Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
6.5 Earthquake hits northern Sumatra, Indonesia.
A strong undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Aceh province early on Wednesday, killing nearly 100 people and sparking a frantic rescue effort in the rubble of dozens of collapsed and damaged buildings. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said 273 people were injured, about a quarter of them seriously. Some 245 buildings were seriously damaged or destroyed, mostly in Pidie Jaya, including 14 mosques and the remainder largely dwellings and shop houses. Roads also cracked and power poles toppled over. There is an urgent need for excavation equipment to move heavy debris and emergency supplies.
The US Geological Survey said the shallow 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck at 05:03 (22:03 GMT on Tuesday) was centred about 10km north of Reuleut, a town in northern Aceh, at a depth of 17km. It did not generate a tsunami.
For Acehnese, the quake was another terrifying reminder of their region’s vulnerability to natural disasters. More than 100 000 people died in Aceh after the December 26, 2004, earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami.
6.2 Earthquake hits Tobago, Trinidad-Tobago.
5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.
5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.
Polar ice the size of India has vanished as the Arctic and Antarctic experience record heat
Polar sea ice off Antarctica and in the Arctic is at record lows for this time of year.
An amount of ice the size of India has been lost in a sign of rising global temperatures, climate scientists say.
This development is alarming scientists, and is potentially the result of a build-up of man-made greenhouse gases, some claim.
It may also be due to an ‘El Nino’ weather event that this year unlocked heat from the Pacific Ocean, or a freak natural swing in temperatures.
This is a graphic comparing current polar sea ice levels with record lows. Both of the Earth’s poles are currently showing lower levels of sea ice than ever seen before. This is a big worry for climate scientists, and potentially the result of a build-up of man-made greenhouse gases.
A starkly beautiful aerial image shows a 70-mile-long crack in Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. As of Nov. 10, it was 70 miles (112 km) long and more than 300 feet (91 meters) wide. The dark depths of the crack plunge down about a third of a mile (0.5 km), all the way through the ice to the ocean below.
Anthrax in Kenya
Seven people from three families have been sickened with anthrax in the Sagumai area of Samburu County, Kenya after slaughtering and eating an infected sheep, according to a local media report. The seven, three men, two women and two children, have been admitted to the local hospital for treatment.
Dengue Fever in Myanmar
After reporting an average of a thousand dengue fever cases annually over the past four decades, health officials in Myanmar report seeing 8,266 cases through the first 11 months of 2016, according to a local media account. The Nay Pyi Taw Public Health Department said that the country has also seen 40 dengue related fatalities this year.
Plague in Madagascar
Plague, a disease many think of as something from the history books, is alive and well in many areas of the globe and is clearly no stranger to Madagascar. During the last decade, the island country reported more than 7,000 human plague cases, second most on the planet.
Reports coming out of the country say that an outbreak in the Befotaka Atsimo and the Midongy Atsimo district say that dozens of deaths have been reported in two months. “We have heard about people who died for little known causes in Ambalarano two months ago. The inhabitants of this commune who come to shop in Midongy Atsimo speak of it, but they believe that it is due to the sorcery”. The victims would have the same symptoms, namely swollen and tender lymph nodes, such as those of bubonic plague.
Leprosy in Queensland, Australia
Health officials with Queensland Health (QH) in the northeast corner of Australia have reported their fourth leprosy, or Hansen’s disease case of the year last week.
Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity
Pacaya (Guatemala): The volcano’s activity has been comparably calm recently, characterized by strong degassing from the intra-crater cone that formed during the latest period (2015-16) of strombolian activity and has become impressively large, filling a good part of the crater now. On a recent video, no ejections of lava fragments are visible, but rather near-continuous, pulsating emissions of steam and ash. These probably reflect an activity weaker than, but essentially similar to what we observed in Dec last year: spattering-type degassing (“bubbling”) from the magma column inside the cone, generating near-continuous small strombolian explosions. The only real difference would be that this time the effusion rate is too low and activity too deep to eject incandescent lava spatter.
Turrialba (Costa Rica): The volcano continues to be restless with intermittent mild eruptive phases. After 5 days of no visible activity, it restarted to emit low-energy plumes of gas, steam and ash yesterday. According to OVSICORI-UNA, the new phase of eruptive activity began at 7 am local time and was accompanied by a weak tremor signal, which increased from 11:30 am to fluctuating medium to high levels. The observed ash emissions have been weak and produced a plume that did not exceed 500 m. Easterly winds have been carrying the ashes into nearby areas west and northwest of the volcano
Cayambe (Ecuador): The volcano has become restless. Scientists from Ecuador’s Institute of Geophysics (IGEPN) recorded an increased number of earthquakes under the volcano a new report shows. The increased seismicity could be (but not must be) a precursor of renewed activity in the medium-term future (weeks, months?). An increase of earthquakes began on 5 June this year when a seismic swarm of earthquakes started which totalled more than 2300 events by the end of the month. The quakes occurred concentrated in an area NE of the volcano and were volcano-tectonic in origin, likely caused by a magma intrusion at depth causing pressurization and fracturing of rocks. After the June swarm, the volcano returned to calm again first. New earthquakes started to appear in increased numbers from September and have been continuing. Different from in June, the quakes have been concentrated under the summit area of the volcano and been showing an upward trend in depth. In addition, there have been increased reports of strong sulfur smell from climbers who visited the volcano, suggesting that there has been an increase in SO2 emission.