty-five percent—in sites ranging from New York to West Virginia to Louisiana.

Native species

The new discovery fundamentally changes our understanding of the distribution and evolutionary history of malaria parasites in mammals, Martinsen says. Some scientists wondered if the deer malaria could have jumped from people or zoo animals in the recent past. But the new study suggests otherwise. The team's data shows that the deer actually carry two genetic lineages of the malaria parasites—"probably different species," she says—and that the two lineages are substantially different from each other.

This divergence between the two forms of malaria was used by the scientists as a kind of molecular clock. "We can date the evolutionary split between those two lineages," Martinsen says—to 2.3 to 6 million years ago. Which probably means that when the ancient evolutionary ancestors to white-tailed deer traveled from Eurasia across the Bering Land Bridge to North America in the Miocene, some 4.2 to 5.7 million years ago—malaria came along for the ride. "We think malaria is native to the Americas," Martinsen says, "that it's been here for millions of years."

Malaria is a major problem for people in many parts of the world—and for many species of wildlife too. It has been devastating bird species in Hawaii and Bermuda, among many epidemics. Whether it is hurting white-tailed deer in America is an open question. Martinsen suspects not, because she'd expect to see more obviously sick animals. But Schall wonders if, like some human malaria infections, the disease causes a low-level burden that hurts deer populations. They both agree that it is an area that calls for more research—and that the new study raises many other questions, including whether the parasite might infect dairy cows or other hoofed species.

Ellen Martinsen completed her undergraduate and doctoral training at UVM in Joe Schall's lab and went on to do her postdoctoral research at the Smithonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Conservation Genetics. The new discovery drew on a team of scientists and veterinarians at the Smithsonian and other institutions, who studied samples from both live and necropsied deer as well as mosquitoes. Additionally, Martinsen returned to Schall's lab for some of the new research.

"Malaria is a top parasitic disease in humans and wildlife," Ellen Martinsen says. "It's important that we gain a better understanding of its diversity and distribution not just across humans but across other species too."

More information: Hidden in plain sight: Cryptic and endemic malaria parasites in North American white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

- Phys.org.



GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Massive Landslide In Central Java, Indonesia - 5 People Killed; 2 Others Missing!

Five killed in Indonesia landslide

February 8, 2016 - INDONESIA - Five bodies have been recovered and two other persons are still missing after a landslide hit Purworejo district of Central Java on Friday, rescuers said here Saturday.

Heavy downpours triggered the landslide at Penungkulan village of Gebang sub-district at around 20:00 p.m. Jakarta time, at least 2 houses being hit, said Marsudi, spokesman of the National Search and Rescue Office.

"A rescuer team from Central Java office along with soldiers, police and volunteers are searching for the missing now," he told Xinhua by phone.

The disaster also badly injured one villager and forced 75 others to take shelter at safer places, said Budi Harjono, operational head in disaster management agency in Purworejo district.

"Searching is under way now. We expect all the missing to be found soon," he told Xinhua from the scene at Penungkulan village.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Management Agency said over 250 personnel including those from local search and rescue office, local disaster management agency and Red Cross, as well as soldiers, police and volunteers, are involved in the search and rescue operation.

"But access to the scene is hampered by crowd insisting on seeing the accident ... Hence it disturbed vehicles to enter the area," he told Xinhua over phone on Saturday.

Landslide is frequent in Indonesia during heavy rain that often leaves scores of casualties and damage. - Xinhuanet.





GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Indonesia's Mount Soputan Volcano Erupts - Spew Column Of Hot Ash Up To 2.5km High! [VIDEO]

Mount Soputan has erupted 39 times in the last 600 years

February 8, 2016 - INDONESIA - Mount Soputan volcano in North Sulawesi province of Indonesia erupted several times on Sunday, spewing a column of hot ash by up to 2.5 km high, official of disaster management agency said.

Mount Soputan, located some 60 km from Manado, capital of the province, has high potential for further big eruption which is indicated by persistent tremors with amplitude of 41 mm, Spokesman of National Disaster Management Agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho disclosed.

Several subdistricts in Minahasa Tenggara district were hit by rains of ash and volcanic materials that the local disaster agency distributes masks to protect local residents from the impact, he told Xinhua via phone.

The authorities have banned villagers or visitors from entering the area of 4 km from the crater, but at the southwest of the crater the evacuation zone is at 6. 5 km, Mr. Sutopo said.

The 1,874- meter high Mount Soputan is one of Indonesia's active volcanoes whose number is about 129, according to the National Volcanology Agency.


WATCH: Soputan volcano erupts.



- Xinhua.






ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - The World's Largest Shark Filmed Off The Coast Of Mexico?!

The world's largest great white shark, named Deep Blue, is recorded on video off Guadalupe Island. © Michael Maier

February 8, 2016 - MEXICO - She's the world's largest shark, dubbed Deep Blue, and she was captured on video off the coast of Mexico.

New video has surfaced of Deep Blue, which is as big as a metro bus, and it's giving scientist a better perspective at the giant that shocked the world when her existence was first revealed.

Michael Maier was the man behind the camera and he released more video from the aquatic encounter that captivated the world.

Maier and his fellow divers were submerged off Guadalupe Island, which is located about 300 miles southwest of San Diego.

The divers were dangling large chunks of meat when the leviathan slowly emerged from the depths.

Deep Blue appeared and she made a move at one of the divers, but the diver quickly ducked into the safety of the cage. The great white shark took the bait and did a few laps around the diving cage. At one point a diver gave her a high five as she glided by.


WATCH: The world's largest shark.




Shark experts believe Deep Blue is about 50 years old and was possibly pregnant and about to give birth when the encounter took place.

Experts said it's possible that she has given birth to more than 100 babies in her lifetime.

There is no tracking device on Deep Blue, so it's not known where she currently is located. - ABC7NY.




EXTREME WEATHER: Poor Distribution Of Rainfall Results In Flooding Risks And Severe Droughts In Southern Africa - The Famine Early Warning Systems Network!


February 8, 2016 - SOUTHERN AFRICA - The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has warned that poor distribution of rainfall in southern Africa is leading to severe drought in some areas and flooding risks in other areas.

In Madagascar, 700,000 people are thought to be affected by the drought in the south, whereas in the north 30,000 people have been affected by heavy rain that has brought a high risk of flooding and landslides.

In Mozambique, over 40% of this season's crops in the south have been lost to drought.

In the north, storms and heavy rains have left 45 dead and destroyed over 1,000 homes since the start of the rainy season in October 2015.

Drought in Southern Africa
According to FEWS NET, significantly below-average and poorly-distributed seasonal rainfall since October has negatively affected many countries in southern Africa. The largest precipitation deficits have been concentrated over western Madagascar, southern Zambia, central and western Mozambique, southern Malawi and large portions of Zimbabwe.


Drought and floods in southern Africa, February 2016.
© FEWS NET

Earlier this month, in a statement of the effects of El Niño, the World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organization, said:

In Southern Africa, many areas have seen the driest October-December period since at least 1981, and some 14 million people in the region are already facing hunger, which adds to fears of a spike in the numbers of the food insecure later this year through 2017.
Poor Distribution of Rainfall

While parts of Mozambique and Madagascar suffer drought, other areas of those same countries have experienced heavy rain and flooding.

FEWS NET say that during the last week heavy seasonal rains have continued over some parts of southern Africa, in particular southern Tanzania, northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar. Heavy rainfall is forecast to persist over these areas, where ground is already saturated. FEWS NET warn this is likely to cause inundation and swelling of streams and rivers.

Tanzania


In Tanzania, flooding has been reported in 5 regions since mid January, 2016.


At least 400 people have been displaced in Dodoma municipality after 70 houses were destroyed or damaged after heavy rain between 17 and 18 January 2016.


Estimated total rainfall accumulation for Mozambique 01 to 31 January 2016. Parts of southern Tanzania can also be seen. © UNOSAT

Since then, flooding has been reported in Morogoro, Katavi, Mtwara and Dar es Salaam. On 28 January, Mtwara (city) recorded 109.9mm of rain and Dar es Salaam 105.1mm and significant levels of rain continued for the next few days.

Mozambique

FloodList reported on 21 January that Mozambique was struggling with floods in the north while drought conditions persisted in the south.

Heavy rain has been affecting northern areas during January, 2016.

The worst affected provinces are Cabo Delgado, Tete, Zambezia, Niassa and Nampula, all in the north of the country. Between 18 and 19 January, Montepuez, in the province of Cabo Delgado, recorded 96mm of rain in 24 hours.

More recently, Montepuez recorded 146 mm in 24 hours between 04 and 05 February.


Yesterday, Agência de Informação de Moçambique (AIM) reported that 45 people have died in storms and floods which have hit parts of northern Mozambique since the start of the current rainy season in October 2015. The deaths were caused by high winds, lightning strikes, and floods resulting from torrential rains.

AIM also said that since October, the number of people affected by flooding is around 26,000.

Over this period, 1,202 houses have been destroyed and a further 3,941 have been damaged. There are currently no government-run accommodation centres for flood victims. Those displaced by the floods are thought to be staying with friends and relatives.

In the south, the story is very different. Madagascar's Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (Ministério da Agricultura e Segurança Alimentar - MASA), reported that 256,591 hectares of crops have been lost in the southern region, which corresponds to 43 per cent of the total sown area. In central areas, the drought situation has affected 180,440 hectares, about 9 percent of the total sown area. It is estimated that about 200,000 farmers have lost their crops.

Madagascar


It is a similar situation in Madagascar, where the country is split between extreme rainfall in the north and drought in the west and south.

Between 02 and 03 February, 121 mm of rain fell in Antsohihy, Sofia Region and 95 mm in Fascene, Diana region.

Recently, Fascene recorded 100 mm of rain in 24 hours between 05 and 06 February. Sambava in Sava Region recorded 69 mm during the same period.


Quoting figures from the country's office of risk management (Bureau national de gestion des risques et catastrophes - BNGRC), the Madagascar Tribune said that there are 700,000 people affected by the drought in the south, whereas in the north 30,000 people have been affected by heavy rain that has brought a high risk of flooding and landslides.

However, there may finally be some signs that the rain is moving south. In the last 24 hours, Maintirano in the Melaky region on the coast of western Madagascar recorded 58 mm of rainfall in 24 hours between 05 and 06 February, 2016.

Reporting by Richard Davies, with input from Dr. Joshua Ngaina, a physical meteorologist working in Eastern and Southern Africa on climate related hazards, vulnerability and risk assessment. - Floodlist.