Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Northwest Alaska Quakes Crack Eskimo Village

Geologists are stumped as to why a remote and historically quake-free village in northwestern Alaska has been rattled since mid-April by an ongoing swarm of moderate earthquakes.

Walls of buildings in the Inupiat Eskimo community of Noatak have sustained cracks from the five quakes of magnitude 5.7 during that period, along with hundreds of aftershocks.

Alaskan seismologist Natasha Ruppert says there are no known active faults in the area.

Other than rattled nerves, there have been no reports of injuries from the shaking.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

China – Torrential rains have affected about 55 million people in Shangrao. About 100 buildings and more than 300 hectares of crops were damaged. Violent rainstorms have been pounding China’s central and southern regions. The heavy downpour has already caused flight suspension, widespread flooding and claimed more than a dozen lives. The torrential rains have killed 14 people over the past few days.

Bulgaria – After the floods that drowned half of Bulgaria, the country has been hit by hurricane-like winds. In Varna and Shabla the wind blew with a speed of 18-20 meters per second.

USA Midwest, Plains – Hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed across the US by heavy rain early Friday.

Nebraska – Heavy rain floods some streets; 1 man killed. Nearly 7 inches of rain fell Friday night and early Saturday on parts of Omaha, causing some flooding of low-lying streets.

Minnesota – Storms damage crops but may ease drought. Flooding rains and hail have caused millions of dollars of damage to homes, roads and crops in southwest Minnesota.

Wildlife

Emperor Penguins Shifting their Nesting Location Due to Climate Change

Emperor Penguins do not return to the same location every year to nest, as per findings of a new study carried out by group of researchers led by University of Minnesota. Contrary to earlier research projects which termed penguins as philopatric, emperor penguins are shifting their nesting place in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Over a period of three years, the research team found six instances when the emperor penguins didn’t return to the same place for breeding. The research team noticed the shifting patterns with satellite images. With high resolution satellite images, researchers across the world can easily keep track of the population of emperor penguins in the region and along the coastline.

Researchers from different universities across the world have been monitoring the population emperor penguins of Pointe Géologie colony. It was earlier suggested that the population of the flightless birds is facing threat due to climate change. In late 1970s, the population in the region declined by 50 percent within five years leading to fear among researchers that the population was declining fast.

The current study presents a contrary viewpoint and suggests that the population might be shifting between different colonies in the region. Penguins are smart enough to decide a different place each year, most probably, depending on the weather conditions.

The ice sheet in the Antarctic Peninsula is melting and researchers across the world have voiced their concerns on the climate change and its impact on then native species.

Emperor penguins nest

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): (21 Jun) A new eruption, the first after 3 1/2 years of repose, started at the volcano this morning at 01:35 local time, from a vent on the upper SE flank of the central crater (Dolomieu) cone. The eruption followed a recent increase in seismic activity, although it still came as a surprise because this seismicity had been relatively weak and no other signs of an impending eruption had been detected (deformation, increase in gas emissions). First signs of unrest had been detected during around 9-13 June, followed by a pause in seismic activity. Another swarm occurred on 17 June with 170 quakes and over volcanic-tectonic-induced 380 rockfalls. The alert level of the volcano was raised to 2 and access to the Enclos Fouqué is now closed to the public.