New Underwater Volcano Discovered in Hawaii

The sprawling chain of Hawaiian volcanoes just added another underwater branch.

The discovery means Oahu once towered above the ocean with three volcanic peaks, the researchers said. Until now, scientists thought Oahu was built by two volcanoes — Wai’anae on the west and Ko’olau on the east.

The new volcano, named Ka’ena, was born in the deep underwater channel south of Kauai about 5 million years ago, according to the study, published May 2 in the Geological Society of America Bulletin. Sometime later, Wai’anae rose on Ka’ena’s flanks and therefore breached the sea first, breaking through the waves 3.9 million years ago. The researchers think Ko’olau surfaced after that, about 3 million years ago.

Ka’ena volcano is about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) high, but only reached about 3,000 feet above sea level, Sinton said. As Oahu’s first-born, Ka’ena is the shortest of the three volcanoes because it had to grow farthest from the seafloor to the ocean surface. But the researchers know Ka’ena was once an island peak, because the underwater mountain is capped by lavas with textures that only form in air. With a remotely operated vehicle, the researchers also spied a sandy beach strewn with shark teeth.

Oahu’s volcanoes died out about 2 million years ago, and like all of Hawaii’s islands, their massive bulk is slowly sinking, hiding Ka’ena beneath the sea.

Sinton UHM Kaena


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge.

5.6 Earthquake hits the southern Atlantic Ocean.

5.5 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.5 Earthquake hits offshore Tarapaca, Chile.

5.3 Earthquake hits Salta, Argentina.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Ascension Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Antigua and Barbuda.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Antigua and Barbuda.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.


Serbia — Tens of thousands fled their homes Saturday in Bosnia and Serbia, evacuated by boat or helicopter as rising waters surged into villages and towns. Authorities said the record flooding killed at least 20 people and the death toll could rise further.

Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago and is due to a three-month amount of rain that fell on the region in just three days. Goran Mihajlovic from Serbia’s Weather Center told The Associated Press that such a rainfall happens once in 100 years.

In the eastern Bosnian town of Bijeljina, some 10,000 people were being evacuated Saturday after the rain-swollen Sava River pushed through flood defenses.

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Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

As of 18:00 on 12 May 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 248 clinical cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 171 deaths. Since the last update of 9 May 2014, there have been five new cases confirmed by ebolavirus PCR and no new deaths among the confirmed cases.

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

The following cases of laboratory confirmed Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported from Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

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

On 12 May 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of five additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.