Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

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

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of Ecuador.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

A landslide in Casiguran, a town in Aurora province in the Philippines has hit a house claiming the lives of 4 people. Several people have been evacuated from their homes due to rising floods caused by heavy rain. More flash floods and landslides in Aurora and Quezon are expected.

Heavy snow storm in Jerusalem, Israel has displaced around 1500 people following a record snow storm, the strongest in 60 years. Several schools, roads, and businesses have been closed in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem snow storm 2013 photo

Wildlife

Shooting of Snowy Owls at NYC Airports

One of the largest influxes of Arctic snowy owls in history is in progress across the northeastern United States and the Great Lakes region. Experts from Cornell University say a shortage of their favorite food up north, lemmings, or a bumper crop of young, is responsible for the “irruption.”

An outcry over the killing of the impressive raptors in the name of aircraft safety at New York area airports prompted the Port Authority to switch to nonlethal methods to remove the snowy owls from JFK and LaGuardia airports.

The agency said five planes at the three main New York City airports had been struck by owls in recent weeks.

“The Port Authority’s goal is to strike a balance in humanely controlling bird populations at and around the agency’s airports to safeguard passengers on thousands of aircrafts each day,” the agency said.

The birds appear to be attracted to airports because their open expanses in the midst of urban sprawl look similar to the owls’ normal Arctic tundra homes.

Bird strikes around area airports became a more pressing issue after U.S. Airways flight 1549 was forced to ditch into the Hudson River in 2009 because Canada geese were sucked into both of the jetliner’s engines.

Last January, unprecedented numbers of the snowy owls wintered as far south as Seattle and Oklahoma. One was even sighted in Hawaii for the first time ever before being shot.

NewImage

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna volcano (Sicily): After yesterday’s deep-seated activity in the NE crater, explosions have started at the New SE crater this morning at 09:25 (local time), when a relatively powerful explosion occurred. The explosion was near the surface and tremor started to rise steeply in correspondence. Although it has now dropped again a bit, it seems likely that the 20th paroxysm at the NSEC is about to occur.