Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the southern mid-Atlantic Ridge.

5.2 earthquake hits south of Fiji.


Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 14s (Eliakim), located approximately 435 nm northwest of St. Denis, La Reunion, is tracking west-southwestward at 02 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15s (Marcus), located approximately 61 nm west-southwest of Darwin, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 12 knots.


Kenya – Kenyan officials said Friday that at least 15 people have drowned and scores of families have been displaced across the East African nation during two days of heavy rainfall that caused flooding in urban and rural areas. The deaths happened as flood and river waters swept through Kenyan towns that had experienced drought months earlier. More than 20 residents in Marsabit County were trapped in tree tops after the Lag Balal seasonal river in Maikona breached its banks and flooded their homes.

Uganda – One person is dead and six others are reported missing as floods caused by heavy rain-ravaged Mbarara town.


Winged Contagion

Bird lovers are being warned that their garden feeders could contribute to the spread of serious disease among wild birds unless they are cleaned regularly.

A new British study found that contaminated feeders could be causing rare bird illnesses to become epidemics.

Experts recommend using feed from accredited suppliers and leaving it out in moderation so the feeders are emptied every day or two, allowing them to be cleaned more often.

They also suggest rotating the feeding sites to avoid accumulation of waste food and bird droppings that could carry disease.


Dengue epidemic – Réunion

Officials with Sante Publique France are reporting a dengue fever epidemic on in the Indian Ocean, according to a recent news release (computer translated). Since the beginning of the year, 193 indigenous dengue cases have been reported, with the number doubling every week since the end of January. The majority of the cases have been reported from Saint Denis.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits offshore Sucre, Venezuela.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Talud, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 14s (Eliakim), located approximately 393 nm northwest of St. Denis, La Reunion, is tracking westward at 07 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15s (Marcus), located approximately 102 nm northeast of Darwin, Australia, is tracking south-southwestward at 06 knots.

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The sorry state of Earth’s species, in numbers

As the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) prepares to unveil a thorough diagnosis of the health of Earth’s plant and animal species, this is what we already know:

– Two species of vertebrate, animals with a backbone, have gone extinct every year, on average, for the past century.

– Scientists say Earth is undergoing a “mass extinction event”, the first since the dinosaurs disappeared some 65 million years ago, and only the sixth in the last half-a-billion years.

– About 41% of amphibian species and more than a quarter of mammals are threatened with extinction.

– About half of coral reefs have been lost in the last 30 years.

– The global populations of 3 706 monitored vertebrate species – fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles – declined by nearly 60% from 1970 to 2012.

– 25 821 species of 91 523 assessed for the 2017 “Red List” update were classified as “threatened”.

– Of these, 5 583 were “critically” endangered, 8 455 “endangered”, and 11 783 “vulnerable”.

– African elephant numbers dropped to 415 000 in 2016, down about 111 000 over 10 years.

– There are an estimated 8.7 million plant and animal species on our planet. This means about 86% of land species and 91% of sea species remain undiscovered.

– Of the ones we do know, 1 204 mammal, 1 469 bird, 1 215 reptile, 2 100 amphibian, and 2 386 fish species are considered threatened.

– Also threatened are 1 414 insect, 2 187 mollusc, 732 crustacean, 237 coral, 12 505 plant, 33 mushroom, and six brown algae species.

– Annual economic losses as a result of deforestation and forest degradation alone may be as high as $4.5 trillion.


Migrating Moose

A changing ecological landscape in western Canada is allowing some moose to lumber from their traditional forest and Rocky Mountain habitats into prairie farmland, where they have hardly been seen before in significant numbers.

Declining private homesteads on the prairie in recent decades, and the disappearance of predators such as grizzlies and wolves, appear to be convincing the antlered grazers that it’s safe to scavenge grain spilled during the harvest. The moose even sometimes wander into the suburbs of cities such as Calgary.

“For an animal that is used to eating splintered wood most of the winter, all this spilled grain and canola is … a great banquet for them,” said wildlife biologist and author Chris Fisher.

Global Warming

Greenland Is Literally Cracking Apart and Flooding the World

Visit on the right summer day, and you could see a 12-billion-gallon lake disappear before your very eyes. Glaciologists saw this happen for the first time in 2006, when a lake drained away into nothing in less than 2 hours. Researchers now see such events as a regular part of Greenland’s increasingly hot summer routine; every year.

On a recent expedition, however, researchers saw an alarming new pattern behind Greenland’s mysterious disappearing lakes: They’re starting to drain farther and farther inland. Lakes that drain in one area produce fractures that cause more lakes to drain somewhere elsewhere.

As the draining water surges away from the original lake, it can destabilize other nearby ice beds. Fresh cracks form, new lakes drain and the reaction intensifies day by day. In one incident, the researchers observed 124 lakes drain in just five days. Even lakes that formed hundreds of kilometers inland, which were previously thought to be too far removed from the ice bed to drain into it, proved vulnerable to the chain-drain-reaction as new fissures in the ice formed.

This all amounts to billions of gallons of melted ice plunging below Greenland’s surface every few days. Some of this water remains trapped in the ice sheet; much of it pours into the surrounding ocean.

The ice sheet, which covers 1.7 million square kilometers [650,000 square miles], was relatively stable 25 years ago, but now loses one billion tons [900 million metric tons] of ice every day. This causes one millimeter of global sea level rise per year, a rate which is much faster than what was predicted only a few years ago.

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Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 degrees Celsius) in Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 88.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 66.7 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, 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 – Kansas, USA

Three fires in Rice County are about 70-percent contained but high winds continue to be a problem for crews fighting the fires.

Between seven and eight thousand acres have burned in the fires. One unoccupied home and several outbuildings were also destroyed. At least four Black Hawk helicopters were used to help gain control of the fire.

While the fire is mostly contained, dangerous conditions continue through Friday.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 7 March – 13 March 2018

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that although there were sometimes foggy conditions during 7-13 March, white plumes were observed rising as high as 600 m above Agung’s crater rim and drifting E. An event at 2332 on 11 March generated an ash plume that rose about 950 m and drifted E. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the exclusion zone continued at a 4-km radius.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that on 5 March at 2026 an event at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) produced an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim, into the clouds. Two explosions were detected on 10 March; one of the events, at 2312, generated ash plumes that rose 1.5 km above the crater rim and ejected material as far as 1.3 km. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Ambae | Vanuatu : Based on satellite and webcam observations, and model data, the Wellington VAAC reported that during 12-13 March ash plumes from Ambae rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW.

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that unrest continued at Cleveland during 7-13 March. Elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images on 7 March and seismicity slightly increased on 8 March. The Aviation colour Code was lowered to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Advisory.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-13 March ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.5-3 km (5,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Based on observations by volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, explosions on 6 March generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that although foggy conditions often prevailed at Ibu ash plumes were observed rising 300-600 m above the carter rim and drifting W and S. 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.

Kadovar | Papua New Guinea : RVO reported that emissions from Kadovar’s Main Crater were white from 1 March, until an explosion on 1800 on 5 March was followed by gray emissions through 8 March. The gray plumes rose less than 360 m above the vent and drifted SE. Noises were described as roaring and rumbling during 1-2 and 6-8 March, and booming on 5 March. The lava dome at the SE Coastal Vent continued to grow and rose to 7-8 m above sea level on 1 March, 10-11 m on 2 March, and 10-17 m on 8 March. Dark gray ash plumes rose from the dome. Nighttime incandescence was noted from both Main Crater and the SE vent.

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) : During 7-13 March HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. Webcams recorded incandescence from a small lava pond in a pit on the W side of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. Surface lava flows were active above and on Pulama pali.

Mayon | Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that during 6-13 March activity at Mayon was characterized by periods of gravity-driven lava advancement, gas-and-steam emissions, lava fountains, and quiescence. Episodes of weak lava fountaining during 6-10 March were accompanied by ash plumes that rose 100-300 m above the crater and drifted mainly SW. Rumbling sounds were audible at least within a 10-km radius. Active lava flows extended 3.3 km, 4.5 km, and 1.9 km long in the Mi-isi (S), Bonga (SE), and Basud (E) drainages, respectively. Steam plumes rose 2.4 km and drifted SW on 10 March. The next day white-and-gray plumes rose 2.5 km and drifted SW. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 0-5 scale) and PHIVOLCS reminded residents to stay away from the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone on the SSW and ENE flanks.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : Servicio Nacional de Geología and Minería (SERNAGEOMIN) Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) reported continuing activity during 16-28 February associated with a low rate of growth of the Gil-Cruz lava dome in Nevados de Chillán’s Nicanor Crater. Continuous gas emissions from the SE-NW-trending fissure on the dome’s surface were punctuated by emission of ash and water vapor that rose no higher than 1.8 km. During an overflight on 22 February observers noted an increased volume of the dome compared to the previous observation. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the middle level on a three-colour scale, and the public was reminded not to approach the craters within a 4-km radius.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 7-13 March there were 105-361 steam and gas emissions from Popocatépetl. Incandescence from the crater was visible at night. Explosions were recorded on 7 March. An explosion at 1042 on 12 March generated an ash plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater rim and drifted SE. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two.

Reventador | Ecuador : During 6-13 March 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 sometimes rose higher than 600 m above the crater rim and drifted N, NW, and W. Incandescent blocks rolled as far as 800 m down the flanks. On 13 March a pyroclastic flow traveled 400 m down the S flank. 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 decreased compared to the previous week; explosions averaged 10 per day during 5-11 March. Seismicity was dominated by long-period events, with signals indicating emissions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 5.4 km above the crater rim and drifted 30 km N, NW, W, and SW. The sulfur dioxide flux was high, at 2,396 tons per day on 9 March. 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 weak thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images on 4 and 6-8 March. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.3 earthquake hits south-east of the Loyalty Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 earthquake hits Namibia.

5.0 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 13p (Linda), located approximately 334 nm north-northeast of Brisbane, Australia, is tracking south-southwestward at 04 knots. This is the final warning for tis system.

Tropical cyclone 14s (Eliakim), located approximately 368 nm north-northwest of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking southwestward at 08 knots.


Kenya – A morning downpour has flooded parts of Nairobi City, wreaking havoc for commuters headed to work. The rains that started a at 6.30am virtually brought business to a standstill in the Kenyan capital. Floodwaters filled major streets and avenues in the city, with some commuters wading through it as they alighted from matatus. At least two people have died in Kajiado following heavy rains that wreaked havoc on Thursday morning.

Hawaii – Heavy rains are soaking parts of the state, and Maui remains under a flash flood warning. National Weather Service forecasters said east Maui was seeing rainfall rates of 1-2 inches an hour. In Hana, the flooding closed several roads and forced the closure of the Hana Highway.