**For myself I am an optimist -
it does not seem to be much use being anything else.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.0 EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN
Yesterday, 5/7/2014 -
5.5 KURIL ISLANDS
5.6 CASPIAN SEA, OFFSHR TURKMENISTAN
5.7 NORTHERN ALASKA
5.1 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
5.1 SCOTIA SEA
TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.
No current tropical storms.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Flash flooding in the remote northern Afghan province of Baghlan has killed at least 73 people and forced thousands to abandon their homes. The flooding has been deadliest in the Guzargah-e-Nur district of the province 140km (87 miles) north of the provincial capital Puli Khumri. The dead include women and children. About 200 people are missing.
Some 2,000 homes have been destroyed and roads washed away in what a local official said was a "huge disaster". Northern Afghanistan has been hit by a series of floods in recent weeks, which have affected tens of thousands of people. Flooding and landslides happen annually during the spring-summer rainy season in the north of the country, where flimsy mud houses offering scant shelter against rising water levels and volumes of mud.
Floods hit four villages in Guzargah-e-Nur, destroying roads and bridges. There was not enough dry land for helicopters to land. "Right now, people need drinking water the most [as well as] medicine and food. This is a huge disaster. Communities have lost everything, land, cattle and livelihoods."
The authorities in Guzargah-e-Nur - an especially inaccessible area of Baghlan - have appealed to the central government to provide emergency assistance. "So far no one has come to help us. People are trying to find their missing family members." Officers have been overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. The Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority says that it has stockpiles of food and other supplies in Baghlan province, and has begun transporting them to the affected area.
Last month flood waters washed away a big section of the main north-south road in the Tashqorghan gorge, effectively cutting off the north of the country. Further north-east in Badakhshan province, hundreds of people were killed in early May by a landslide which engulfed some 300 houses.