Earthquakes

5.5 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands region.

5.1 Earthquake hits the D’entrecasteaux Islands region.

Space Events

Dozens of bright objects will streak across the sky each hour between dusk Thursday and dawn Friday as the annual Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak.

Wildlife

Hundreds of squid have intentionally stranded themselves on the shores of California and scientists only have guesses as to why. The Santa Cruz coastline is littered with squid carcasses.

Squid

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity:

The eruption from Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka continues. Tolbachik has been erupting a record of 1,200 tonnes or about 400 cubic meters of basaltic lava per second. If this number if correct, the current effusion rate would be significantly larger than the during the Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption in 1975, when the effusion rate was about 40 m3/s on average.

Marapi volcano in West Sumatra (Indonesia) produced small ash emissions on 11 Dec morning. The volcano has been emitting ash almost every day since Marapi had become active again on 3 Aug 2011.

White Island volcano has been raised to alert level 2 after GNS scientists discovered the existence of a new spiny lava dome in the small crater left by the August phreatic explosions. It is not clear yet when exactly the dome has formed or whether it is still growing, in which case more eruptions could be expected.

Pagan volcano in the Marianas continues to produce a significant steam plume visible on satellite images, and a hot spot above the volcano was detected by MODVOLC yesterday (for the 6tth time in 2012). There are no reports of other eruptive activity.

MODIS satellite data continues to show a hotspot at Australia’s Heard Island volcano. Thermal anomalies at Heard Island have been occasionally been detected since September this year, when the often dense cloud cover did not prevent it. It is likely that some minor eruptive activity is going on at the volcano.

Popocat├ępetl volcano in Mexico has calmed down a bit, with only 34 weak emissions between 10-11 Dec.

Fuego volcano had a rather quiet day and the lava flow towards the Ceniza canyon had decreased to only 200 m length this morning.

Activity of Santiaguito has not changed. The lava dome is strongly degassing and glowing at night. The viscous flows, especially the new one in the southern side, remain quite active and produce constant avalanches causing ash plumes to rise and drift into westerly directions.

Disease

Yellow fever outbreak in the Ewo District in Cuvette-Ouest region, Democratic Repuclib of the Congo. Authorities have undertaken a mass vaccination programme.

Storms and Floods

Tropical cyclone Evan forms in the Pacific approximately 40 nm west-northwest of Pago Pago, American Samoa. Flash floods and power cuts have hit the Samoan capital Apia as tropical cyclone Evan lashed the Pacific island nation with high winds and heavy rain. Tonga and Fiji may be next.

Storms in Mahikeng, South Africa

-Torrential rains and storms killed two people in Mahikeng, South Africa. Their bodies were found in Madibogo South.

-The Motsitlane, Dikgatlhong and Lenganeng sections of Madibogo township have been hit by heavy storms this week.

-14 people were killed when a bridge collapsed on the R65 between Lothair and Ermelo due to heavy rains yesterday.