Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.0 Earthquake hits the Volcano Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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Tropical cyclone 14p (Yalo), located approximately 334 nm west-southwest of Papeete, Tahiti, and is tracked southeastward at 08 knots.

Tropical cyclone 11p (Winston), Final advisory has been issued on Tropical cyclone Winston which is located approximately 367 nm northeast of Kingston Island. Winston is already exhibiting signs of being subtropical, with the mid-level warm core weakening and the wind field expanding. The system is forecast to complete subtropical transition, but is expected to maintain gale-force winds.

NewsBytes:

Fiji – The death toll in Fiji has jumped to 42 amid fears for remote areas and islands yet to be reached by relief teams, days after a devastating cyclone. Cyclone Winston, thought to be one of the strongest storms to hit the Southern Hemisphere, left 8,500 sheltering in evacuation centres. Teams are still being deployed. Officials said they met “grim images of devastation” on reaching Koro island. The Red Cross has warned that the toll could still rise further. The powerful cyclone, which struck last weekend, brought winds of over 320km/h (200mph), torrential rain and waves of up to 12m (40ft), flattening many buildings in parts of the main Viti Levu island and Koro islands. It has been described by the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation as the worst to ever hit the country. The damage in remote outlying areas – so far seen only from the air – is reported to be especially bad. Pictures taken from Koro on Tuesday showed battered and demolished homes on the island. Communication with many smaller and remote islands in the Pacific nation of 900,000 people have been down since the cyclone hit.

Southern USA – Three dead as tornadoes hit southern US – At least 7 tornadoes lashed Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida Tuesday, destroying homes and businesses. The deaths occurred when mobile homes were destroyed in Louisiana and Mississippi, officials said. A powerful storm system swept across the East Coast on Wednesday, killing four people in Virginia and knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the region. A day earlier, the system spawned about two dozen tornadoes along the Gulf Coast, damaging hundreds of homes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Three people were killed and dozens were injured.

Space Events

Large space rock burns up over Atlantic

The biggest fireball since the Chelyabinsk explosion has plunged through the atmosphere over the Atlantic Ocean. The event, which has only just come to light, occurred off the coast of Brazil at 13:55 GMT on 6 February. As it burned up, the space rock released the equivalent of 13,000 tonnes of TNT.

This makes it the most powerful event of its kind since an object exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia in 2013. That blast was much bigger, releasing the equivalent of 500,000 tonnes of TNT.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Two homes were destroyed and one was damaged in a bushfire that burned out of control at Mount Bolton, north-west of Ballarat, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) says.

The fire broke out mid-afternoon on Tuesday and burned through about 1,300 hectares in the area, much of it rural farmland.

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Etna (Sicily, Italy): An unusual eruptive episode occurred yesterday morning from the volcano’s NE crater (the least active of the summit vents over the past few decades). Incandescent bombs were ejected above the rim of the crater and an ash plume rose several hundred meters. Whether this is the beginning of a more significant eruptive phase, after a period of relative calm since the violent paroxysms of Voragine summit crater in early Dec 2015 remains to be seen. INGV published the following report: “During the month of January 2016, Etna’s eruptive activity has maintained rather low levels. Early that month, a few weak ash emissions occurred from the 25 November 2015 vent located high on the eastern flank of the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) cone; similar phenomena were repeated during the last week of January and once more on the morning of 6 February. During the same time interval, degassing from the Northeast Crater (NEC) were sometimes accompanied by the emission of minor traces of ash.

Colima (Western Mexico): The new lava dome in the summit crater continues to be active (and probably is growing) as bright glow visible at night suggests. Explosive activity on the other hand has decreased recently.

Momotombo (Nicaragua): Activity has been calmer during the past two days. No new significant explosions occurred in the interval, but incandescence remains visible at the summit crater, indicating small extrusive activity continues.

Reventador (Ecuador): The eruptive activity of the volcano continues with no significant changes, at moderate to high levels, as IGEPN reports on a daily basis. Lava arrives at the summit crater where small explosive activity (probably strombolian-type) takes place. During yesterday, based on seismic data (the volcano is mostly hidden in clouds), 56 small explosions were registered. This morning, an ash emission was also detected by Washington VAAC.

Cotopaxi (Ecuador): Surface activity of the volcano has been mostly low during the past weeks, characterized by degassing / steaming and occasional very weak ash emissions. According to IGEPN, the level of most monitored geophysical parameters (SO2, volcanic earthquakes, volcanic tremor, deformation) have returned to their pre-eruption background levels. However, the overall seismic activity of the volcano is still elevated and some few deep-seated explosive events are being recorded (on average 1-3 / day). This type of activity possibly indicates that a magma source remains active inside the edifice. The most likely scenario of the coming days to weeks is that surface activity remains at a low level and or continues to decrease, with intermittent small ash emissions possible that would not affect but immediate areas surrounding the volcano. However, even though much less likely now, an increase in internal and external activity of the volcano cannot be excluded either.