Earthquakes

6.8 Earthquake hits central Burma [Myanmar] near Mandalay. At least 12 people are feared dead with dozens more injured.

5.4, 5.3 and 5.2 Aftershocks hit Myanmar.

5.2 Earthquake hits offshore Chiapas, Mexico.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Santa Cruz Islands in the central Pacific.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Fiji Islands.

4.9 Earthquake hits Sichuan, China.

Environment

Swarms of desert locusts that began appearing over the past few months in parts of Mali are threatening to spread northward into Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Mauritania. The swarms are believed to have initially emerged last year in the Libyan conflict zone, fed by abundant rainfall and unusually lush and moist conditions during the past summer.

The insects can consume more than their own weight in vegetation each day, and can ravage crops and pastures within hours.

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The week’s hottest temperature was 111.7 degrees Fahrenheit (44.2 degrees Celsius) at Tarcoola, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 69.3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.3 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity 11 November 2012 Update:

New explosions occurred earlier today from Paluweh (Rokatenda) volcano in Flores, Indonesia. An ash plume was observed at 09:30 GMT reaching 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude and extending 80 nm (about 140 km) to the NW.

A new explosion occurred earlier today at Cleveland volcano in the Aleutian Islands. A small ash cloud was detected on satellite images. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to orange.

Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi produced another small explosion today at 13:47 local time. Residents heard a loud bang and observed ash coming out from the crater. Ash was not seen on satellite data.

The seismic swarm in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone north off Iceland regained some strength the past days. The seismic swarm has now been ongoing for almost 3 weeks.

After being unusually quiet, two of the volcanoes in the Philippines seem to become more restless: Mayon volcano has started to show some signs of renewed activity. PHILVOLS has detected a slightly elevated number of quakes and weak inflation of parts of the volcanic edifice. The volcano is producing a gas and steam plume. It is not expected to erupt in the near future, but PHILVOLCS recommends a safety distance of 6 km due to the risk of sudeen phreatic explosions and lahars.

Taal volcano has been showing increased CO2 emissions, but otherwise no significant changes in the ongoing weak volcanic unrest.

Popocatépetl in Mexico had more than 120 emissions of steam and sometimes small amounts of ash during 9-10 November, in other words more than 3 times what has been reported for most of the previous days. It is unclear whether this is due to better observation circumstances (clearer weather etc.) or reflects a true increase of activity.

During 9-10 Nov, Fuego volcano was unusually quiet with only 3 weak explosions. The latest INSIVUMEH report also mentions the length of the lava flow at only 200 m, which would suggest that effusion rate has dropped a lot (temporarily).

During the past days, also Santiaguito seems to have been calm compared to previous periods. INSIVUMEH reports steaming and a few weak explosions, but states the dome was “calm”.

A strong thermal anomaly remains visible at Alaid volcano in the Northern Kuriles, Russia.

MODIS satellite data continues also to show a hotspot at Heard Island volcano.

Wildlife

Well over 100,000 migratory birds are killed for food or to be sold on the black market each year in far northeastern India, according to Conservation India. During the peak of migration, 12,000 to 14,000 birds are captured each day on their passage over Nagaland, a remote, mountainous state that borders Burma.

One of the more disturbing examples of the poaching is the capture of raptors, using nets set up near lakes and reservoirs to trap the birds when they come to roost at night or as they leave in the morning.

Conservation India urges Nagaland officials to enforce laws protecting the birds, and to work with local populations to prevent the killings.

Wildfires

A serious bushfire is burning out of control near Port Lincoln, South Australia, threatening lives and homes.

Storms and Floods

Many New Jersey, USA residents suffer cold and dark as many still lack power after Hurricane Sandy and winter storm Athena.