Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits near the coast of northern Peru.

5.1 Earthquake hits Nepal.

The death toll following the 7.5 earthquake has risen to 3 600 with several thousand others injured. The situation in Nepal is chaotic with infrastructure destroyed and many remote villages remain cut off by landslides and without communications.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Sumba region, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Pakistan – At least 44 people have been killed and more than 200 injured after a storm struck Pakistan’s north-west city of Peshawar causing dozens of buildings to collapse, officials have said. Intense rain and strong winds buffeted the city and adjacent districts late on Sunday, felling trees, causing dozens of roofs and walls to collapse and blocking many roads. Floodwater from torrential rainfall had reached one metre deep in some parts of the city of more than 3 million people.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Karymsky (Kamchatka): An explosion occurred this morning that was strong enough to produce an ash plume to approx. 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude (VAAC Tokyo).

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): Strong activity continues from the volcano. This morning (14:24 local time), an explosion at the Showa crater sent a plume to 15,000 ft (4.5 km) altitude that drifted north.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): Eruptive activity is taking place at the volcano. VAAC Darwin reported an ash plume to 8,000 ft from the volcano this morning. A pronounced SO2 plume can be seen on satellite data as well.

Dukono (Halmahera): The volcano continues to produce significant ash emissions – a plume extending 20 nautical miles E was observed Saturday (Darwin VAAC).

Calbuco (Southern Chile and Argentina): Activity has been lower yesterday, but weak ash emissions continued at least intermittently.

Sernageomin reported decreasing levels of seismic activity yesterday, dominated by 283 volcanic-tectonic quakes mostly at 8 km depth, as well as weak volcanic tremor. It is unclear whether the eruptive phase is ending or heading towards a new phase of magmatic activity, with the possible scenario of new larger explosive and/or effusive (lava flows, lava dome emplacement) activity. A main hazard at the moment is the occurrence of lahars, mudflows that are generated when rainwater mobilizes the abundant fresh ash deposits.

Barren Island (Indian Ocean): A pilot reported an ash plume rising to 10,000 ft from the volcano. Likely, eruptive activity which had produced a new lava flow in March is still going on or has resumed.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.8 Earthquake hits Nepal.

Police now put the death toll in Nepal at 2,152, with more than 5,000 hurt. At least 700 were killed in the capital, a city of about 1 million people where many homes are old, poorly built and packed close together. The overall toll from the quake was expected to be much higher, and at least 49 people have died in neighbouring India.

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Terrified residents of Kathmandu were woken by fresh aftershocks in the worst disaster to hit the impoverished Himalayan nation in more than 80 years, with many forced to spend the night trying to sleep out on the streets and open ground in makeshift tents. Hospitals were so stretched that medics had set up tents outside the buildings to treat patients.

The historic nine-storey Dharahara tower, a major tourist attraction, was among the buildings brought down:

Nepal tower composite data

5.7 Earthquake hits western Xizang, China.

5.6 Earthquake hits the Nepal-India border.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Xizang-Nepal border.

5.3 Earthquake hits north of Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.3 Earthquake hits Nepal.

5.2 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.2 Earthquake hits Nepal.

5.1 Earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Five 5.0 Earthquakes hit Nepal.

5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Xizang-Nepal border.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Sydney, Australia – Parts of Sydney experienced a fresh deluge on Saturday. Large hailstones pummelled Sydney on Saturday afternoon, bringing down two large factories in the west of the city, as residents worst affected by this week’s deadly storms were warned to expect more flash flooding and damaging winds. The warning zone on Saturday evening took in Maitland and Cessnock, greater Newcastle and the central coast of NSW around Gosford and Wyong – areas that were lashed by storms this week, leaving hundreds of people cut off by floodwaters.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.5 Earthquake hits Nepal.

The large earthquake shook several other cities across northern Indian and was felt as far away as Lahore in Pakistan and Lhasa in Tibet, 340 miles east of Kathmandu. The epicentre of the quake was 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu. Initial reports of more than 100 people killed and widespread damage to structures. Earthquake described as ‘once in a lifetime’ quake. Last mega quake was recorded 80 years ago. 2 people reported dead in Bangladesh with more than 100 others injured.

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6.7 Earthquake hits Nepal.

6.1 Earthquake hits the Queen Charlotte Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits Nepal.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Izu islands off Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Nepal.

5.1 Earthquake hits Guam.

5.1 Earthquake hits Nepal.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Nepal.

5.0 Earthquake hits Nepal.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Nepal-Xizang border region.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Hawaii – A rare tornado touched down in West Oahu, Hawaii Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service confirmed. The weak tornado was spotted in the Barbers Point area. No damage or injuries have been reported.

Pakistan – A landslide in Parachanar area of Kurram Agency, Pakistan has claimed lives of at least two people. The landslide occurred as two women were collecting mud for their homes.

Disease

Meningitis Outbreak in Niger

The government said Friday that since January the epidemic has killed 129 people out of 1,150 cases as of Wednesday. Just three days earlier on Sunday officials reported 85 deaths and 908 cases.

A couple dozen victims had died of the disease by the end of March, but in April the number of infections accelerated into an epidemic.

Several strains of the infection, which can be highly contagious, have been circulating in the landlocked nation of nearly 18 million in west Africa.

Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, is prone to such epidemics because of its position in the “meningitis belt” that stretches from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Meningitis is an inflammation of membranes protecting the spinal cord and the brain, and the first symptoms include stiffness and severe headaches.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Aso (Kyushu): Mild to moderate strombolian explosions from the Nakadake crater have become continuous.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): Strong vulcanian explosions have been occurring at the volcano, which remains in a state of elevated activity. During the past 48 hours, at least 17 explosions with ash plumes up to 16,000 ft (5 km) altitude occurred. This approaches the record levels of activity observed during the summer 2013.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): Several ash plumes were reported by VAAC Tokyo during the past days. The volcano is having intermittent moderate strombolian type eruptions from the On-take crater.

Ngauruhoe (North Island): The alert level was lowered back to the lowest level green, after signs of unrest at the volcano gradually had declined during the past weeks.

Calbuco (Southern Chile and Argentina): Mild to moderate emissions of ash and incandescent material (probably as strombolian explosions) continue at the summit vent(s). A small ash plume rises approx. 1 km and is currently drifting east. Alert level remains red. A new intensification of activity cannot be ruled out as it is not known how much of eruptible magma in the volcano’s storage system has been evacuated during the strong eruptions on 22-23 April. …24 Apr: Starting from 23:30 local time last night (23 April), activity at the volcano has again increased. The volcano started to produce more or less continuous small to moderate ash emissions, that have been reaching up to 2 km height and drifted mainly northeast. This increase in activity has also been accompanied by volcanic tremor in the seismic signals, Sernageomin reported.

Vast magma under Yellowstone super-volcano

A large reservoir has been discovered underneath Yellowstone’s supervolcano containing magma which could be filling the Grand Canyon 11.2 times. The reservoir, 12 to 28 miles underneath the volcano is filled with hot, sponge-like rock with pockets of molten rock.

The reservoir has been discovered by University of Utah seismologists who completed the first picture of the “continuous volcanic plumbing system under Yellowstone,” said postdoctoral researcher Hsin-Hua Huang. He also added, “That includes the upper crustal magma chamber we have seen previously plus a lower crustal magma reservoir that has never been imaged before and that connects the upper chamber to the Yellowstone hotspot plume below.”

Previously, only the upper crust chamber was known of and it could fill the Grand Canyon 2.5 times. It was emphasized by scientists that the research does not indicate that there is enhanced risk or that it is close to erupting. Advanced techniques to get hold of better picture of the system have been employed by them.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 Earthquake hits South Island, New Zealand.

5.4 Earthquake hits off the coast of northern California, USA.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Rat Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Java – Floods inundated thousands of homes in Surakarta, Central Java, and hundreds of others in neighboring Yogyakarta province on Thursday after rain drenched the regions overnight from Wednesday afternoon. In Surakarta, flooding, which was in part caused by the overflowing Pepe River in the city’s north, inundated a number of regions by up to 1 meter, forcing residents to flee their homes.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 115.7 degrees Fahrenheit (46.5 degrees Celsius) at Nawabshah, Pakistan.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 67.0 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

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.

Disease

Amazon Tribe Reveals Western Life Is Killing Good Germs

Samples of germs taken from a tribe of once-isolated indigenous people in Venezuela’s Amazon region found that the tribesmen’s seclusion from the outside world until recently has allowed them to keep the highest diversity of bodily bacteria ever observed among humans.

The trillions of mainly beneficial bacteria our body uses for digestion and immunity have come under assault over the past 75 years by the use of antibiotics, and they are also diminished by the sanitary conditions people mainly enjoy in modern life.

Writing in the journal Science Advances, researchers say that comparing bacterial DNA from the Amazon’s Yanomami villagers with samples from U.S. residents reveals that microbes are about 40 percent less diverse in the American population.

The findings support the theory that lower microbial diversity now found in the developed world may be linked to immune and metabolic diseases like allergies, asthma and diabetes.

“The challenge is to determine which are the important bacteria whose function we need to be healthy,” said researcher M. Gloria Dominguez-Bellow of New York University.

Wildlife

Massive Poison Spray in New Zealand Wipes out Pests

New Zealand’s contentious program to eradicate rats, possums and stoats by dropping toxins and placing traps has brought the populations of those pests to undetectable or very low levels at most sites, officials say.

The country’s Department of Conservation announced that its field monitoring of sites across the South Island shows that a small number of the endangered birds the program was intended to protect died during the poisoning.

But they said a 1-in-15-year bumper crop of beech seeds would have fueled a huge population explosion of the invasive pests had the poisoning program not been launched last year.

The department also said the breeding success of rock wren, robin and other bird species was significantly higher in areas treated with the controversial poison known as 1080.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry told reporters that the program’s success is “a welcome victory for endangered native species.”