Indian drought ‘affecting 330 million people’ after two weak monsoons

4096About 330 million people are affected by drought in India, the government has said, as the country reels from severe water shortages and desperately poor farmers suffer crop losses.

A senior government lawyer, PS Narasimha, told the supreme court that a quarter of the country’s population, spread across 10 states, had been hit by drought after two consecutive years of weak monsoons.

Narasimha said the government had released funds to affected regions where a crippling shortage of rainfall had forced the rationing of drinking water to some communities.

As summer hits India, reports of families and farmers in remote villages walking long distances to find water after their wells dried up have dominated local media. Source

Shake ‘n’ bake: Quakes, volcanoes in sudden eruption spree

ecuador-earthquake-1A flurry of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions wreaked havoc around the globe in the past week and reignited widespread interest in the natural time bombs beneath humanity’s feet.

A volcanic eruption near Mexico City on Monday and an earthquake in Ecuador on Saturday followed a pair of earthquakes that rocked Japan last week. In short, Mother Nature dealt millions of victims five days terror that involved collapsed buildings, soot-filled streets, tsunami warnings and emergency workers searching through rubble.

Filerma Rayo, 33, told Reuters she spent five hours trapped under debris in Pedernales, Ecuador, after Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Nearly 300 people and at least 2,000 were injured. Hundreds of corpses were consolidated at a nearby stadium to be identified. Source

Unusual quake cluster worries Japan

20180418_quake1_article_main_imageTOKYO — Seismic activity in southern Japan is mystifying geologists and keeping the nation on edge.

The island of Kyushu has been struck by a series of significant earthquakes, with the epicenters moving progressively further inland. The cluster started with the deadly quakes that hit Kumamoto Prefecture last Thursday and Saturday. Temblors subsequently rocked the Mount Aso region and neighboring Oita Prefecture.

There is a known concentration of faults in the area. Still, experts say it is highly unusual to have a string of quakes measuring around magnitude 6 and stretching over such a vast area. The epicenter of the Oita jolt was about 100km away from the first Kumamoto quake.

“I don’t quite understand what is happening with the recent earthquakes, because it’s an unfamiliar phenomenon,” said Yoshihisa Iio, a professor at Kyoto University’s Research Center for Earthquake Prediction.  Source

Powerful Ecuador earthquake kills 238

The strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades killed at least 238 people and injured more than 1,500 others Sunday as damage stretched for hundreds of miles to the capital and other major cities.

The magnitude-7.8 quake was centered on Ecuador’s sparsely populated fishing ports and tourist beaches, 105 miles northwest of Quito, the capital.  Source