Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands off New Zealand.

5.9 Earthquake hits the North Pacific Ocean.

5.5 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits central Alaska.

5.0 Earthquake hits central Iran.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits Sichuan-Yunnan border region, China.

Fukushima Update

Japan’s nuclear regulator has upgraded the rating of a leak of radiation-contaminated water at its tsunami-wrecked nuclear plant to a “serious incident” on an international scale.

Nuclear Regulation Authority official Yukiko Fukui said on Wednesday the severity of the August 19’s leak was raised to level 3 from the original level 1.

300 tons (300,000 liters, 80,000 gallons) of water had escaped from one tank and some may have reached the sea through a rainwater gutter.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical storm Kong-rey is located approximately 275 nm south-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan. Forecast to turn and reach Japan on Friday.

‘Nando’ [Kong-rey] won’t make landfall in the Philippines. The cyclone will continue to move upward via the eastern side of the country and head towards Taiwan by Thursday. Public storm warning signal number 1 has been raised over the Batanes Group of Islands. The cyclone will enhance the southwest monsoon and bring light to moderate rains and thunderstorms over Southern Luzon, Metro Manila and Western Visayas.


Wildfires in California. USA

More than 3,500 firefighters are still battling a raging wildfire in California’s Yosemite National Park, which has rained ash on the reservoir that is the chief source of water to San Francisco.

Wildfires rage in Spain and Portugal.

Firefighters and local residents struggled on Tuesday to tackle raging wildfires amid hot weather and strong night-time winds that have consumed large swathes of forest in Portugal and Spain and cost the lives of four emergency workers.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): A small lava flow has started to descend on the upper northern flank of the volcano. Sometimes intense strombolian continues at the summit vent. Glowing blocks from the lava flow often detach from the front and roll down the steep slope of the volcano. No significant ash emissions have occurred so far.

Tolbachik (Kamchatka): The eruption seems to be coming to an end. Seismic activity dropped from still moderately high levels (2.4 mcm/s) to very low (0.12 mcm/s) on 24 Aug, and the effusion of lava has stopped. No incandescence was spotted in the area of the vent during the past days. The Aviation Colour Code was lowered to yellow.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): Activity remains at high levels. Over the past 24 hours, the volcano has had 8 explosions recorded by VAAC Tokyo, with ash plumes rising to up to 12,000 ft altitude. The following shows an explosion this morning seen from Kagoshima:

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): The volcano has entered an eruptive phase with frequent explosions, which over the past 2 days produced several ash plumes rising as high as 12,000 ft (3.6 km) altitude.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): Another ash plume was spotted earlier today reaching 10,000 ft and suggesting that the volcano has stepped up its activity recently.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has been low over the past days with little changes overall. The volcano continues to produce important degassing and has occasional small explosions. Glow at the summit can be seen when the weather is clear, indicating that lava continues to slowly extrude in the crater.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): A moderate explosion took place yesterday morning at 03:24 h local time, generating an eruption column rising 1.3 km, a pyroclastic flow on the SW flank of the dome, and an ash plume that drifted southwest and caused ashfall on Palajunoj. The viscous lava flow on the southern flank of the dome remained active.

Pacaya (Guatemala): INSIVUMEH reports ongoing mild strombolian activity and the appearance of a new lava flow yesterday. The explosions occurred at rhythms of 4-10 minute intervals and ejected glowing lava to about 75 m height. The lava flow on the western flank of the Mackenney crater reached a length of 150-200 m. Judging from the seismogram, activity has decreased a bit today.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity has not seen significant changes over the past days. Mild to moderate explosions (14 during 26-27 Aug counted) produce ash plumes of 200-500 m height and weak to moderate glowing avalanches of bombs on the upper slopes.