Earthquakes

7.3 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. A tsunami warning was issued after the earthquake struck off Japan’s eastern coast about 7:18pm (AEDT). Buildings were reported to have swayed violently in Tokyo. At 8:19pm workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant were told to retreat to a fortified building at the plant as a precaution. A one-metre high tsunami hit Japan’s north-east coast at 8:10pm. Evacuations have been ordered in some places.

6.2 and 5.5 Aftershocks hit near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Two 5.0 Aftershocks hit near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. Three 4.8 and three 4.7 Aftershocks also rattled the region.

5.1 and 4.9 Earthquakes hit the Bouvet Island region near the southern mid-atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of the Sandwich Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits the New Britain region, Papua New Guinea.

4.9 Earthquake hits southern Greece.

Environment

Wildfires Darken Greenland Snowpack, Increase Ice Melt

Satellite observations have revealed the first direct evidence of smoke from Arctic wildfires drifting over the Greenland ice sheet, tarnishing the ice with soot and making it more likely to melt under the sun. Researchers previously recorded a 6 percent drop in reflectivity in Greenland over the last decade, which will cause enough warming to bring the entire surface of the ice sheet to melting each summer, as it did in 2012. Soot is an extremely powerful light absorber. It settles over the ice and captures the sun’s heat, which leads to stronger and more prolonged melting. That’s why increasing tundra wildfires have the potential to accelerate the melting in Greenland.

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The week’s hottest temperature was 110.5 degrees Fahrenheit (43.6 degrees Celsius) at Nyang, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 58.4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50.2 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian community of Dzhalinda, which borders China.

Volcanos

Global Volcano Activity:

New Activity/Unrest: Chirpoi, Kuril Islands (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Kizimen, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Langila, New Britain | Lokon-Empung, Sulawesi | Paluweh, Lesser Sunda Islands (Indonesia) | Ruapehu, North Island (New Zealand) | Santa María, Guatemala | Soputan, Sulawesi | Tolbachik, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Ulawun, New Britain

Ongoing Activity: Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Manam, Northeast of New Guinea (SW Pacific) | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

Storms and Floods

Typhoon Bopha Heads to China, Vietnam as Philippine Death Toll Rises to above 500 with more than 300 000 people crammed into evacuation centres as almost 16 000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

A heavy storm hit Buenos Aires, Argentina, flooding several neighbourhoods. Núñez and Belgrano are two of the most affected areas, with levels of water rapidly increasing along Libertador avenue where cars floated away with the floodwaters. Several subway lines were closed.

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