Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits offshore Sucre, Venezuela.

5.3 earthquake hits the island of Hawaii, Hawaii.

5.2 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits off the coast of Aisen, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the Java Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Sumbawa, Indonesia.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

USA – Helicopters rescued people stranded by flooding in Montana, including 140 children and counselors stuck in a mountain bible camp for two days, as severe storms swept the Rockies and the Midwest. Montana was just drying out from spring flooding caused by near-record snowfall over the winter when a storm unleashed heavy rains last weekend. Flooding in Minnesota and South Dakota caused some road closures. In northwest Iowa, several roads were inundated and basements swamped by heavy rain. Flooding in Virginia forced Richmond International Airport and parts of nearby Interstate 64 to close Friday morning. Meanwhile, great swaths of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado were experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, forcing recent closures of national forests and other public lands because of fire danger.

Ivory Coast – Update – The cleanup is continuing in Ivory Coast’s southern city of Abidjan after torrential rain caused deadly flash flooding. According to the country’s interior minister, 18 people died on Monday as flash floods raged through parts of the city, reaching a depth of 2.5 metres in some places. Two other people were reported killed in the provinces. On Thursday, the government called for the evacuation of all people living in flood-prone zones. Many parts of the city are vulnerable to flooding, from the up-market Cocody neighbourhood to the densely populated Yopougon area due mainly to lack of infrastructure, including drainage and sewerage.

Global Warming

Climate change drives spread of toxic algae in USA water supplies

Across the U.S., reservoirs that supply drinking water and lakes used for recreation are experiencing algae blooms which release toxins into the water with growing frequency. The trend represents another impact of global warming and raises looming questions about the effects on human health, researchers say.

Technically called cyanobacteria, the ancient class of organisms that create the blooms are present nearly everywhere water is found but thrive in warm, still bodies like lakes and ponds. They also create a unique class of toxins, the impact of which on humans is only partly understood.

Long linked to animal deaths, high doses of the toxins in humans can cause liver damage and attack the nervous system. In the largest outbreaks, hundreds have been sickened by blooms in reservoirs and lakes, and officials in some areas now routinely close water bodies used for recreation and post warnings when blooms occur.

In Lake Erie, a major bloom in 2014 caused authorities to warn against drinking tap water in Toledo, Ohio, for more than two days, cutting off the main water source for more than 400,000 people. Now blooms happen every year in Utah and Ohio. Other blooms, including flare-ups affecting drinking water, have been logged in recent years in New York, Florida and California. In Oregon, officials lifted Salem’s drinking water advisory after several days, but then had to reissue the warning. Testing for the blooms isn’t required by either federal or state law.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Oregon, USA

Some residents have been evacuated and others are on standby as the Graham and Boxcar wildfires burn in central Oregon.

About 2,000 acres are in flames after the Graham Fire spreads near Culver. The fire was first reported on Thursday. Some damage to structures was reported but it was not yet clear what type of buildings burned.

The Boxcar Fire, which started three miles south of Maupin in Central Oregon, closed part of U.S. Highway 197 and is expected to grow. A level 1 evacuation — meaning “get ready” — has been issued for East Maupin. The largest wildfire of the young season grew to 18,000 acres Friday afternoon.

Disease

Hepatitis A outbreak spreads to Ohio, USA

The hepatitis A outbreak associated with hundreds of cases in Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia has spread to Ohio, according to a news release from the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio’s numbers are not as high as those in surrounding states — Kentucky reported a whopping 761 cases over an eight-month period — but its 79 cases are “almost double the number of cases reported during all of last year,” according to the release. Community health departments across the state will receive thousands of doses of the vaccine to help curb the disease’s spread.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Texas, USA – Days of torrential rain have led to widespread flooding in southeastern Texas, the state’s worst floods since Hurricane Harvey last year. Since Tuesday, 5 to 10 inches of rain has fallen along the Texas coast from the border to around 125 miles south of Houston, with more than 15 inches in some areas, the National Weather Service said.

Illinois, USA – Heavy rains have led to some flooding and standing water on roadways across the Chicago area Thursday, especially in the south suburbs, and raised concerns for those living along the area’s rivers. More bands of rain will move through the Chicago area overnight, bringing more rain. That has residents who live along the Fox River concerned.

Environment

Newly Nocturnal

The expanding human influence on the world is causing many animal species to be more active at night, while most people are sleeping.

“Humans are now this ubiquitous terrifying force on the planet, and we are driving all the other mammals back into the nighttime,” said University of California, Berkeley, researcher Kaitlyn Gaynor.

She and colleagues analyzed studies of 62 species on six continents and found that human activity, such as hunting and farming, triggered an increase of about 20 percent in nighttime activities. This includes animals that aren’t typically night owls.

Global Warming

Antarctica Is Getting Taller

Bedrock under Antarctica is rising more swiftly than ever recorded — about 1.6 inches (41 millimeters) upward per year. And thinning ice in Antarctica may be responsible.

That’s because as ice melts, its weight on the rock below lightens. And over time, when enormous quantities of ice have disappeared, the bedrock rises in response, pushed up by the flow of the viscous mantle below Earth’s surface, scientists reported in a new study.

These uplifting findings are both bad news and good news for the frozen continent.

The good news is that the uplift of supporting bedrock could make the remaining ice sheets more stable. The bad news is that in recent years, the rising earth has probably skewed satellite measurements of ice loss, leading researchers to underestimate the rate of vanishing ice by as much as 10 percent, the scientists reported.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 121 degrees Fahrenheit (49.4 degrees Celsius) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 84.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 64.4 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Wildfires

Wildfires – British Columbia, Canada

The B.C. Wildfire Service says more than 100 new, mostly small, blazes started after lightning storms rolled across the province Wednesday.

Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek says 113 fires have recorded, most of them due to lightning, and more fires are expected because a severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect across most of the B.C. Interior. He says erratic winds have the potential to fan existing fires or hamper aircraft trying to get crews or equipment to the flames, but there is also the possibility of heavy rain.

Wildfires – Washington, USA

The state Fire Marshall mobilized statewide resources early Thursday morning to fight a wildfire burning across 2,000 acres in Kittitas County. The fire has prompted a level 1 evacuation order because homes in the area are under threat. The fire – called the Milepost 22 fire – is burning grass and brush about two miles north of Vantage, which is just across the Columbia River along I-90. The fire broke out Wednesday afternoon. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Disease

Ebola – DR Congo

Swift response by health officials appears to have “largely contained” an Ebola outbreak that emerged earlier this year in parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A pilot program of administering a new Ebola vaccine to everyone who came in contact with known patients seems to have halted the spread, officials say. But as many as 28 people may have been killed by the disease since it re-emerged in early April. However, the announcement of “containment” was made with cautious optimism.

Rift Valley fever – Kenya

The Kenyan Department of Veterinary Services has shut down abattoirs and quarantined all livestock in the Tana Delta area following a new Rift Valley Fever outbreak that has affected at least 20 goats. At least 13 people have died and 234 cases of RVF have been confirmed in north-eastern counties of Kenya since last week. The outbreak was confirmed through comprehensive lab tests.

Rinderpest in Bulgaria

Bulgaria on Thursday reported the first outbreak in the European Union of the highly contagious Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), on livestock farms in the village of Voden in southeastern Bulgaria, close to the border with Turkey.

The disease, also known as ovine rinderpest or sheep and goat plague, can have a severe impact on livestock, killing between 30 to 70 percent of the infected animals. Once introduced, the virus can infect up to 90 percent of an animal heard. The virus does not infect humans.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of13 June – 19 June 2018

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 1105 on 13 June an event at Agung produced a dense ash plume that rose around 2 km above the crater rim and drifted SW and W. Based on analysis of the seismic data, the event lasted two minutes and 12 seconds. Another event was detected at 2115 on 15 June, though foggy conditions prevented estimations of the ash plume height; ash fell in areas W, including in Puregai (7 km W). The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the 4-km-radius exclusion zone was unchanged.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that there were eight events at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 11-15 June, with ash plumes rising as high as 1.6 km above the crater rim. An explosive event at 0719 on 16 June 2018 generated an ash plume that rose 4.7 km (the first time that a plume rose over 4 km since 2 May 2017) and ejecting tephra as far as 1.1 km. A pyroclastic flow traveled down the SW flank. The last pyroclastic flow originated at the Showa Crater on 1 April 2018. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that low-level unrest at Cleveland continued during 13-19 June. Elevated surface temperatures were evident in satellite data on days when the area was cloud-free. Nothing unusual was observed in seismic or pressure sensor data. The Aviation colour Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on PVMBG observations and satellite data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 13-17 June ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was last identified in satellite images on 20 May. The Aviation colour Code was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-colour scale) on 15 June.

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) : HVO reported that the eruption at Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) and at Overlook Crater within Halema`uma`u Crater continued during 13-19 June. Lava fountaining and spatter was concentrated at Fissure 8, feeding lava flows that spread through Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions, and built out the coastline where the fast-moving flow entered the ocean in the area of the former Kapoho Bay. Minor lava activity at Fissures 16/18 was occasionally noted, and spattering was visible at Fissure 6 on 16 June. Hawai‘i County Civil Defense reported that by 17 June a total of 533 homes had been destroyed due to lava flows.

Inward slumping of the crater rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continued, adjusting from the withdrawal of magma and subsidence of the summit area. Steam plumes rose from areas in the crater as well as from circumferential cracks adjacent to the crater. Summit explosions occurred daily, producing ash plumes that rose as high as 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. On 18 June residents reported feeling a large earthquake at 0613 and hearing roaring. The event was followed by an ash plume rising to 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l.

Fountaining at Fissure 8 was stable; lava fountains rose as high 60 m from a 52-m-high spatter cone. Pele’s hair and other volcanic glass from the fountaining fell within Leilani Estates. The fountains continued to feed the fast-moving lava flow that traveled NE, and then SE around Kapoho Crater, and into the ocean. Occasional overflows sent small flows down the sides of the channel. Lava entering the ocean built a lava delta that by 16 June was just over 130 hectares in area. A plume of laze rose from the entry points. An area of thermal upwelling in the ocean out from the visible lava-delta front was visible, suggesting lava flowing on the ocean floor.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy was identified in satellite images during 13-14 June. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Langila | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 17 June an ash plume from Langila rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

Pacaya | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH and CONRED reported that during 13 and 16-18 June Strombolian explosions at Pacaya’s Mackenney Crater ejected material as high as 50 m above the crater rim. An ash plume rose 3.5 km above the summit and drifted 10 km N and NE.

Sabancaya | Peru : Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that explosions at Sabancaya averaged 19 per day during 11-17 June. Hybrid earthquakes were infrequent and low magnitude. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 1.4 km above the crater rim and drifted 30 km S and SE. The MIROVA system detected two thermal anomalies, and on 14 June the sulfur dioxide gas flux was high at 4,300 tons/day. The report noted that the public should not approach the crater within a 12-km radius.

Santa Maria | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that on 13 June lahars descended Nimá I drainage on the S flank of Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex. The lahars were 15-18 m wide and 1-2 m deep, and carried blocks 1.5 m in diameter and tree branches. CONRED noted that a Yellow Alert Level was declared for Quetzaltenango (18 km WNW) on 16 June due to continuing rains and an increased threat of lahars. Weak explosions during 16-18 June generated diffuse ash plumes that rose 700 m above the complex and drifted SW and W.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 13-14 June. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Sinabung | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that at 0700 on 15 June an event at Sinabung produced an ash plume that rose at least 500 m above the crater rim and drifted ESE. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 3 km and extensions of 7 km on the SSE sector, 6 km in the ESE sector, and 4 km in the NNE sector.

Yasur | Vanuatu : Based on webcam images, satellite data, and local visual observations the Wellington VAAC reported that during 14-15 and 17-18 June intermittent, low-level ash plumes from Yasur rose to altitudes of 0.9-1.2 km (3,000-4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, W, and N.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Texas, USA – Heavy rains along the Texas coast have caused flooding in areas that were hit hard by Hurricane Harvey less than a year ago. Flash flooding was reported in Hidalgo County, already saturated with 4 to 6 inches of rain. Flash flood watches are also in effect for areas south of Houston to Brownsville, at the Mexican border, with flash flood warnings popping up as storms flare.