Earthquakes

5.6 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits near the east coast of central Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the west coast of northern Sumatra.

5.0 Earthquake hits Antofagasto, Chile.

Wildlife

While residents living in South Australian towns ravaged by this week’s bushfires have escaped injury, the local wildlife has not been so lucky.

Dozens of badly burned koalas, possums and echidnas have been rescued and taken to wildlife carers around the Port Lincoln area where the worst blaze hit.

Injured animals are receiving round-the-clock care at Adelaide’s AMWRRO Centre.

 

koala

Drought

Drought in Tanzania is driving the youth to the cities. Changing weather patterns in Tanzania have caused a rising wave of migration from rural to urban areas, with thousands of youths flocking into Dar es Salaam, the largest city, in search of work.

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A storm system that brought cold, wet weather to much of the United States last week helped ease drought in many states, but some areas that were most in need of moisture were missed.

The U.S. High Plains, which includes key farm states of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Kansas, saw slight improvement last week due to good precipitation. But three quarters of both Kansas and Nebraska continued to suffer from extreme or exceptional drought.

In South Dakota, extreme or worse drought still covers nearly 55 percent of the state.

The portion of the contiguous United States under “extreme” or “exceptional” drought – the two most dire classifications – improved to 18.30 percent from 19.36 percent.

The persistent drought continues to hinder growth of the new winter wheat crop in many U.S. Plains states.

Texas and Oklahoma, also key wheat growing states, continued to struggle with drought.

Wheat in Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado, and Oklahoma is struggling with more than 30 percent of it in each of those states rated poor to very poor, according to USDA.

In Texas, the drought deepened as the state was largely missed by the rain storms that swept through the Plains and Midwest. In contrast, most of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and western Tennessee measured widespread precipitation.

Disease

In addition to the three dead in the latest ebola outbreak in Uganda, up to 15 people are being monitored for signs of the disease. Officials advised against panic after it was revealed that two possible Ebola patients had since checked into Kampala’s main referral hospital.

First outbreak of a highly pathogenic bird flu virus in Australia in 15 years. Authorities hope that a cull of 50,000 chickens will contain the outbreak. It is not yet known what caused the outbreak at an egg farm in New South Wales. Japan has banned imports of eggs from Australia.

Volcanos

Volcanic activity world-wide:

Due to increased seismic activity, GNZ has increased the alert level of Ruapehu volcano in New Zealand.

Ash emissions continue from Paluweh volcano (Rokatenda) volcano off Flores, Indonesia.

The MODIS TERRA and AQUA satellites detected 4 thermal anomalies at Michael volcano in the South Sandwich Islands on 14 November suggesting that some significant activity has started there.

At Kilauea volcano on Hawai’i, the lava flows in the coastal plain have reached within 400m/0.25mi of the shoreline, and are expected to enter the ocean in the next few days.

The current phase of weak, mainly effusive activity endures at Fuego volcano in Guatemala. The lava flow towards the Ceniza canyon was 250 m long yesterday.

Santiaguito produced a moderate explosion on 15 Nov and a small pyroclastic flow caused by partial collapse of one of the still weakly active lava flows descending the flanks of the dome.

A small eruption might have occurred at Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia prior to 14:47 GMT yesterday 15 Nov. The report came by VAAC Washington, based on seismic data and the detection of a hot spot. The volcano occasionally has been having small ash puffs in the recent weeks.

Reventador volcano in Ecuador: While visual observations are difficult to absent due to near constant cloud cover, the seismic signal tells a clear story that significant activity is going on at the growing lava dome.

Sakurajima volcano has entered once again a phase of more intense and frequent explosions. Since yesterday, there has been one explosion every 4-5 hours on average. Ash clouds rose to altitudes between 1.8-3.4 km (6-11,000 ft) altitude.

Another small earthquake swarm has occurred at Mammoth Mountain west of the Long Valley caldera (California) between 14-17 Nov. This seismic activity falls into the normal behaviour of an active caldera system, and should not be seen as indicator of new eruptions to be expected in the near future.

Significant SO2 plumes, evidence of fresh magma arriving at the surface, continue to originate from Ambrym volcano on Vanuatu and from Nyiragongo volcano in the DR Congo.

Storms and Floods

Flash floods have washed away the rice harvest of some 2,000 farmers in western Kenya, flooding some of their homes and sending latrine effluent into water courses, which provide drinking water to many communities.