Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.3 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

6.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.4 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 Earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the central east Pacific rise.


Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical Storm Colin is located about 315 mi…505 km WSW of Tampa Florida and about 270 mi…430 km SSW of Apalachicola Florida with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…NNE or 15 degrees at 14 mph…22 km/h.

Invest 91E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

Invest 92E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.


Australia – Torrential rain and damaging winds continue to pummel Australia’s NSW coast, with rising flood waters forcing evacuations in northern Sydney and on the state’s north coast. About 500 people have been evacuated across NSW, including residents from a caravan park and from the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation. Intense storms continued to slam Sydney and the Illawarra on Sunday, a day after the rain and wind belted Queensland and northern NSW. Flood fears have also prompted an evacuation order for locals at North Lismore, while residents in areas around Tweed and Tumbulgum are on alert for potential evacuations due to local river flood warnings.


Mutilated rhino in South Africa on long road to recovery

South African veterinarians applying bandage and stitches to a poached de-horned rhinoceros that was left to die by poachers on a ranch in Bela Bela some 150 KM north of Johannesburg in Bela Bela district. Sedated, blindfolded, her ears plugged with cotton-wool, “Hope” the rhino breathes heavily as veterinarians work to repair a gaping wound left by poachers who hacked off her horns.

A year after being left for dead on a game reserve outside South Africa’s southern city of Port Elizabeth, Hope has undergone about 15 operations to reconstruct her ravaged face.

Veterinary surgeon Johan Marais sounded optimistic after examining the wound, originally one metre in length after the attack.

South Africa, home to around 20,000 rhinos, or 80 per cent of the worldwide population, has borne the brunt of a recent boom in international poaching syndicates.

The rhino are slaughtered for their horns in the supposed belief that they cure diseases such as cancer in Vietnam and China. Also believed to be an aphrodisiac, the horn is composed mainly of keratin, the same component as in human nails.

From under 100 rhinos poached in South Africa in 2008, nearly 1,200 were killed by poachers in 2015 in carnage driven by the soaring price of horn which is estimated to be up to US$60,000 (S$81,700) a kilogram.

Hope survived her attack, and for the past 12 months, Mr Marais and his team have exhaustively tried often unconventional techniques to try to heal and re-seal the gruesome cavity in her face.



Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Cleveland (Aleutian Islands, Alaska): The alert status was lowered to yellow on Saturday. The Alaska Volcano Observatory detected no more signs of eruptive activity at the summit lava dome since the small eruption on 18 May, and seismic activity has remained low. Surface temperatures detected via satellite data remain slightly elevated, but can be explained by the cooling of the lava dome.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): The Geophysical Institute warned that a new eruptive phase might be in the making at the volcano, which is one of the world’s most active. Geophysical monitoring stations have been recording a significant, steady inflation (swelling) of the volcanic edifice. This is most likely a sign of new magma intruding at shallow depth. Seismic activity of the volcano has been generally low, with less than two earthquakes per day. Only some small earthquake swarms have been detected recently; such swarms are common in periods of quiescence and are associated with fluid movements within the volcano. Degassing of the volcano has also been at the lower end. However, this apparent calm could be deceiving: it might well be explained by a blockage of the conduit, not the absence of magma ready to erupt. The volcano has only been quiet since its last eruption in February-March this year, but its phases of calm have never lasted very long. In the last 8 years of activity, Tungurahua has had 15 similar quiet periods characterized by low seismic and degassing activity coupled with an inflationary deformation trend. In most cases, these quiet periods were followed by small to moderate eruptions, but sometimes also by violent, larger explosions. What makes it difficult for volcanologists to predict the next eruption is that clear precursory signs of new eruptions in the short term (hours to days) have only been detected in 20% of cases; many eruptions started very quickly at the volcano. In any case, based on the current seismic and geophysical observations and the volcano’s past behaviour, a new eruption in the medium term (weeks to months) is considered very likely.