Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.4 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.4 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.3 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Bali, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 17p (Gillian), located approximately 834 nm north-northwest of Learmonth, Australia, and is tracking westward at 16 knots.

NewsBytes:

Afghanistan – Avalanche in Bamyan province of Afghanistan has claimed lives of at least five people.

India – Cyclonic storm in Meghalaya, India has claimed the lives of at least four people and injured 27 others.

Space Events

Meteorite Gold Rush After South Korean Impacts

Residents of the South Korean city of Jinju have been scouring the surrounding hills and rice paddies in search of meteorites since a fireball shattered overhead earlier this month.

The country’s science institute confirmed that two rocks found in the area were “ordinary chondrite” meteorites of high iron composition.

That sent off a rush of treasure hunters, looking for stones that can be sold to collectors for tens of thousands of dollars each.

The stones are believed to have come from the same chunk of space debris that exploded while entering Earth’s atmosphere on March 9.

The government says it will designate any meteorites found as cultural assets to stop them from being taken out of the country.

The meteorites from Jinu are the first to be discovered on the Korean Peninsula since one was found during the Japanese occupation 71 years ago.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113.4 degrees Fahrenheit (45.2 degrees Celsius) at Damazine, Sudan.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 92.4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 61.1 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Disease

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

On 19 March 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update

On 18 March 2014, WHO was notified of an additional two laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). One case was notified by the National IHR Focal Point of Kuwait and the other by the National IHR Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Mild explosive activity continues at the New SE crater with little variation, but has now essentially become continuous. Weak lava effusion also continues to aliment small flows from vents at the eastern base of the cone. The tremor shows a fluctuating, but overall slowly increasing trend.

Hekla (Iceland): The volcano has drawn media attention and is being closely monitored as it is believed it is “ready” for a new eruption (although there are no current indications that one is imminent). A recent statement by Páll Einarsson, professor in geophysics at the University of Iceland, made headlines saying that “Hekla might eruption soon”, because GPS deformation and strain measurements suggest that its shallow magma reservoirs have been filling up during the past years.

Colima (Western Mexico): The volcano produced a series of small ash puffs last night (23:00 GMT). VAAC Washington alerted of low ash plumes beneath flight level 150 (15,000 ft / 4.5 km altitude) drifting east from the volcano.

Poas (Costa Rica): Another moderately sized phreatic eruption from the crater lake of the volcano took place yesterday morning at 07:08 local time. The explosion ejected steam, water, mud and rocks to about 100 m height.