Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.7 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

6.1 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.6 Earthquake hits the Volcano Islands off Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.2 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Nias Region, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Talaud, Indonesia.

Environment

Mount Everest Climbers, Guides Exposed to Cosmic Radiation

Climbers venturing to the summit of Mount Everest and back are exposed to a dose of cosmic radiation five times higher than that received by British nuclear power plant workers each year, according to new research.

In a report published by the Society for Radiological Protection, measurements gathered by mountaineer Bob Kerr indicate the dose received from an Everest ascent brings a 1-in-10,000 risk of developing a fatal cancer later in life.

The exposure is due to cosmic rays not being filtered out by the thin atmosphere at the highest elevations of the mountain.

“If someone received this level of dose at ground level, and if it was not due to cosmic radiation, then under the UK’s Ionizing Radiations Regulations, this would be classed as a ‘significant dose’ and would be at the annual public dose limit,” said Kerr.

But since Sherpa guides climb Everest many times during their lives, their exposure is likely to be far greater.

Kerr concludes that most guides and climbers are likely to be unaware of the radiation exposure they receive on the world’s highest mountain.

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Askja (Central Iceland): A swarm of shallow earthquakes at 2-10 km depth has started under the Herðubreið volcano about 12 km NE of the Askja caldera. The largest earthquakes so far were 2 magnitude 3.2 and 3.0 events.

Whether the earthquakes are caused by intruding magma at shallow depth, and could be a potential precursor to a new eruption of the volcano, is at present unknown.

Dukono (Halmahera): Explosive eruptions, strombolian to vulcanian type, continue at the volcano. Ash plumes at 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude were observed drifting up to 50 nautical miles to the east.

Fuego (Guatemala): With the arrival of the rain season, INSIVUMEH warns of mud flows that will likely occur during heavy rainfalls remobilizing loose deposits that have accumulated in the canyons draining from the volcano. Such lahars are potentially very destructive and can reach and flood low lying areas on the south coast.

The canyons that are most affected by lahars include the Santa Teresa, Taniluya, Ceniza, El Jute, Trinidad, and Las Lajas canyons, which are tributaries of the rivers Pantaleon, Achiguate, and Guacalate.

Similarly, at Santiaguito volcano, lahars could occur inside the river beds of Nima I, Nima II, San Isidro-Tambor, which drain into the Samala river. Potential damage could be afflicted to the bridge of Castillo Armas, and to the road turn at Niño.