Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits east of the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

Pacific Ocean:

Severe tropical cyclone Ian category 4 was located about 180km south of niuafo’ou or about 230km northwest of Vava’u at 10:00am this morning. Tropical cyclone Ian has estimated winds of 90knots near its centre with momentary gusts up to 125knots The cyclone is now moving southeast at 6knots.

On its current track, tropical cyclone Ian may bring:

Damaging gale force winds to Vava’u in the 3-6hrs, destructive storm force winds in the next 6-12hrs and very destructive hurricane force winds in the next 12-18hrs

For the Ha’apai group tropical cyclone Ian may bring damaging gale force winds in the next 6-12hrs, destructive storm force winds in the next 12-18 and possible very destructive hurricane force winds in the next 24 to 36hr.

For Tongatapu and Eua the cyclone may bring damaging gale force winds in the next 24-48hrs.

Neutral El Nino

US weather forecaster said on Thursday that it maintains its forecast for neutral El Nino and La Nina conditions in the Northern Hemisphere through summer 2014.

NewsBytes:

Rain in parts of Mindanao in the Philippines may result in flooding in low-lying areas as a low pressure area moved closer to the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

Wildlife

Bats Fall Dead From Sky During Australian Heatwave

A spell of scorching summertime weather in Australia’s southern Queensland state killed as many as 100,000 bats in an environmental disaster officials called unprecedented.

Many of the flying foxes, or fruit bats, fell dead from the sky while the carcasses of others hung on branches.

Local residents said the stench of decay was unbearable as temperatures reached nearly 110° F in Brisbane.

At least 16 people were reportedly receiving anti-viral treatment after coming into close contact with a bat.

The animals sometimes carry lyssavirus, which can cause paralysis and even death in humans.

But wildlife officials say the flying foxes are a key part of the ecosystem, and such a massive loss to their populations will have consequences.

“I don’t necessarily like the bats, but I don’t like seeing them dead,” Dayboro resident Murray Paas told Guardian Australia.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was caring for many young bats left orphaned by the heat disaster.

Ew140110g

Disease

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update

The Centre for Health Protection, China, Hong Kong SAR, notified WHO on 8 January 2014 of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Cholera in Nigeria – Update

No fewer than 71 deaths have been recorded in a cholera outbreak in Kano, Nigeria since the outbreak was first noticed in the State on November 6th, 2013. Kano state has recorded 2165 official cases of cholera from 22 local government areas of the state.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Activity remains unchanged. The Northeast crater produces a weak ash plume currently drifting east. Tremor levels are fluctuating, but generally low. Interestingly, a few shallow (6-7 km) earthquakes of magnitudes around 1.7-1.8 occurred along a W-E line over the past days.

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): The volcano continues to extrude viscous lava, generating explosions and hot avalanches. An ash plume to estimated 23,000 ft (7 km) altitude and drifting east was detected on satellite imagery yesterday. Cloud cover prevents more detailed observations.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): The volcano continues to be very active with viscous lava extruded at the new dome, which frequently collapses to form hot avalanches (pyroclastic flows) that generate ash plumes rising up to a few km. The direction of the path of the latest pyroclastic flows has shifted a bit to the east (right) of the previous flow path, possibly due to the obstacle formed by the accumulated latest deposits themselves. These are the gray areas visible on the flank and at the base of the volcano, where a broad delta of hot deposits has formed (that has destroyed everything that used to be there – farmland, scattered houses etc).

Cleveland (Aleutian Islands, Alaska): No new volcanic activity has been observed at the volcano since the 3 brief explosions on December 28 and 30 and January 2. Satellite views since January 2 suggest that no new lava has effused at the summit crater. AVO lowered the Level of Concern Colour Code to YELLOW and the Alert Level to ADVISORY. (AVO / USGS)

Pacaya (Guatemala): A strong increase in activity began last night at the volcano. Accompanied by steeply rising tremor, the so-far mild strombolian activity picked up to become intense enough to produce pulsating lava fountains that eject glowing material to several hundred meters height and is visible from tens of kilometres distance (e.g. the Pacific coast at 50 km to the west). The new surge of lava (or paroxysm) has also generated a new lava flow, which for the time being is confined to the inside of the Mackenney crater, but might soon be able to pour outside of the cone. As a response, CONRED has closed access to the park and civil aviation authority has limited the number of flights in and out of Guatemala airport because of the presence of ash plumes.