Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits the Balleny Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits offshore O’Higgins, Chile.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the central Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean:

Tropical storm Douglas is located about 465 mi (745 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California.

Tropical storm Elida is located about 125 mi (205 km) SSE of Manzanillo, Mexico. No warnings in effect.

In the Atlantic:

Tropical storm Arthur is located about 90 mi (145 km) ESE of Cape Canaveral Florida. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the East Coast of Florida.

The Atlantic’s first storm of 2014 is here, as Tropical Storm Arthur was named at 11 am EDT Tuesday by NHC. Arthur’s formation date of July 1 comes a week before the typical July 8 appearance of the Atlantic’s first named storm, but is the latest the first named storm of the season has appeared since 2009, when Tropical Storm Ana formed on August 12. Arthur was drifting northwest at 5 mph towards the east coast of Central Florida early Tuesday afternoon. Long-range radar out of Melbourne, Florida on Tuesday afternoon showed that bands of heavy rain from Arthur were affecting the Northwest Bahamas, and the top sustained winds observed in the Bahamas as of 2 pm EDT Tuesday were 36 mph, gusting to 41 mph at Settlement Point in the Northwest Bahama Islands at 8 am EDT. Top winds Tuesday morning and early afternoon at the buoy 23 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Florida were 22 mph, gusting to 26 mph, with a significant wave height of 4.3′.

NewsBytes:

Paraguay and Brazil – Floods have displaced over 250,000 people from their homes in Paraguay and Brazil. In Paraguay, Unicef said that 200,000 people were displaced after heavy rains triggered river floods. According to the UN body, the total number of families displaced was estimated at about 40,000.

Floods have hit nine of Paraguay’s 17 provinces, with the capital the hardest hit by the swollen Paraguay River. Brazil’s southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, more than 50,000 people have been displaced by flooding, authorities said. About 6,000 people have seen their homes damaged by floods or buried under mudslide. More than 100 towns were affected by heavy rains, with the state of emergency declared in 13 towns in Rio Grande do Sul and 18 in Santa Catarina. Several federal and state highways in the region were damaged by the floods, and power and water supplies were interrupted in some communities.

Reports said some 12,000 people in Argentina have also been evacuated.

Disease

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

Based on epidemiological analysis conducted by WHO, three major factors are contributing to patterns of transmission, which are currently responsible for the continuous propagation of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the sub-region. These factors include transmission of EVD in rural communities, facilitated by strong cultural practices and traditional beliefs; transmission of EVD in densely populated peri-urban areas of Conakry in Guinea and Monrovia in Liberia; and cross-border transmission of EVD along the border areas of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where commercial and social activities continue among the border areas of these countries.

Containment of this outbreak requires a strong response in the countries and especially along their shared border areas. As one of the response elements, WHO is organizing a high-level meeting for the Ministers of Health in the sub-region scheduled for 2–3 July 2014 in Accra, Ghana. The meeting will bring together Ministers of Health and the Directors of disease prevention and control from 11 African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Uganda), as well as partners, Ebola survivors, representatives of airlines and mining companies, and the donor communities. The objective of the meeting is to analyse the situation, identify gaps, develop operational response plans, and to ensure increased political commitment and enhanced cross-border collaboration for EVD response activities among the countries in the sub-region.

Mad Cow Disease in Romania

Russia’s federal veterinary and phytosanitary control authority, or Rosselkhoznadzor, has banned imports of bovine cattle, beef and by-products from Romania over an outbreak of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease.

According to a Rosselkhoznadzor release circulated on Tuesday, the ban is also applicable to processed animal proteins, animal feedstuff made of such proteins, meat-meal and bone tankage.

An outbreak of mad cow disease in Romania was registered by the International Epizootic Bureau.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): The activity at the volcano remains at similar elevated levels with strong spattering, intense strombolian explosions and lava overflows. Today, both the intra-crater lava flow and the one overflowing onto the upper Sciara del Fuoco from the NE hornito vent remain intermittently active. The following time-lapse video shows the latter seen from INGV’s thermal webcam on the Sciara del Fuoco:

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): A moderate explosion occurred at the volcano yesterday evening (or this morning in local time). An ash plume rose to approx. 23,000 ft (7 km) altitude. Overall, the volcano has been in a comparably quiet phase recently.

Kilauea (Hawai’i): The new June 27 lava flows continue to be very active, at expense of the previously active Kahaualeʻa 2 flow which seems to have stopped being active. The lava flows expanded in area and extended approx.1.6 km (1 mi) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone yesterday, HVO reports. It is believed that only the lowest-elevation fissure on the NE flank continued to erupt lava on Saturday.

Pavlof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): “Weak thermal signals from recent lava flows persist in satellite images. Small, discrete seismic events continue, however, and eruptive activity could resume at any time with little or no warning.” (AVO)

Shishaldin (United States, Aleutian Islands): According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, “low-level eruptive activity continues. Consistently elevated temperatures at the summit of Shishaldin Volcano were recorded in satellite images over the past 24 hours. No significant seismicity was noted. Web camera images showed no significant plume.” (AVO)

Semisopochnoi (United States, Aleutian Islands): The earthquake swarm that began on June 9 continues. No sign of activity was noted in satellite images over the past 24 hours. (AVO)

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): Weak effusive activity (extrusion of very viscous blocky lava) on the upper east and southeast flanks of the Caliente dome continues and produces small avalanches. Strong degassing (but no explosions) were observed from the summit of the dome.

Fuego (Guatemala): No significant changes in activity have occurred at the volcano recently. It remains characterized by weak to moderate strombolian explosions every 1-2 hours on average, ejecting incandescent material to up to 150 m above the vent and producing ash plumes that rise 300-700 m.

Reventador (Ecuador): Effusive-explosive activity at the volcano continues, but has decreased following the recent surge of lava emission that ended about a week ago. The observatory mentions moderate activity with continuing intermittent small explosions and ash emissions. A thermal signal on MODIS satellite data shows hot deposits in the crater and on the upper eastern flank, indicating that fresh magma continues to arrive at the summit.

Sabancaya (Peru): Signs continue to show up that the volcano might be awakening: Peru’s Geophysical Institute (IGP) who monitors the volcano has detected a slight increase in volcanic unrest recently. Both seismic and fumarolic activity at the volcano increased during the past 4 weeks (since 3 June). Peaks in occurrence of so-called hybrid earthquakes were detected during 18, 19 and 21 June with 146, 157, and 216 recorded events. These quakes are believed to be indicators of magma rising at depth beneath the volcano. Hypocenter depths of volcanic-tectonic earthquakes, indicators of rock-fracturing caused by internal fluid pressure and/or rising magma, have been showing an upwards trend: at the moment, they mostly range between 16 km (NE side), 10 km (E) and 6 km on the northern flank. Fumarolic emissions have become more pronounced as well. Bluish gas of magmatic SO2, white steam (water vapour) and sometimes light gray-colored emissions, possibly from small amounts of ash, were observed during a visit to the volcano.