Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.2 Earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

Following a tsunami warning, the occurrence of sea level disturbance was confirmed by records of the Sarangani sea level monitoring station showing a drop of approximately 30cm and a maximum rise of approximately 10cm wave height relative to normal sea level. Several buildings were damaged and two people injured as panicked residents fled the coast following the tsunami warning.

2017 04 29T045123Z 1446179874 RC13DCF1EFF0 RTRMADP 3 PHILIPPINES QUAKE 29 04 2017 06 04 06 572

5.8 Earthquake hits Valparaiso, Chile.

5.5 Earthquake hits offshore Valparaiso, Chile.

5.4 Earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

5.4 Earthquake hits offshore Valparaiso, Chile.

Two 5.2 Earthquakes hits offshore Valparaiso, Chile.

5.1 Earthquake hits offshore Valparaiso, Chile.

5.1 Earthquake hits Lake Tanganyika.

5.0 Earthquake hits Colombia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Valparaiso, Chile

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Mystery of Antarctica’s Blood Falls

It’s a mystery that has baffled scientists for more than a century; how salty, blood-red water is able to ooze out from a million-year-old glacier in a region known for its freezing temperatures.

When explorer and geoscientist Griffith Taylor discovered a 54-kilometre long glacier in Antarctica that released a deep red liquid in 1911, he attributed the strange phenomenon to red algae colouring the moving water.

The outflow was quickly dubbed “Blood Falls” for the water’s creepy, red hue contrasting against its icy, white surroundings.

It was later discovered, however, that the mysterious water was not related to blood or algae at all. In fact, the colour is the result of iron-rich salt water that turns into a reddish-brown shade or oxidizes (like rust) when it comes into contact with the air. Scientists call the water “brine” because of the incredible amount of salt in it.

And now, that saltiness has offered an important clue into one of Blood Fall’s final mysteries – how the brine travels from within the frozen glacier to the waterfall in sub-zero temperatures. Researchers have found that the glacier has its own unique network of pressurized channels that move the iron-rich water to the top of Blood Falls through the frozen glacier.

Screen Shot 2017 04 29 at 1 15 09 PM


Wildfires – Siberia

Rescuers have managed to save all the residents of a Russian village before the settlement located on an island in Irkutsk Region burned to the ground. The spread of wildfires across Siberia has prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency.

Hundreds of people were trapped in the village of Bubnovka surrounded by water as a massive fire was ripping through their homes. Luckily for some 435 residents, local Emergencies Ministry staff were conducting anti-flood drills in the area and rapidly reacted to the incident. Responding the distress call, they rushed to the scene to evacuate the villagers. Using an air cushion rescue boat, the responders brought people to safety. No one was harmed.

At least 59 buildings in the village ultimately burned down. It is believed that the fire was started by a local resident burning trash.



Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 19 April – 25 April 2017

Bagana | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16-17 April ash plumes from Bagana rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, SE, and S. Plumes drifted 55-85 km during 19 and 23-24 April.

Bezymianny | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that during 14-21 April lava continued to advance down the NW flank of Bezymianny’s lava dome. A thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images during 14-17 April. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Bogoslof | Fox Islands (USA) : On 19 April AVO noted that no new volcanic activity at Bogoslof had been detected in satellite, seismic, or infrasound data since a short-lived increase in seismicity on 15 April; AVO lowered the Aviation colour Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory.

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that recent satellite images of Cleveland revealed that a lava dome has been extruded in the summit crater, with growth likely beginning after the last explosion on 31 March. The Aviation colour Code was raised to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level was raised to Watch.

Slightly elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images over the past couple of weeks. The new dome was first visible in images on 15 April, with the presence of a small (less than 10 m diameter) mound deep in the crater. By 23 April this mound had grown to 45 m in diameter. Dome growth had occurred with no detectable seismicity.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 19-25 April ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, and SE.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : KVERT reported that on 14, 16, and 19 April several explosions at Ebeko were observed by residents of Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island) about 7 km E. Ash plumes rose as high as 3.2 km (10,500 ft) a.s.l. Minor amounts of ash fell in Severo-Kurilsk on 18 April. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) : During 19-25 April HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu’u ‘O’o Crater, from a vent high on the NE flank of the cone, and from a small lava pond in a pit on the W side of the crater. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu’u ‘O’o Crater’s E flank, continued to enter the ocean at Kamokuna. A growing lava delta is building where the lava enters the water. Surface lava flows were active above the pali.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly was detected over Klyuchevskoy during 14-17 and 23 April. A steam-and-gas plume that rose to 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 125 km SW on 23 April contained some ash, prompting KVERT to raise the Aviation colour Code to Orange. On 24 April satellite images showed an ash plume drifting 72 km SW at an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. On 25 April KVERT noted that activity had significantly decreased and only steam-and-gas emissions were observed. The Aviation colour Code was lowered to Yellow. On 25 April ash was again present in a plume; KVERT raised the Aviation colour Code to Orange. The plume rose 3-4 km (9,800-13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 60 km SW.

Sabancaya | Peru : Based on webcam images, satellite views, and seismic data the Buenos Aires VAAC reported sporadic gas-and-ash puffs from Sabancaya during 18-25 April, sometimes rising as high as 8.2 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l.; clouds sometimes hindered observations of the volcano.

San Miguel | El Salvador : In a special report from 17 April, SNET reported an increase in seismicity and gas emissions from San Miguel in recent days. Earlier that day during 0620-0630 RSAM values spiked to 356, an increase over normal values around 50. During 18-21 and 23-24 April RSAM values fluctuated between 80 and over 300.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that during 15-21 April lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by strong fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, ash explosions, and hot avalanches. Satellite images showed a thermal anomaly over the dome during 13-17 April, and an ash plume that drifted 95 km E on 15 April. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Sinabung | Indonesia : Based on PVMBG observations, satellite images, and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 20-22 and 24 April ash plumes from Sinabung rose to altitudes of 3.3-4.3 km (11,000-14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and E.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Rat Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Kyrgyzstan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Rat Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Western Pacific: Tropical Depression 03w (Muifa), located approximately 554 nm southwest of Iwo To, Japan is tracking northward at 09 knots.

In the South Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (ts) 17s (Frances), located approximately 275 nm west of Darwin, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 15 knots.


Singapore – Heavy rain caused flash floods in eastern parts of Singapore on Thursday, with vehicles splashing through water-clogged roads and some cars left stranded, unable to pass through.

India – Incessant rainfall for the past one week has flooded large areas of Arunachal Pradesh’s capital town Itanagar and caused landslides and road blocks at many points. Landslides occurred at Senki View and Donyi Polo Road, while people in Pachin Colony have undertaken temporary flood preventive measures by constructing bunds with bamboo and filling empty cement bags with sand.

Global Warming

Climate Shift Affects Livestock Husbandry in Kenya

A growing number of Kenyans are switching from traditional livestock to drought-resistant camels because of the changing climate.

Longer and less-predictable droughts have resulted in three times as many camels being owned today than a decade ago.

“My husband and I had over a hundred cattle until 2005. But as the climate became drier in this region, the cows stopped producing milk, and 20 to 30 of our cows even died every year,” Mariam Maalim told Germany’s Deutsche Welle broadcaster. She says her new camels produce milk even during drought.


Urban Foxes

There are now four times as many foxes living in urban areas of England than 20 years ago, or about one for every 300 city-dwelling humans.

Researchers found that London has about 18 foxes per square kilometer, while the whole of England is home to about 150,000 of the urban omnivores.

But Trevor Williams, of the rescue group The Fox Project, says he thinks that many foxes have become urban dwellers because cities have expanded into their historic habitats. Foxes also seem to thrive in places like London because of the abundance of rats and mice.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 114.0 degrees Fahrenheit (45.6 degrees Celsius) in Tillabery, Niger.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 97.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 71.7 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.


Anthrax outbreak: Burkina Faso

An anthrax outbreak was reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Wednesday by the Ministère des Ressources Animales et Halieutiques, Ouagadougou , Burkina Faso. The outbreak registered in Banakeledaga, Bama, Houet killed 70 cattle, registered in four (4) herds that belong to four (4) farmers: three (3) of them from the Fulani camp of Banankeledaga and one (1) from the village of Bama.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Between 18 March and 20 April 2017 the national IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 13 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) including two fatal cases.| On 18 April 2017 the national IHR Focal Point of Qatar reported one additional case of MERS.

Crop-eating armyworm marches on

The fall armyworm – which decimates fields as it marches ever forward – has spread to Angola as the caterpillar eats its way through southern Africa, a U.N. agency said.

With Angola the latest country affected, only Lesotho and island nations in the region have escaped the pest, which devours crops in its path, U.N. officials said. Its spread has undermined hopes for a better harvest this year, they added, with swathes of southern, eastern and western Africa infested.

Native to North and South America, the caterpillar was first detected in Western Africa in 2016 and has since spread across sub-Saharan Africa, ravaging maize and other cereal crops.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 19 April – 25 April 2017

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on PVMBG observations the Darwin VAAC reported that during 19-21 April ash plumes from Ibu rose 1.5-1.8 km (5,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and N.

Kambalny | Southern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that moderate activity at Kambalny continued during 15-21 April. Observers in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary noted minor ashfall in the Kurilskoe Lake area on 19 April. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange.

Langila | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 23-25 April ash plumes from Langila rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l., and drifted S and 55 km SE.

Manam | Papua New Guinea : RVO reported that activity at Manam decreased on 18 April and continued at low levels through 21 April. Roaring noises came from both Main and Southern craters. Both craters were incandescent, but only Southern Crater ejected incandescent tephra, which became intense during 0900-1100 on 20 April. Pale gray-to-brown plumes with a minor amounts of ash rose from both craters and drifted SE. RSAM values were about 75-150 units, but between about midnight and 0100 on 22 April they began to rise. RSAM values were 600 at 0500, and then they fluctuated between 400 and 1,400 units at least through 1400, the time of the report posting. According to a news article from 25 April the Alert Level was raised to Stage 3, and an official on the island noted that women and children have begun to be evacuated to Bogia on the mainland.

Nishinoshima | Japan : Satellite images of Nishinoshima acquired on 19 April and processed by NASA’s Earth Observatory showed an area of hot lava in the crater. According to a news article, observers aboard a plane passing the volcano on 21 April noted intense activity in the crater. Bombs were ejected as high as 100 m above the crater and incandescent rocks rolled down the flanks, reaching the sea. The report noted brown plumes rising from the crater and lava effusing from an area near the top of the vent.

Poas | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that on 20 April a dense water vapor plume rose from a vent in the newly-forming pyroclastic cone at the site of the old dome in the hot lake at Poás. Gas flux increased from 1,000 tons/day (t/d) on 13 April to 2,500 t/d on 20 April. During 20-22 April Strombolian activity ejected tephra that fell around the vent within a 300-m radius. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 200 m above the vent. The Red Cross of Grecia reported ashfall in Alajuela, Fraijanes, San Miguel, Carbonal, Cajón, San Francisco, San Roque, and San Juan Norte de Poás. Events at 1316 and 1603 on 22 April produced plumes of unknown height. Several more eruptive events were recorded that day; an event at 2212 was very intense, ejecting bombs large distances. An event at 1215 on 23 April generated a plume of unknown height.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Western Pacific: Tropical Storm 03w (Muifa), located approximately 432 nm borth-northwest of Yap, is tracking north-northeastward at 08 knots.

In the South Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (ts) 17s (Seventeen), located approximately 179 nm north-northwest of Darwin, Australia, is tracking southwestward at 08 knots.


Dominican Republic – Due to the heavy rainfall throughout the country that started on 18 April, some communities in the northern and central areas of the Cibao region are currently displaced and without communications. Weather forecasts anticipate the rains to intensify over the coming weekend. Some 3,512 homes have been flooded while 9 have been destroyed. A total of 17,560 displaced families are currently housed in the homes of friends or family (approximately 88,000 people). Reported damages to infrastructure include 10 bridges and 13 roadways that connect the affected provinces and towns in the north to the south of the country.