Earthquakes

5.9 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.6 Earthquake hits northern Peru.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Tanimbar Islands region, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits Japan’s Bonin Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Environment

Decline in Amazon forest destruction.

Data released on Tuesday suggests destruction of Amazon rain forests has slowed to the lowest rate since monitoring began in 1988. The figures, based on Brazilian government data gathered by satellite imagery, mark the fourth straight year the overall deforestation levels have slowed.

But scientists warn, they must still confirm by follow-up research whether the reality on the ground matches what seems to be the case from the sky, especially as loggers and farmers clear smaller but more numerous patches of woodland in efforts to evade detection.

Three of the nine Amazonian states measured in the recent data actually showed increases in deforestation. Meanwhile, scientists and environmentalists warn that changes to Brazil’s environmental policies in recent years could soon begin reversing the progress.

Brazil deforestation

Volcanos

Global Volcano Activity:

The Tokyo VAAC reported that an eruption of Tolbachik, Kamchatka began at around 10:45 (GMT). An initial ash plume rose to a height of 10 KM; ash was seen in satellite images. On 28th November, the KVERT raised the Alert Level to ORANGE. The KVERT reported that lava flows and ash explosions have broken out from the northern part of the 1975 eruptive fissure. Heavy ash falls (4 cm thick) have been reported in Krasny Yar, 35 KM away from Klyuchi village to the west. One Russian report stated “volcano’s top caldera is being filled with fresh and gushing lava” suggesting explosive eruptions and fire fountains from the summit.

One newspaper reported an eruption from Lokon-Empung volcano. The eruption occurred at 10:05 (local time) sending an ash plume to a height of 3.5 KM a.s.l. Several ash plumes were also reported by the Darwin VAAC.

Paluweh volcano, Indonesia produced 2 ash plumes. The plume travelled 30 KM to the west.

5 explosions were detected from Fuego volcano, Guatemala producing weak, grey plumes to a height of 4.1 KM a.s.l. that drifted 5 KM southwest.

Santa Maria, Guatemala, is still effusing 4 lava flows from its Santiaguito lava dome complex. Avalanches produced ash plumes that rose to heights of 3 KM and drifted 10 KM SSW. Incandescence was seen at night.

Drought

Mississippi River barge traffic in the US is slowing as the worst drought in five decades combines with a seasonal dry period to push water levels to a near-record low, prompting shippers to seek alternatives. River vessels are cutting loads in an attempt to remain in business while they seek White House aid to keep the river open.

Storms and Floods

An atmospheric river,” a weather phenomenon which channels tropical moisture all the way across the Pacific Ocean like a ‘river of storms’ is heading for California, USA. Sometimes called a “pineapple express,” these storms are viewed by weather experts as California’s equivalent of a hurricane. Weather experts say Sacramento could see 4 to 8 inches of rain, and the mountains of the Northern Sierra Nevada and Shasta regions could be deluged with 12 to 18 inches of rainfall.

A brutal storm has left more than 50,000 homes in Perth and regional Western Australia without power, as emergency services scrambled to cope with widespread damage to schools, heritage buildings and homes across the state.

Flooding in Denbighshire, Wales

-One killed in flooding in St Asaph, Denbighshire, Wales.

-Around 500 people evacuated in the Welsh city of St Asaph after the river Elwy burst its banks.

-Several roads in Worcestershire, County Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland are closed.

-Some schools in Conwy and Denbighshire in Wales are also closed.

-Almost 500 flood warnings and alerts remain in place today in North East England and North Wales.

Snowstorm in Hokkaido, Japan

-Hokkaido snowstorm left about 37,000 houses without electricity.

-About 90 trains and 10 domestic flights were canceled due to the storm.