Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.2 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.2 earthquake hits Kepulauan Kai, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits Reykjanes Ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits San Juan, Argentina.

5.0 earthquake hits Fiji.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 07s (Cebile), located approximately 621 nm south-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking southward at 05 knots.

Newsbytes:

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England – The breathtaking supermoon sparked a wave of floods across England leaving some commuters travelling in waist deep waters. Floodwater was reported along the east coast after 37 official flood alerts were launched. The supermoon together with stormy weather resulted in a large tidal surge moving down the East Coast of England on Thursday evening.

Malawi – One person is confirmed dead while hundreds of households have been left homeless following floods on Tuesday night at Lupembe in the Karonga District.

France – Rain has continued to fall in France, meaning the floods in Paris and beyond are set to hang around. Several Metro stations in Paris were closed on Thursday morning as floodwaters got onto the tracks, while areas in northern France remain underwater. Meanwhile, in the Eure department to the north of France, 16 towns are without drinking water.

Wildlife

Seismic Spawning

The powerful earthquake that rocked much of Alaska and triggered a Pacific tsunami alert on Jan. 23 also shook one of the world’s rarest species of tiny fish into spawning.

Seismic waves from the temblor caused the water to slosh in a small pool at Death Valley National Park, which is the Devils Hole pupfish’s lone natural home. Only about 115 of the critically endangered species live there.

The sloshing water was a trigger for the males to gain a brilliant blue color, typical during spawning.

While this phenomenon has been observed after deep earthquakes in the past, park officials say it always amazes them.

Common Cold Infects Chimps

The same virus that inflicts the common cold on humans has been discovered in a population of wild chimpanzees that was ravaged by the pathogen.

The outbreak occurred in Uganda’s Kibale National Park in 2013, and scientists have just published a report on how almost 10 percent of chimps there died after being infected by the human rhinovirus C.

“We think this human common cold virus represents a grave threat to chimpanzees all across Africa,” said Tony Goldberg of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Humans have developed genetic resistance to the virus while living close to each other for the past 8,000 years, but chimps are extremely vulnerable to being infected by humans who intrude into their habitat.

Global Warming

Climate Change Affecting USA Military Bases

Military leaders are sounding another alarm about the dangers of climate change, saying in a new report that half of U.S. military sites have already been affected by floods, wildfires, droughts and other weather extremes that are exacerbated by rising global temperatures.

Following a request from Congress, the Defense Department studied climate risks to all 3,500 U.S. military sites around the world. It found nearly 800 had been affected by droughts, 350 by extreme temperatures, 225 by storm surge-related flooding and more than 200 by wildfires, among other weather events.

Climate scientists say those types of extreme weather events have already become more common as global temperatures increase. Sea levels are rising, storms are getting more intense, dry regions are getting drier and fire seasons are getting longer, research shows.

The Defense Department’s report released last week says the military “looks at climate through the lens of its mission,” and that “changes in climate affect national security in several ways.”

Wildfires

Wildfires – New Zealand

A large bush fire is burning in a remote part of the main island of the Chatham Islands. The fire, which started on Thursday morning, has burned through 1500ha at Owenga Road, south of Waitangi Wharf, in the south. It isn’t yet posing a risk to people or property, but is threatening conservation land. The Chathams are about 800km east of New Zealand and are home to about 600 people.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) in Moomba, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 55.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.3 degrees Celsius) at Batamay, Siberia.

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

Listeriosis: South Africa

South African health officials reported an additional 53 outbreak cases of Listeriosis since the last report putting the total to 820 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases that have been reported to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) since 01 January 2017. The number of fatalities has risen to 82. The source of the outbreak remains elusive.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 24 January – 30 January 2018

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that white-and-gray plumes rose as high as 1 km above Agung’s crater rim during 24-25 January. Foggy conditions prevented visual observations of the crater during 26-30 January. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4) and the exclusion zone continued at a 6-km radius.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that very small events occurred at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 22-29 January. Crater incandescence from the summit crater was visible during the morning of 29 January. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that unrest at Cleveland continued during 24-30 January. A possible cold vapor plume drifted S on 24 January. Slightly elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images a few times during 26-30 January. Nothing significant was detected in seismic or infrasound data. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Based on observations by volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, explosions during 22-23 January generated ash plumes that rose as high as 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Etna | Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that activity at Etna during 22-28 January was relatively unchanged compared to the previous weeks and was mainly characterized by variable-intensity gas emissions from the summit craters. Weak and sporadic ash emissions rose from the New Southeast Crater (NSEC). On 22 January ash fell in areas on the S flank and also in Catania, though the crater which produced the ash emission was unknown due to poor visibility.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images on 19 and 23 January. Gas-and-steam plumes drifted 30 km NE and NW on 21 and 25 January, and an ash plume drifted about 100 km NE on 23 January. An explosion at 1430 on 27 January generated ash plumes that rose as high as 5.2 km (17,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 80 km NNE, prompting KVERT to raise the Aviation colour Code to Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) : During 24-30 January HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater; spattering was briefly visible from the visitor overlook on 27 and 29 January. Surface lava flows were active above and on the pali, and on the coastal plain.

Reventador | Ecuador : During 24-30 January IG reported a high level of seismic activity including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and signals indicating emissions at Reventador. Steam, gas, and ash plumes rose at around 600 m above the crater rim and drifted mainly W and sometimes N. Incandescent blocks rolled as far as 800 m down the E flank and 200 m down the S and SE flanks. Weather clouds sometimes prevented visual observations.

Sabancaya | Peru : Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that explosive activity at Sabancaya had decreased compared to the previous week; there was an average of 33 explosions recorded per day during 22-28 January. Seismicity was dominated by long-period events, with signals indicating emissions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 3 km above the crater rim and drifted 50 km NW and SW. The MIROVA system detected five thermal anomalies. The sulfur dioxide flux was high, at 3,477 tons per day on 22 January. The report noted that the public should not to approach the crater within a 12-km radius.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images on 19 and 23 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Sinabung | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that ash plumes at Sinabung rose as high as 2.5 km above the crater during 24-30 January and drifted E, S, SW, and W. Avalanches of incandescent material traveled as far as 1.5 km down the ESE flank. A pyroclastic flow traveled 2.5 km down the ESE flank on 27 January. 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.

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that events at Turrialba at 1101 and 1427 on 26 January and at 0920 on 30 January generated plumes that rose 100-200 m above the crater rim and drifted SW.