Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

5.2 and 5.1 Earthquakes hit the southern east Pacific rise.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

4.9 Earthquake hits the Santa Cruz Islands.

Drought

Drought in Thailand

Emergency disaster zones has been declared due to drought in 26 provinces of Thailand.

Drought is Killing Trees Across US Midwest

Hundreds of thousands of trees died in the historic drought of 2012, and many more will succumb in the next few years, according to a report from Purdue University, Indiana.

Indiana’s white cedar and Florida cypress trees began dying in late summer, the report says, and Alberta and Colorado blue spruce are succumbing now.

About 301 million trees died in rural Texas during the 2010 – 2011 drought.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Reventador (Ecuador): Activity remains at high levels. IG reports strong tremor and explosion signals. The current webcam image shows only a steam plume rising from the summit, but it is unclear if the lava flow seen on 22 Jan is still active.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): A new phase of activity could be in the making. In its latest special bulletin, IG reports an increase of earthquakes, steaming and some minor ash emissions that have taken place during the past days. The remaining parameters monitored by the Geophysical Institute have not shown significant variations. However, the increased seismicity associated with the surface activity indicate a potential change in the volcano’s behaviour, and an increase in activity in the coming days or hours is possible. Based on past episodes of activity, such a change into a new eruptive phase could occur both progressively and suddenly.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): Explosive activity continues to resume. 2 explosions occurred today at 5:45 and 6:03 am local time and produced ash plumes rising about 800 m. INSIVUMEH reports that such explosions occur at a rate of approximately 2 per hour.

Fuego (Guatemala): There have been no explosions or ash emissions during the past 24 hours. AActivity remains low although the lava flow towards the Taniluya canyon is still active, 600 m long today. Incandescent blocks rolling from its front reach the edge of the vegetation.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity continued to increase. No less than 137 emissions, twice as many as during the previous day, were counted during 25-26 Jan. A large SO2 plume is drifting from the volcano.

Karangetang (Siau Island, Sangihe Islands, Indonesia): A thermal hot spot is visible at the summit and suggests that some activity continues.

Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): A stronger than usual explosion produced an ash plume spotted on satellite data at 7,000 ft (2.1) km altitude today (VAAC Darwin).

Rabaul (Tavurvur) (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): A weakly enriched SO2 plume is visible at Rabaul today. Weak eruptive activity at Tavurvur probably continues.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): The volcano, now beautifully covered in snow, has gradually quieted (for now) after the recent short episodes of activity from Bocca Nuova and New SE crater.

The eruption at Tolbachik in Kamchatka continues with little changes, as well as activity at the other active volcanoes there.

Tanaga (Aleutian Islands): Seismic activity is low. Some small local earthquakes including some aftershocks from the 21 Jan 5.1 quake are still occurring.

Katmai (Alaska Peninsula, USA): Seismic activity has increased. Pulses of small earthquake swarms are visible at the recent seismograms.

Cleveland (Aleutian Islands, Alaska): Satellite images continue to show elevated surface temperatures at the summit of Cleveland, but there has not been any other activity reported. (AVO)

Storms and Floods

Flooding in Queensland, Australia

-Floods in Queensland have killed four people. Two others are still missing.

-An emergency evacuation warning was issued in Bundaberg, north of Brisbane, Australia.

-Floods destroyed at least 40 houses in Bundaberg.

-A statewide catastrophe has been declared.

-Bundaberg faces a monster flood powerful enough to knock over houses as Brisbane endures its second major flood in two years. Government expecting major flood damage in Bundaberg with the Burnett River running at 40 knots – so fast that rescue by boat will be very difficult and the force of the water is such that houses could be completely washed away. The Burnett River is expected to peak above 9.15m during late Tuesday or early Wednesday. “These are record floods. We are in uncharted territories.”

-Queensland’s telecommunications blackout is now STATE-WIDE with loss of phone, mobiles, internet and Triple Zero access from Coolangatta to the Cape. Telstra’s fibre optic cables have been cut by floods causing IT systems to crash and wreaking havoc on airports, banks and shops in a meltdown likely to take days to fix. The number of lives lost in the deluge from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald has continued to rise, with the death toll standing at three people and hundreds of homes are under water.

-Yesterday at least five tornadoes hit Queensland coastal towns. Tornadoes in Bundaberg district destroyed around 150 homes.

-Australia weather bureau has predicted heavy rain and destructive winds for Brisbane of up to 125km/h until Monday

Queensland floods 2013 photo natural disasters

Landslides in Indonesia

-Landslide in Indonesia has killed 16 and injured 6 others.

-Two different landslides in western Indonesia were caused due to heavy rainfall. The first disaster occurred in Agam district of West Sumatra and the second in Kerinci district of Jambi.

-The landslide destroyed 20 houses in Nagari Sungai Batang village in Agam district of Indonesia.

-Rescuers are still searching body of 9 Indonesians in the natural disaster area.

-Landslide in Jayapura, Indonesia killed two people yesterday. Four others were injured.

-Landslides and flash floods are common natural disasters in Indonesia due to deforestation, logging and bad building practices.

Indonesia landslides picture natural disasters

Flash floods in Zimbabwe

-Heavy rainfall caused flash floods in Beitbridge District of Zimbabwe.

-Floods destroyed more then 12 houses in Mawale village. Floods have also affected Tshasvingo, Tshitulipasi and Chikwalakwala areas of Zimbabwe.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits south west of Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Philippine Islands region.

4.9 Earthquake hits the Savu Sea, south of Indonesia.

Wildfires

Australian Wildfires

Rain has slowed the progress of two major bushfires burning in eastern Victoria.

Rain slows major vic fires

Storms and Floods

Tropical Cyclone Garry’s strength peaks in South Pacific

Garry continued to intensify over warm waters of the South Pacific Ocean and was upgraded to category three as it made its way towards the southern Cook Islands bringing damaging gale force winds to the northern Cook Islands.

Severe Weather and Flooding Across Queensland, Australia

Warnings of heavy rain and destructive winds for Brisbane until Monday. The weather bureau has warned of heavy rain and destructive winds of up to 125km/h, possible flash and riverine flooding, for Brisbane from Saturday tonight as central Queensland is slammed by severe weather.

An extraordinarily high tide will hit the Queensland coast on Sunday morning.

Boat ramp at victoria point

Windows were being blown out of Surfers Paradise highrises on the Gold Coast by 80km/h winds.

Severe flooding in the Bundaberg area, with houses being totally submerged.

Flooding at lowmead

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits Madagascar.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Jujuy, Argentina.

5.0 Earthquake hits northern Italy – no reports of injuries.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Britain., Papua New Guinea.

Drought

Heatwave – South Africa

Several parts of South Africa are currently experiencing an intense heatwave. Temperatures were between 35 to 40 degrees in the Free State, the Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

Wildfires

Forest fire in Mongar District of Bhutan

-About 200 acres of Chirpine forest burnt in Bhutan forest fire. -Some 30 fire fighters are struggling to control the fire.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): Following the moderately large explosion yesterday, small ash emissions continue from the crater, as seen on this webcam image today.

Ambrym (Vanuatu): A large SO2 plume is seen on NOAA satellite data today, indicating that fresh lava continues to arrive inside the lava lakes of the caldera vents.

White Island (New Zealand): New Zealand scientist undertook a gas measurements flight and found values of CO2 and SO2 emissions at similar levels as in December. Observations during the flight revealed that the mud geysering in the main crater lake is still vigorous Tremor and seismic activity also remain high and eruptions could occur with no or little warning.

Agrigan (Mariana Islands, USA): In a satellite image from January 22, NOAA’s Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center spotted a possible volcanic plume from Agrigan volcano, located on the next volcanic island north of Pagan (Mariana Isl). Neither USGS nor NOAA have received confirmation of a volcanic source for this anomaly and it is likely the cloud was weather-related.

San Cristobal (Nicaragua): Volcanic earthquakes and low-level volcanic tremor continue at fluctuating levels within the volcano.

San Miguel (El Salvador): Volcanic tremor and earthquake numbers increased slightly yesterday, but dropped again today.

Reventador (Ecuador): IG reported lava flows descending from the summit area and continuous emissions creating a 2 km tall plume yesterday (24 Jan). Several hot spots are visible on MODIS images. Today, the seismic signal alternates between periods of strong tremor with quieter phases, suggesting that activity has been occurring in pulses.

Copahue (Chile/Argentina border): Intense internal (seismic) unrest continues. Sernageomin reported 25 volcano-tectonic and 106 long period events as well as episodes of tremor during 19 hours between 22-23 Jan. An explosion signal was recorded at 23:55 local time (22 Jan) that corresponded to a brief increase of the height of the gas plume to 1500 m above the crater. No ash emissions or incandescence, or other signs of surface activity other than a moderate slow increase in degassing have so far been observed.

Storms and Floods

Mine mudslides in Pueblo Nuevo, Ecuador

-At least 12 killed and 20 others injured in Ecuador mudslides. Heavy rain in a gold-mining community in southern Ecuador caused mudslide.

-Mudslide happened after six hours of torrential downpours.

-Mudslides have destroyed houses and blocked roads in Pueblo Nuevo. Natural disaster area can only be reached by helicopter.

-Around 200 soldiers and policemen are working in rescue operations.

Ecuador

A heavy hailstorm has hit parts of southern Asir province, Saudi Arabia.

Tornadoes in central Queensland, Australia

-At least five tornadoes hit Queensland coastal towns, injuring 17 people.

-Burnett Heads and nearby Bargara have been declared as natural disaster areas.

-Tornadoes in Bundaberg district destroyed around 150 homes.

-About 2 000 people have been ordered to evacuate in Gladstone.

-Flood warnings have also been issued for the Calliope, Boyne, Baffle and Kolan Rivers.

-Australian weather bureau has predicted heavy rain and destructive winds for Brisbane of up to 125km/h until Monday

Flooding across Mozambique

-At least 36 people have been reported to be killed in recent Mozambique floods.

-A total of 26 persons have died in Gaza alone.

-Floods caused by torrential rains in South Africa and Zimbabwe that swelled the Limpopo river has displaced nearly 67,995 Mozambicans.

-Floods have damaged several bridges, roads and schools in capital Maputo.

-Some days ago, Mozambique officials had evacuated 55,000 people from flood disaster zone.

-Mozambican and South African military helicopters and boats have rescued 12,000 families.

Mozambique                   Mozambique1

Tropical Cyclone Garry

-As of 09:00 UTC, TC Garry was located 470 nm west-southwest of bora bora.

-A storm warning has been cancelled and a gale warning has been issued Cook Islands.

Landslide in Jayapura, Indonesia

-Heavy rains killed two in Lampung, Indonesia. One person died in a landslide disaster in Jayapura, Papua, 4 other injured.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits northern and central Iran.

4.9 Earthquake hits Sakhalin, Russia.

Wildlife

Mass Escape of Crocodiles into Limpopo River – South Africa

About 15,000 crocodiles have reportedly escaped from a farm in South Africa’s far north amid heavy rains and flooding along the Limpopo river. The owner was forced to open the crocodile farm’s gates on Sunday to prevent a storm surge. Many of the crocodiles have been recaptured, but more than half are still on the loose.

Environment

Intense Radiation in Fish Caught Near Japan Nuclear Facility

A fish contaminated in waters off Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was found to have levels of radiation over 2,500 times the legal safe limit for seafood. Scientists from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) say the murasoi fish had 10 times higher radiation than that measured last August in a scorpion fish caught near the crippled reactor complex.

TEPCO says massive nets are being installed about 15 miles offshore to try to prevent contaminated fish from migrating.

The plant was pummeled by a titanic tsunami in 2011 that was generated by a massive undersea earthquake. It resulted in reactor meltdowns that caused radioactive contamination that will linger for decades to come.

Fishing around Fukushima has since been halted and the government has also banned farming, dairy and livestock production indefinitely.

Marine Radiation Japan

Top: Murasoi fish captured by TEPCO appeared to have no mutations despite carrying 2,500 times the safe level of radiation. Bottom: Cleanup crews removing contaminated material from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.