Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
5.9 Earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.
5.6 Earthquake hits Araucania, Chile.
5.4 Earthquake hits Azerbaijan.
5.3 Earthquake hits east of Easter Island.
5.1 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.
5.1 Earthquake hits Tonga.
5.1 Earthquake hits off the coast of Colima, Mexico.
5.1 Earthquake hits the Bonin Islands off Japan.
5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.
5.0 Earthquake hits southern Peru.
5.0 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.
5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast go Honshu, Japan. (no. 2)
5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan. (no. 3)
In the South Indian Ocean:
Tropical cyclone Fobane is located approximately 715 nm south-southeast of Diego Garcia.
Japan – Heaviest snow storm in 20 years in Tokyo, Japan has claimed the lives of five people and injured more than six hundred others. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, around 25 centimetres of snow has been recorded in Tokyo by Saturday night. The Japan Meteorological Agency has also issued the first heavy snowfall warning for central Tokyo in 13 years. Tokyo is a difficult place for snow due to the high peak of Mount Fuji, just to the west of the city. It blocks a lot of the storms moving in from the west, and most storms coming in from the south and east are too warm. Snow storm in Tokyo also disrupted domestic flights and bullet trains.
UK – Britain’s flooding crisis is set to deepen this week after the Environment Agency (EA) warned that lives could be at risk from expected flooding along the River Thames. The Environment Agency has dramatically increased the number of “severe” warnings, indicating a risk to life, from two to 16 as it warns that rivers already swollen by flood water could continue rising for at least 24 hours. The 14 new severe warnings apply to a 12-mile stretch of the Thames in Berkshire and Surrey, where water levels are set to eclipse those experienced during the floods of 2003 putting thousands of homes at risk.
Australian Drought May Force Entire Town to Evacuate
Residents of a gritty cowboy and mining town in Australia’s Queensland State may have to pack up and leave because of a protracted drought that has nearly exhausted their water supply.
Cloncurry’s mayor, Andrew Daniels, told reporters the toughest water restrictions are now in place with only bathing and cooking uses allowed.
He says that after two dry years, the community may have to switch to water from bore holes, which will require people to boil it for consumption.
If those sources dry up, he says all 3,000 residents could have to hit the road.
“It’s a scary thought, but I’m hoping and praying that rain comes before we have to get to that,” Daniels told the Australian Associated Press.
In 2008, Cloncurry brought water in by rail from Mount Isa, 75 miles away.
But that’s not possible this time because the outback neighbor is also considering evacuation since its dwindling water supply is nearly gone as well.
The drought parching a wide swath of Australia is typically caused by the El Niño ocean-warming phenomenon in the Pacific.
But since there is currently no El Niño in progress, meteorologists say it’s impossible to say how much longer the exceptional dry spell will continue.
Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update
The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China has notified WHO of 15 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including one death.
Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:
Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador). Activity of the volcano remains intense, but the style of the eruption has changed towards near continuous ash emissions as opposed to discrete, but potentially much more violent explosions. The ash plume still rises up to 4 km above Tungurahua’s summit at times. Abundant degassing and steaming accompanies the ash emissions. Ash falls frequently occur in nearby villages