Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the southwest Indian ridge.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 07p (Niko), located approximately 608 nm south-southeast of Papeete, Tahiti, is tracking south-southeastward at 11 knots.

Space Events

Massive sized asteroid will zoom past Earth on Monday

By Monday, January 26th, a mountain-sized asteroid will be zooming past earth at a near distance of 745,000 miles or 1.2 million kilometres to our planet. This short distance is almost three times the distance between Earth and the moon – but it won’t pose any threat to Earth.

The next time such a large space rock will fly past Earth will be 2027, but until then, NASA officials are determined to get a good look at this 1,800 feet or 550 meters-wide space rock to study its features and behaviours.

It is agreed that the flyby of Asteroid 2004 BL86 poses no threat whatsoever to Earth, but researchers would still want to know enough about it to determine its orbit and future motions.

Space watchers will be able to see the Asteroid 2004 BL86 in visible light online on Monday through the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy.

Massive sized asteroid will zoom past Earth on Monday January 26th 2015

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Oman

On 17 January 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of Oman notified WHO of 1 additional case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Ebola – West Africa

The number of people falling victim to the Ebola virus in West Africa has dropped to the lowest level in months, the World Health Organization said on Friday, but dwindling funds and a looming rainy season threaten to hamper efforts to control the disease.

More than 8,668 people have died in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which first surfaced in Guinea more than a year ago. But the three worst-affected countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — have now recorded falling numbers of new cases for four successive weeks, Dr. Bruce Aylward, the health organization’s assistant director general, told reporters in Geneva.

Liberia, which was struggling with more than 300 new cases a week in August and September, recorded only eight new cases in the week to Jan. 18, the organization reported. In Sierra Leone, where the infection rate is now highest, there were 118 new cases reported in that week, compared with 184 in the previous week and 248 in the week before that.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Hawaii

Firefighters are battling a fire that has burned 350 acres of acres of rare native forest on Oahu.

The fire is burning ohia and koa forest on steep mountain ridges. The fire has burned part of the Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge. The forest provides habitat for at least four species of endangered pupu kani oe (O’ahu tree snails), native birds and threatened and endangered plants.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Bardarbunga (Central Iceland): No significant changes in seismic and volcanic activity have occurred recently at the ongoing Holuhraun eruption, but overall, a slowly decreasing trend of the activity is becoming evident. Still, magma effusion remains quite impressive, especially the large lava lake inside Baugur crater on the main part of the fissure. Although still elevated, the average number of larger earthquakes under the caldera is decreasing slowly.

Shishaldin (United States, Aleutian Islands): The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) reported “strongly elevated” temperatures in the summit crater on satellite data from yesterday. This could indicate lava is present there, possibly strombolian activity. What seems to be light ash fall deposits on the upper snowy flanks was visible on webcam images. Seismic activity has been slightly above background, a phase of elevated activity occurred today. Aviation color code remains orange.

Sabancaya (Peru): A small magmatic intrusion has been taking place under the volcano recently, a report of the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) concludes. Activity at the volcano could increase over the next few days, but no violent explosive activity is currently expected. An increase in shallow earthquake activity with both characteristics of rock fracturing and disturbance of the hydrothermal system was noted last week. Most quakes occurred at shallow depth in an area few NNE of the volcano and south of the villages Pinchollo and Maca. The strongest quake of magnitude 3.8 on the evening of 19 Jan was felt by the local population. Intermittent steam and bluish gas (SO2) emissions rose to a maximum of 1300 m above the crater. This and other monitored parameters showed no significant changes compared to the previous weeks.

Ubinas (Peru): No ash emissions or explosions have occurred recently at the volcano. While overall seismicity has decreased during the past weeks, tremor and long-period earthquakes, indicators of internal fluid movements, along with degassing activity have increased again since 6 January. Although the general tendency seems to be that the volcano is progressively calming down, the current crisis is not yet over, IGP warns. Explosions could occur again with little or no warning and it is recommended not to approach the summit crater.