Storms and Floods

Flooding in Baghdad, Iraq

-Four killed in worst flooding in 30 years in Baghdad.

-Several hospitals in the city including Fatima al-Zahra hospital in Sadr City was also flooded.

-Government has declared national holiday today.

-Following Iraqi Meteorological Organization, about 6.75 centimeters (2.56 inches) of rain fell in Baghdad on Wednesday.

Flooding across Malaysia

-Floods triggered by torrential rains in Malaysia killed two people.

-More than 20,000 people are currently living in evacuation centers. -Recent flood in Malaysia is expected to be worst since 1971!

-Floods have affected Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang area of Malaysia.

-More rain on the Malaysian east coast is forecast over the coming days.

Malaysia flood photo recent natural disasters

Flooding in Asheville area, United states

-Huge storm caused heavy rainfall and flooding in Asheville area of North Carolina.

-Thousands of residents in Buncombe County and Henderson County are still without power.

-Several roads across the area are also closed because of snow and ice.

Tornadoes across Southern United States

-Death toll from several tornadoes from Texas to Alabama has risen to six.

-More than 243,000 homes and businesses are still without power.

-Another blizzard warning is issued from northeastern Arkansas to Cleveland, Ohio, where almost 14 inches of snow is expected to fall by Thursday.

USA Winter Snowstorms

-A powerful winter storm responsible for wind, snow, tornadoes and a flurry of traffic accidents battered the U.S. Northeast on Thursday, canceling hundreds of airline flights but also reviving what had been a snowless ski season.

-The storm dumped a foot (30 cm) of snow on parts of the United States with the heaviest snow falling across northern New York and into New England, the National Weather Service reported.

-The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and New England and coastal flood advisories from New York’s Long Island to southern Maine.

-Airlines canceled nearly 700 flights on Thursday after 1,500 U.S. flights were canceled on Wednesday.


5.3 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 Earthquake hits Bio Bio, Chile.

5.3 Earthquake hits the northern Atlantic Ocean.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Ascension Island region.

5.1 Earthquake hits offshore Maule, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.


New Shark Refuge

Sharks now have new refuges totaling 2.5 million square miles in French Polynesia and the Cook Islands where they are safe from fishermen. Up to a third of all shark species face some threat of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

They are slaughtered around the world for their fins, which are prized in Chinese culture and used to make soup.

Sharks are often caught, their fins sawed off and then discarded still alive only to tumble uncontrollably in the water until they die.

The new refuges established this month are in addition to several others that have recently begun to provide protection for sharks.

Venezuela and the European Union have banned the practice of cutting off shark fins and discarding the body at sea in their territorial waters.



Global Volcanic Activity:

Stromboli volcano has greeted us again with a Christmas present – since the evening of 23 Dec, a lava flow has been issueing, at least intermittently, from the eastern crater area and spreading over the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco. Activity at the volcano has been elevated since some time.

Etna volcano instead has been rather quiet over the past weeks, but occasional ash emissions from the New SE crater have been observed recently.

Some earthquakes in slightly elevated numbers have reappeared at Santorini volcano. For now, this might mean nothing much unusual, but it is a volcano to be closely watched for obvious reasons.

The number of emissions from Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico has risen again to about 3 per hour, and some of them are moderate in size and produced small ash plumes. Glow from the growing dome inside the crater remains bright at night and a constant emission of steam and gas drifting eastwards is visible, and the latest satellite image shows a significant content of SO2 in the plume.

New ash emissions started at Nicaragua’s San Cristobal volcano earlier today, following an impressive increase in seismic activity.

No new explosions have been observed from Pacaya volcano in Guatemala. The only activity at the surface is degassing. Some tremor and volcanic quakes are visible, suggesting new eruptions could occur any time.

Activity at Fuego volcano has remained dominantly effusive. The lava flow on the southern slope has increased its length to 500 m on 24 Dec morning. Mild strombolian activity with infrequent (a few per day) small explosions have continued at the volcano.

Explosive activity has picked up at Santiaguito with a few moderately strong emissions heard and observed during 24-25 Dec. The lava flows from the dome have remained active as well.

Over the past days, Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador has calmed down compared to the previous week. However, the eruption is far from over. Glow at the summit indicates fresh magma continues to rise, and there is still a constant steam and ash column rising about 2 km, along with sporadic weak to moderate explosions.

Ash emissions of low intensity continue as well from time to time at Ecuador’s other currently active volcano, Reventador .

The alert level of Copahue volcano in Chile was lowered to orange. Seismicity has remained low and only a few weak emissions were recorded recently. A warning of possible lahars remains in effect for the municipality of Alto Biobío.

The eruption at Plosky Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka has started to decrease over the past days and it looks as if it might be approaching an end in a near future. However, tremor is still high and some lava flows are still active with reduced output. The thermal anomalies have started to become smaller and also confirm the flash flood of lava to the east reported earlier caused by a spectacular cone collapse on 23 Dec.

After taking a break during 23-25 Dec, Sakurajima volcano in Japan has been quite productive today with at least 3 explosions so far today, including a moderately large one with ash rising to 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude.

In Indonesia, Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi and Paluweh north off Flores remain the most active volcanoes of the country. Lokon continues produce a large steam plume and near-daily ash explosions, sometimes strong ones with ash falls occurring several km away. Paluweh’s new lava dome continues to grow, and has likely produced pyroclastic flows to the S and SE, along with ash plumes rising up to 8-9,000 ft (2.4-2.7 km) altitude.

A SO2 plume is visible from Bagana volcano on Bougainville island in Papua New Guinea today, suggesting that the volcano is erupting as well.

Storms and Floods

Five people have died and three are missing after tropical storm Wukong hit the central Philippines.

Heavy monsoon rainfall has caused flooding across Thailand. The floods have displaced tens of thousands of people.