Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits the Alaska Peninsula.

5.3 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits Negros in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore O’Higgins, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Revilla Gigedo Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the North Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone Madi is located approximately 270 nm southeast of Chennai, India.

Tropical Cyclone 06B Forms East of India – Cyclone Madi has developed over the Bay of Bengal, just northeast of Sri Lanka and east of India. After producing locally heavy rainfall across Sri Lanka, Cyclone Madi will intensify into a severe storm, bringing rain or thundershowers over some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in India. It is the sixth tropical cyclone of the Northern Indian Ocean season.

Extratropical Cyclone Xaver

Xaver has moved across Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Poland. Wind speeds were recorded at 158 km/h when the storm reached Germany and heavy winds affected the Netherlands, Poland, and parts of Scandinavia. Massive storm surges have occurred along the coasts of southeastern England, the Netherlands, and northern Germany.

Xaver developed off the coast of Greenland on December 4, and its development was enhanced by another low-pressure system, Wilhelm, which was located over the Norwegian Sea on December 4-5. Xaver passed north of Scotland on December 5, where its central pressure had dropped to 975 mb from a reading of 1010 mb less than 24 hours earlier. A pressure drop of this type, which deepens by 24 mb or more over 24 hours, often produces a phenomenon known as rapid cyclogenesis (or a weather “bomb”).

The greatest threat from Xaver has been the high spring tides, which along with Xaver’s slow track have enhanced storm surges on Thursday and Friday. The storm surge in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands is the highest seen since the deadly North Sea floods of 1953; however, disaster has been averted thanks to strengthened flood defenses in both countries.” In England, the Thames Barrier will be closed for the second time in two days in accordance with the tide, preventing the surge from reaching London as it did in 1953. Xaver’s surge caused a difference of two meters in water height between the front and back of the barrier.

Flood defenses in the Netherlands successfully held back the rising water by closing off the Eastern Scheldt barrier for the first time since 2007. In southwestern Zeeland, the sea reached 3.99 m above mean sea level. Germany is comparing Xaver to the 1962 floods, which submerged nearly a fifth of Hamburg’s municipal area with water 5.7m above mean sea level. Xaver’s storm surge reached 4-6m above mean sea level. However, the area has fared far better thanks to Germany’s 8m dikes.

NewsBytes

Floods continue in Malaysia. More people were evacuated in Pahang and Terengganu overnight as the east coast states continued to endure the annual monsoon floods which have also struck Kelantan and Johor. A total of 65,102 people remained at evacuation centres in the four states as of 10 am today, with the largest number of 40,819 in Pahang.

Wildlife

Disease kills hundreds of seabirds on remote Alaska island

A disease has killed hundreds of seabirds on an island in the Bering Sea — the first documented outbreak in the state.

Avian cholera is to blame for the birds found dead on the beaches of St. Lawrence Island, 200 miles from the mainland, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The disease is common elsewhere, including in California, Nevada and Texas.

Most of the birds turned up on a 10-mile beach frequented by seal hunters. One hunter in Gambell spotted a bird on the beach with its head flopping backward before it dropped dead.

Early reports put the number of dead birds at 200 to 300 bird per square kilometre.

Zke7R AuSt 7

Drought

Tonga

Drought in Tonga putting pressure on drinking water. A four-month drought in the Ha’apai island group in Tonga is putting stress on supplies of drinking water.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Klyuchevskoy (Kamchatka): Ash emissions have continued at reduced intensity. This morning, the ash plume was about 300 km long drifting to the ENE.