Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

8.0 earthquake hits northern Peru.

A large earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.0 struck the Amazon jungle in north-central Peru early Sunday. The quake, at a moderate depth of 110 kilometers (68 miles) struck at 2:41 a.m., 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of the village of Lagunas and 158 kilometers (98 miles) east-northeast of the larger town of Yurimaguas. There were no immediate reports of casualties, although some buildings collapsed and power cuts were reported in a number of cities. Earthquakes that are close to the surface generally cause more destruction. In Yurimaguas, a number of old houses collapsed, and the electricity was cut, according to the National Emergency Operations Center, which gave the magnitude of the quake as 7.2. In the capital, Lima, people ran out of their homes in fear.

5.7 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Afghanistan – The most recent rain storms started on Thursday and have hit large areas of Afghanistan, including the capital, Kabul. Floods have swamped communities where people had already been displaced by winter flooding. At least 24 people have died and 11 have been injured as a result of the most recent floods. Heavy snowfall during the winter has added to the recent flooding. More than 100 people have died in the last few months.

Oklahoma, USA – Officials on Saturday warned some Tulsa residents to prepare to head to higher ground because old levees holding back the swollen Arkansas River are stressed and more rain is expected for the flood-weary region. The river was four feet above flood stage on Friday and was already causing flooding in parts of Oklahoma’s second-largest city, including in south Tulsa where the murky brown water had inundated low-lying neighborhoods. Levees were built in the 1940s and haven’t had to hold back this much water since 1986. Officials also said they don’t expect the river to recede in Tulsa until Wednesday at the earliest.

Global Warming

Students Strike for Climate Change

Hundreds of thousands of students around the world walked out of their schools and colleges Friday in the latest in a series of strikes urging action to address the climate crisis. According to event organizers Fridays for Future, over 1664 cities across 125 countries registered strike actions, with more expected to report turnouts in the coming days.

Disease

Syphilis – Auckland, New Zealand

The Auckland District Health Board is warning people of the increased danger of the transmission of syphilis amid an outbreak of the disease. So far this year, there have been 124 cases of the sexually-transmitted disease reported. Regional Public Health Service figures show 78 percent of cases reported in the last year were men. People who had contracted the disease were predominantly between the ages of 20 and 49.

Syphilis is a serious disease that, if left untreated over time, can affect the brain, spinal cord and other organs. The infection can also have a serious impact on unborn babies, leading to stillbirth or congenital syphilis, as well as potentially causing abnormalities such as blindness, deafness and meningitis.

Legionnaires Disease – Belgium

The Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the Evergem area, Flanders, Belgium has reached 29 cases, according to Zorg en Gezondheid. Of the 29 patients infected, 10 of these people are at home, 17 patients are still in the hospital, 4 of whom are in intensive care (though not in danger). 2 people died.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Catamarca, Argentina.

5.5 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 earthquake hits the Andaman Islands off India.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

USA – After bands of extreme weather made a push this week across Missouri, major rivers are expected to bring near-historic flood levels to the St. Louis area over the weekend and into next week. The Mississippi River may climb to its fourth- or fifth-highest level since records began in the 1700s. Based on observations from the U.S. Geological Survey, government forecasts late Friday projected a crest of about 41.9 feet — nearly 12 feet above flood stage. That would fall less than a couple inches shy of the crest seen in April 1785 that currently stands as the fourth-highest in the record books. Rising floodwater already prompted a number of warnings in the region this week.

Disease

Polio – Global

Pakistan saw two additional wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases during the past week. This brings the total cases in Pakistan to 17 and globally the tally is now 24.

Legionnaires Disease – New Jersey, USA

Five people have died in an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, a bacteria-triggered form of pneumonia, that is connected to a single New Jersey county, health officials said Friday.

As of Thursday, the New Jersey Department of Health said it had confirmed 22 total cases of Legionnaires’ in people who live in Union County or have visited it. The people got sick between March 8 and May 13; five of the 22 died.

Mysterious disease outbreak claims 20 buffalo – India

An unknown disease has reportedly resurfaced in Manipur’s Tamenglong district, killing many buffalo in the region. According to sources, the epidemic has killed more than 20 buffalo in the last two days in Nurathel village under the Tamei sub-division of the district. In April, similar epidemic had killed over 70 buffaloes in neighbouring Nagaland.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Guinea – Five children died in Conakry, Guinea, in the early morning of May 18 after heavy rains caused flooding in the capital. Garbage had blocked the drainage canals, further contributing to the floods.

USA – Life, as most people know it, has come to a slow halt in the Mississippi Delta. More than 500,000 acres of land, according to the Mississippi Levee Board, has been covered by backwater floods that can’t seem to escape.

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Environment

Somalia Famine

The U.N. issued a special alert as the specter of famine rose in Somalia due to the failure of last fall’s rainy season as well as the one this spring.

More than 2 million people are threatened with severe hunger later this year, along with the many head of livestock the population depends upon for food and livelihood.

“Herders in the worst drought-affected areas, such as central Galgaduud and in northern Bari and Sanaag regions, have been forced to slaughter the offspring of their goats and sheep,” said U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Somalia representative Serge Tissot.

Plastic Houses

A Mexican engineer says he has an easy and useful way to recycle the untold tons of plastic pollution that now litter virtually every corner of the planet.

Ramón Espinosa says his company, Ecoplástico Ambiental, can convert the ubiquitous debris into strong sheets of “plastic wood,” which can be used to build homes, furniture and a variety of other objects.

He says the formed plastic not only insulates, it also doesn’t crack or degrade, meaning that homes made of it could last for 150 years.

EWCOLOR

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47.2 degrees Celsius) in Bahariya, Egypt.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 103.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 75.0 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, 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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Israel

Firefighters on Thursday battled wildfires that scorched swathes of forests in central Israel, forcing some small towns to be evacuated, during a heatwave that brought record temperatures to parts of the country.

Rescue efforts focused on a wooded area between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, where ground teams and airplane tankers fought back the flames for hours. By nightfall, the fires were mostly under control, according to police.

Some 3,500 residents of small towns were evacuated, officials said. More than a dozen houses burned down, local media reported.

Volcanos

Geologists Discover Large Underwater Volcano

A strange seismic event off the coast of Africa has led scientists to a mighty finding: the discovery of the largest underwater volcanic eruption ever recorded.

The eruption also may explain a weird seismic event recorded in November 2018 just off the island of Mayotte, located between Madagascar and Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. Researchers described that event as a seismic hum that circled the world, but no one could figure out what sparked it.

And, incredibly, investigations revealed that the island of Mayotte moved a few inches south and east after the mysterious event.

The underwater volcano is enormous, rising nearly a half mile (0.8 kilometers) from the ocean floor. It’s the length of a 3.1-mile (5 km) race and lies about 31 miles (50 km) off Mayotte’s eastern coast. And it came into being in just six months.

Researchers used multibeam sonar to find the underwater volcano. The reflected sonar waves revealed the outline of the underwater volcano (red) and the gassy plume rising from it.

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Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 15 May – 21 May 2019

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 1409 on 18 May an explosion at Agung ejected incandescent material radially onto the flanks as far as 2.5 km from the crater rim. A dense gray-white ash plume rose 2 km and drifted NE, E, and SE, causing ashfall in hamlets downwind including Cutcut, Tongtongan, Bonyoh, and Temakung. A weak roar was audible from the Agung Volcano Observatory in Rendang (about 8 km SW). The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) with the exclusion zone set at a 4-km radius.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that on 13 May two explosions at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) produced plumes that rose 1.8 km above the crater rim and ejected material as far as 1.3 km. Crater incandescence from the crater was visible. Very small non-explosive events were recorded by the seismic network during 17-20 May. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Asosan | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 15-20 May sulfur dioxide emission levels were somewhat high at Asosan’s Nakadake Crater. At 1028 on 15 May an eruption produced a plume that rose 700 m above the crater rim. White plumes rose 200 m during 17-20 May. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 15-21 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 2.1-3 km (7,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : A thermal anomaly over Ebeko was identified in satellite images during 12-13 May. Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 13-15 May that sent ash plumes up to 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Etna | Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that gas emissions of variable intensity were observed rising from Etna’s summit craters during 14 and 17-19 May; weather conditions prevented views on the other days during 13-19 May. Ash emissions periodically rose from vents in the S and E parts of New Southeast Crater (NSEC). Several Strombolian explosions at NSEC ejected incandescent pyroclastic material a few dozen meters above the crater rim during 17-18 May.

Fuego | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that there were 15-20 explosions per hour recorded at Fuego during 16-17 and 19-20 May, generating ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim and drifted 10-25 km S, SW, and W. Explosions sometimes produced shock waves that rattled houses in nearby communities. Incandescent material was ejected 300-400 m high and caused avalanches of material that occasionally traveled long distances (reaching vegetated areas) down Seca (W), Taniluyá (SW), Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), and Las Lajas (SE) ravines. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), and El Porvenir (8 km ENE). A lava flow on the W flank was 300 m long. On 16 May lahars carrying variously-sized blocks and tree branches and trunks descended the Las Lajas ravine. On 20 May hot lahars with a sulfur odor descended the Ceniza, El Jute, and Las Lajas drainages, carrying blocks 1-3 m in diameter.

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that during 14-16 and 18-19 May ash plumes from Ibu rose to 2.1-3 km (7,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, N, ENE, and SE based on satellite data. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater, and 3.5 km away on the N side.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was visible in satellite images during 10-14 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy was identified in satellite images on 10 and 15 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that Anak Krakatau’s seismic network detected 22 eruptive events during 13-19 May, though none of the events were followed by ash emissions. Dense white plumes were visible rising as high as 200 m above the summit during periods of clear weather. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km radius hazard zone around the crater.

Merapi | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that on 11 May the lava dome at Merapi had an estimated volume of 458,000 cubic meters, based on analyses of drone footage. The dome morphology remained relatively unchanged during 12-19 May, as most of the extruded lava fell into the upper parts of the SE-flank Gendol River drainage. Two block-and-ash flows traveled as far as 1.2 km down the Gendol drainage. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 15-21 May there were 22-72 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained ash (19-21 May). Two explosions, at 0817 and 0831 on 16 May, generated ash plumes that rose 1.6 and 1 km above the crater rim, respectively. During 20-21 May crater incandescence was visible during some emissions. The Alert Level had returned to Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-colour scale) on 7 May and remained there through 21 May.

Reventador | Ecuador : IG reported that during 14-21 May seismic data from Reventador’s network indicated a high level of seismic activity, including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and signals indicating emissions. Weather conditions often prevented views of the summit area, although when clear (during 17-18 and 20-21 May) several ash plumes were visible rising as high as 1 km above the crater rim and drifting W and NW. Crater incandescence was visible on some mornings and evenings. On 19 May a 500-m-long pyroclastic flow deposit on the N flank was visible. Blocks were observed rolling 800 m down the flanks on 21 May.

Rincon de la Vieja | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that phreatic eruptions at Rincón de la Vieja were recorded at 1703 on 14 May and 0357 on 17 May, though dense fog prevented visual confirmation of both events with webcams. On 15 May a local observer noted a diffuse plume of steam, gas, and particulates rising from the crater and photographed milky-gray deposits on the N part of the crater rim, ejected from the event the day before.

Sabancaya | Peru : Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) and Instituto Geológico Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET) reported that an average of 33 low-to-medium intensity explosions per day occurred at Sabancaya during 13-19 May. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted NW, N, and NE. There were 10 thermal anomalies identified in satellite data. The report noted that the public should not approach the crater within a 12-km radius.

Santa Maria | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 16-17 May there were two explosions per hour detected at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex. Ash plumes rose 700 m above the complex and drifted SW. Eight weak explosions were recorded during 19-20 May, generating ash plumes that rose 700 m and drifted SW. Avalanches of material descended the E and SE flanks of the lava dome.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch’s lava dome was identified daily in satellite images during 10-17 May. Plumes of re-suspended ash were visible drifting 16 km SE on 13 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Turrialba | Costa Rica : On 19 May OVSICORI-UNA reported that passive, short-duration emissions with small amounts of ash had been sporadically occurring at Turrialba over the previous week. Prolonged and intermittent periods of emissions with minor amounts of ash were visible during 19-20 May.

Villarrica | Chile : POVI reported continuing activity at Villarrica during 5-6 May when Strombolian explosions ejected lava 50 m above the crater rim. On 14 May the webcam recorded 24-m-wide lava fountains rising as high as 70 m. An explosion later that day at 2220 ejected a mushroom-shaped fountain 70 m high. POVI noted it was one of the largest lava explosions since 2015.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits off the coast of Ecuador.

5.1 earthquake hits Tonga,

5.1 earthquake hits southeast of Easter Island.

5.0 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

USA – The violent storm system blasting through parts of the central U.S. was linked to four deaths while fueling almost 60 tornado reports Monday and Tuesday – with more damage expected Wednesday. Severe storms, possibly with large hail, were forecast for Wednesday from Texas to the Great Lakes. Flooding was a concern to the south: Residents of some small towns in Oklahoma and Kansas were being urged to leave their homes as rivers and streams rose. The Arkansas River is approaching historic highs, while the already high Missouri and Mississippi rivers were again rising Wednesday.