Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.6 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.7 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.

Tropical storm Thirty struck India at about 06:00 GMT on Saturday, November 16.

Storm Podul weakens into tropical depression, killing 5 in Vietnam – Typhoon Podul, after moving towards the offshore of Vietnam’s central provinces from Phu Yen to Binh Thuan, weakened into a tropical depression on Friday, killing at least five people and inundating thousands of houses.

On Friday, the depression had wind speeds of about 40- 60 kph and gusts of up to 90 kph, causing high flood in the region. As of Friday afternoon, the centre of the depression was over the sea of central Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan provinces over 1,100 km south of capita Hanoi, with winds of between 50-61 kph.

NewsBytes:

Australia – Sunshine Coast residents were pelted with hail the size of tennis balls on Saturday as dangerous thunderstorms hit south-east Queensland. A line of hail storms battered region during the afternoon causing widespread damage in Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine coasts.

The State Emergency Service (SES) responded to hundreds of calls for help on the Sunshine Coast with damage to homes, cars and buildings. One person was taken to hospital with serious head injuries after he was struck by a large piece of hail. SES workers were out in force repairing damage to roofs and broken windows. Authorities say the worst hit areas were Maroochydore and Mooloolaba.

Widespread flooding after heavy rain in South Africa has affected over 18,000 people in the Western Cape, mainly in the area’s informal settlements. One person has died and another is missing.

Space Events

Leonid meteor shower will peak this weekend

The peak of the Leonid meteor shower, an annual mid-November event will be visible both Saturday and Sunday nights, according to EarthSky magazine. Unfortunately, the full moon (known as the “Beaver” moon) comes Sunday, which will wash out all but the very brightest meteors from view.

At its peak, you’ll probably be able to see about 10-15 meteors each hour. The best viewing time is typically between midnight and dawn, but according to Universe Today, the peak time is expected at about 5 a.m. ET Sunday.

The Leonids appear to be coming from the constellation Leo the Lion (hence their name) in the east, but they should be visible all the way across the sky.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): As expected, another paroxysmal eruption took place at the New SE crater over night. This marks the 16th such event in 2013. The main phase lasted about 5 hours between midnight and shortly before dawn. It consisted of violent pulsating lava fountains reaching 300-600 m height, thundering explosions of giant magma bubbles that ejected large glowing, liquid spatter to hundreds of meters distance in radial directions, and the effusion of several lava flows. The first lava flow was erupted from the fissure vent between the old and new SE crater and traveled to the south as far as the former Torre del Filosofo area, on top of the much larger flow from last week (11 Nov). A second flow was active from the eastern fissure of the cone, traveled east and bent NE at the 2008 vents and a few 100 m or so into Valle del Bove. The third flow was erupted to the NE towards the Valle del Leone, similar as during the previous paroxysm. In comparison, lava flow output was much less than during the past eruptive phase 6 days ago.

Disease

Meningitis Outbreak at Princeton University, USA

The state declared that there was an outbreak at the school after a male student developed symptoms of meningococcal disease on November 9. The case was later confirmed, making it the seventh case since the spring.

Meningococcal disease can be spread from person to person. The bacteria are spread by exchanging respiratory and throat secretions during close contact (for example, coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact, especially if people are living in the same dorm or household. Many people carry the bacteria in their throats without getting meningococcal disease. Since so many people carry the bacteria, most cases of meningococcal disease appear to be random and aren’t linked to other cases. Although anyone can get meningococcal disease, adolescents and college freshmen who live in dormitories are at an increased risk. The bacteria that cause meningococcal disease are less infectious than the viruses that cause the flu.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has agreed to import Bexsero, a vaccine licensed in Europe and Australia that protects against meningitis B, a strain this is not covered by the shots given to college students in the U.S. Bexsero will be approved for use only in the Princeton community because of the seriousness of the outbreak.

The trustees of Princeton University are slated to discuss the issue this weekend and then the school will make a decision about whether to use the vaccine.