Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits Sumbawa, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.


France – Landslide in Isola, southern France has claimed the lives of two children. A giant boulder crushed a chalet in the French Alps where two families were staying. Three survivors managed to escape, while the remaining two were freed by emergency services.

Indonesia – Landslide in Jayapura, Indonesia has claimed the lives of at least 11 people and left two others missing. Three rivers burst their banks and caused flash flooding in the area. Heavy rainfall caused landslides in several parts of Jayapura. Floodwater swept away houses when the Anafri River burst its banks in Kloofkamp. The State-owned electricity company PT PLN has been asked to suspend the electricity supply in the city to avoid accidents.

Florida, USA – A heavy storm damaged several houses in Hollister in Putnam County, Florida, United States. Lightning strikes killed four cows. According to the Putnam County Emergency Management Agency, straight line winds caused the damage in the area.

Solomon Islands – Heavy rainfall has caused flooding in Choiseul and Isabel provinces in Solomon Islands. Several houses have been flooded in Gizo, the capital of the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.

Indonesia, Jakarta – Incessant heavy rain since Saturday (2/22) triggered floods that inundated some areas in the capital city.


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

On 20 and 21 February 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of nine additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Activity has remained more or less unchanged. The lava flows from the fissure vents on the eastern flank of the New SE crater continue to be weakly alimented and produce overlapping smaller flows. Most of them only reach only few hundred meters length, and rarely descend into the steeper western wall of Valle del Bove. As a result, most lava accumulates in the less steep area at the foot of the cone. Weak intermittent strombolian activity continued at the summit vent. Tremor has risen a bit over the past 24 hours, but overall is low.

Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands): (21 Feb) The island continues to grow by progressing lava flows into several directions, as the latest images by the Japanese Coast Guard from 16 Feb show. Its highest peak, formed by the western of the 2 active vents, was measured at 66 m, i.e. it now reached almost twice the height of the peak of the old island. The new addition has more than doubled the size of the island so far. It also formed a black-sand beach on the NE shore of the old part, as a result of lava fragments washed up by currents and waves.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano has increasingly strong explosions. A vulcanian eruption this evening around 23:10 local time (see video) produced an ash column rising approx 3 km and was accompanied by abundant eruption lightning and ejections of lots of incandescent material. Constant ash emissions constant ash emissions (probably from deep-seated strombolian activity) has been following the explosion.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): Activity has declined a lot over the past weeks. Sporadic smaller explosion still occur from time to time, such as this morning at around 11am (local time).

Kelud (East Java): (21 Feb) A MODIS hot spot is visible at the crater, suggesting that a new lava dome could be forming there. This would be the effusive continuation of the recent explosion on 13 Feb, as magma with much less gas content continues to arrive at the vent. Activity at the volcano has decreased, but it is still unknown what exactly the situation at the vent is, whether or not a new lava dome is forming there. The thermal hot spot visible on satellite data could also be caused by hot gasses. A picture showing the new crater at the place of the 2007 lava dome has emerged on our friend Øystein Lund Andersen’s website, but of course, it is impossible to see what the bottom of the new pit looks like.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): Activity remained similar to the previous days with an overall decreasing tendency. Slow lava extrusion continues to feed the viscous lava lobe, where small rockfalls occur at the sides and its front. At the summit, steaming and small to moderate ash emissions can be seen.

Dukono (Halmahera): Elevated strombolian, perhaps weak vulcanian-type activity at the volcano continues to produce frequent ash plumes at approx. 2 km altitude.

Fuego (Guatemala): Strombolian activity remains intense and can now be followed in near-real time on a new webcam. Explosions occur at rates of one every 30 minutes approx. and shower many incandescent material onto the upper slopes, where they generate avalanches up to 2 km length. No lava flows, however, is active at the moment.

San Miguel (El Salvador): (21 Feb) The situation has remained essentially unchanged and the volcano has (not yet) erupted again. Seismic activity remains high and continues to increase overall, while surface activity consists of pulsating gas emissions reaching a height of 200 m.