Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the Volcano Islands off Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the South Shetland Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Iceland.

Two 5.0 Earthquakes hit Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0Earthquake hits near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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Tropical Storm Odile is located about 250 mi…400 km S of Manzanillo Mexico with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…W or 280 degrees at 2 mph…4 km/h.

Hazards affecting land – wind…tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by Saturday. Surf…swells from Odile will affect portions of the southwestern coast of Mexico during the next couple of days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Tropical Storm Eduard is located about 1175 mi…1890 km W of the Cape Verde Islands and about 1325 mi…2130 km E of the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 295 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

Tropical Storm Kalmaegi is located approximately 572 nm east of Manila, Philippines, and is tracking westward at 14 knots.

Disease

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of Congo

Between 2 and 9 September 2014, there have been 31 more cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), increasing the cumulative number of cases to 62 (14 confirmed, 26 probable, and 22 suspect). In total, 35 deaths have been reported (9 confirmed and 26 probable).

All the cases have been localized in Jeera county. The affected villages are Watsi Kengo, Lokolia, Boende, and Boende Muke. Currently, 9 cases have been hospitalized: 4 in Lokolia; 2 in Watsikengo; 2 in Boende; and 1 in Boende Moke. A total of 386 contacts have been listed and 239 contacts have been followed-up. All cases and contacts are linked to the initial index case reported to the World Health Organization on 26 August 2014.

Space Events

Solar Flares

Two powerful solar storms arriving at Earth today have captured the public’s attention for their potential to spark amazing auroras, but scientists say there’s another reason to watch. The solar double whammy is actually somewhat rare.

The sun unleashed a medium-sized flare on Monday (Sept. 8) followed by a second, larger flare, called an Earth-directed X-class flare, on Wednesday (Sept. 10). Both are from the same active sunspot region (Active Region 2158) and are directed at Earth, said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Centre, during a news conference yesterday.

Solar flares are powerful eruptions of radiation. Large flares can produce coronal mass ejections (CMEs), waves of solar plasma and charged particles that can travel millions of miles an hour through space. Last night, as expected, the first of the CMEs made its appearance and is expected to cause geomagnetic storming, reaching moderate levels, this morning, according to the Space Weather Prediction Centre.

“The unique thing about this event is that we’ve had two in close succession, and the CMEs could possibly be interacting on their way to Earth, at the Earth’s orbit or beyond perhaps — we don’t know that yet,” Berger said.

What’s more, the second CME is moving at a faster speed and catching up to the first one.

The two CMEs may lead to geomagnetic storms hitting Earth and could cause problems with radio and GPS signals, Berger said.

“It’s fairly rare for two CMEs of this magnitude to come in close succession like this,” he said. “Because of this we cannot rule out higher storm levels,” particularly in polar regions where interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field are strongest.

The International Space Station will measure the CMEs as they pass by, giving scientists on Earth a 30- to 45-minute head start to prepare for the CMEs. But, on the upside, the solar event is expected to produce an array of beautiful northern lights, visible to people living in the northern United States.

‘Meteorite’ Crater in Nicaragua Stirs Debate

Nicaraguan officials said they believed a large crater gouged out of the ground near Managua at the same time capital residents reported hearing a loud blast was created by a meteor crashing to Earth. They further speculated that the crater, measuring 40 feet in width and 16 feet in depth, was caused by a fragment of an asteroid that passed within 25,000 miles of Earth over New Zealand about the same time.

But NASA said it had serious concerns about both claims.

The agency’s asteroid watch Twitter account said the timing and directions of the alleged meteor and near-Earth asteroid were completely different.

Other experts wondered why no one had seen a meteor streaking across the sky.

The lack of meteorite debris around the crater also called into question the government’s claims.

Managua residents standing around a mysterious crater that the government says was caused by a meteor.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118.6 degrees Fahrenheit (48.1 degrees Celsius) at Hafar Al-Batin, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 92.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 68.9 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.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Rabaul (Tavurvur) volcano (New Britain, Papua New Guinea) Intermittent strombolian to vulcanian-type explosions continue at the Tavurvur volcano. VAAC Darwin reported an ash plume rising to 10,000 ft / 3 km altitude this morning.

Bardarbunga volcano update: Threat from eruption due to toxic gasses? The short answer is that most likely, the gasses released by this eruption will not present a big threat except in near downwind areas of the eruption.

Kilauea (Hawai’i): HVO’s latest warning status update issued yesterday: “Between September 6 and 10, the June 27th flow advanced north then northeastward at an average rate of 400 m/d (0.25 mi/d). In this way, the flow had advanced approximately 14.5 km (9.0 miles straight-line distance) from the vent, or to within 0.6 km (0.4 miles) of the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, by the afternoon of September 10. At the average rate of advancement of 400 m/day (0.25 mi/day) since September 6, we project that lava could flow from its current location to the northwest edge of Kaohe Homesteads in 1.5 days and to the Pāhoa Village road (government road) in Pāhoa within 14-16 days if lava is not further confined within the cracks and down-dropped blocks within the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano. These estimates will be continually refined as we track this lava flow.”