Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

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

5.1 Earthquake hits the Babuyan Islands region in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Babuyan Islands region in the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

Indian Ocean:

Tropical Cyclone Christine is currently located 150 kilometres west southwest of Port Hedland and 50 kilometres east southeast of Karratha and moving southwest at 16 kilometres per hour.

A red alert has been issued for people in Kimberley and Pilbara region of Western Australia following the Tropical Cyclone Christine. All ports have been closed, stopping iron ore exports in the resource-rich region.

Tropical Cyclone Bejisa is active in the South Indian Ocean, approximately 250 miles (400 km) east-northeast of Madagascar. Over the next days, Bejisa is forecast to track to the south-southeast and slowly strengthen, becoming Category 2 storm strength on the SSHWS by Wednesday 1 January. Bejisa is forecast to track approximately 55 mi (88 km) to the east of Reunion Island (population ~840,000) on Friday 3 January as a Category 2 storm.


Flu Outbreak Spreads Across US, Affects Young Adults

Ten states reported widespread flu activity this week, mostly in the Southeast, but flu is now fanning across the rest of the nation, according to the weekly report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And it’s a once-familiar strain — the H1N1 virus that plagued the country in 2008-09. “It’s our old swine flu friend and it’s causing over 95 percent of the cases,” said Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Cleveland (Aleutian Islands, Alaska): Small, brief explosions were detected at the volcano yesterday evening (21:29 UTC or 12:29 AKST) and this morning at 4:06 UTC (19:06 AKST local time), USGS reported.

“No satellite images available after the time of the explosion, so uncertain if minor ash cloud generated, but unlikely. “Similar such explosions may continue without warning, and may produce minor ash clouds that are not expected to extend much beyond the volcano, but could produce local fallout on the flanks of the volcano. AVO has received no reports of activity from local observers.” (AVO/USGS)

San Miguel volcano (El Salvador): The new eruption that occurred at the volcano Sunday (29 Dec) morning at 10:50 am local time has so far been an isolated single explosion of vulcanian type (accumulated pressure ejecting the plug in the conduit). Current seismic activity is low, but more activity could follow.

The explosion produced an ash plume of considerable (3-8 km) height, reaching estimated altitudes of 5-10 km. Heavy ash fall followed the eruption in nearby areas downwind, such as in the towns of Chinameca and San Jorge to the west. Civil Protection immediately began to evacuate families residing in a radius of 3 km around the volcano. So far, more than 5000 persons have been ordered to evacuate.