Earthquakes

6.0 Earthquake hits near the northern coast of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.5 Earthquake hits near the coast of northern Peru.

5.4 and 5.0 Earthquakes hit Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits northern Algeria.

5.0 Earthquake hits north-east of Taiwan.

4.9 Earthquake hits the Chile-Argentina border region.

Environment

The Great Lakes, the world’s biggest freshwater system, are shrinking because of drought and rising temperatures, a trend that accelerated with this year’s almost snowless winter and scorching summer. Water levels have fallen to near-record lows on Lakes Michigan and Huron, while Erie, Ontario and Superior are below their historical averages. The decline is causing heavy economic losses, with cargo freighters forced to lighten their loads, marinas too shallow for pleasure boats and weeds sprouting on exposed bottomlands, chasing away swimmers and sunbathers.

Great Lakes Levels

_____________________________________

Victoria in Australia has sweltered on its hottest november day in more than a century, with the heatwave triggering numerous small grass fires in the state. Mildura recorded a high of 45.4ºC at 3.18pm (AEDT) on Thursday, taking it over the record of 45ºC set in the city in November 1905.

_____________________________________

Sea levels are rising 60 percent faster than U.N. projections, threatening low-lying areas from Miami to the Maldives, a study submitted during the U.N. talks in Qatar on combating climate change said on Wednesday.

The study said sea levels had been rising by 3.2 mm (0.1 inch) a year according to satellite data, which was 60 percent faster than the 2mm annual rise projected by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over that period.

In the last century, seas rose by about 17 cm.

The latest best estimate for sea level rise was between 50 cm and a metre this century, possibly more if greenhouse gas emissions surged. Higher temperatures would melt more ice on land and expand the water in the oceans.

That would leave low-lying regions – from Pacific island states and Bangladesh to Tokyo and New York – facing a greater risk of storm surges, erosion and, in a worst case scenario, complete swamping by flood waters.

Volcanos

Russia’s Tolbachik volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula erupts explosively for first time in 36 years. Substantial ash plume rises to 33 000 feet.

Tolbachik fissure and cone

 

Indonesia’s Mount Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi erupted on Wednesday, spewing ash up to 3.5 kilometers to the sky.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storm Bopha continues to intensify in the western North Pacific Ocean as it heads toward Yap State. Storm warnings remain in effect for parts of the Federated States of Micronesia.

A tornado rolled off the sea and hit the port city of Taranto, Italy bringing down a chimney stack and damaging a warehouse and lighthouse at a steel factory, injuring at least 20 people.

One person was killed in a plane crash in the US state of Texas during a thunderstorm.

Heavy rains in Honduras

-Three killed as a result of the torrential rains in northern Honduras.

-Choloma River swept away two children in La Jutosa, Cortes province of Honduras. Another died in a landslide in Baracoa, Cortes.

-Heavy rains also caused flooding in Puerto Cortes and has blocked the road linking the town with San Pedro Sula, the largest city in northern Honduras.