Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.7 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.4 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

Two 5.0 Earthquakes hit New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits new Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the western Pacific: Super Typhoon 30w (Nock-Ten), located approximately 1,330 kilometres southeast of Eluanbi, the southernmost tip of Taiwan is tracking west-northwest at 08 knots.

Evacuation centres in the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, and Camarines Norte in the Bicol region have been opened to people fleeing their homes in preparation for the onslaught of Typhoon Nina (Nock-Ten), which is forecast to make landfall in Catanduanes early Sunday evening. With a radius of 180 km, the storm was carrying maximum sustained winds of about 184 kph, with gusts of up to 227 kph, according to bureau data.

In the South Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 02s (Yvette), located approximately 324 nm northwest of Broome, Australia, is tracking eastward at 11 knots.


Scotland – Storm Barbara hits with floods, power cuts and road closures as 120mph winds spark alerts across Scotland. Some routes have already closed today with snow gates being shut on key routes in the north and a number of bumps and collisions on main roads further south. Dozens of ferries have been cancelled with flights at risk as the storm reaches its peak. Ferries to the Northern and Western Isles have already been cancelled along with some train services. Waves over 50ft high – the height of a five-storey building – were forecast off Scotland’s north coast, with 30ft waves on Scotland’s west coast.


Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

On 20 December 2016, the Department of Health (DOH), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) notified WHO of a case of laboratory-confirmed human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 14 December-20 December 2016

Bogoslof (United States, Aleutian Islands): Another explosive eruption occurred at the volcano a few hours ago (at around 09:30 AKST local time), the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported. The alert level of Bogoslof was raised back to red. “A Coast Guard ship in the vicinity reported ash emission as well as ejection of lava and fragmental material. The eruption cloud did not penetrate the regional cloud tops at 30,000 ft and winds are to the north-northeast. According to the Coast Guard, ash emission subsided at about 10:37 AKST (19:37 UTC). On the basis of this information, the Aviation Colour Code is raised to RED and the Alert Level to WARNING.” (AVO)

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : Based on JMA notices and satellite-image analyses, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 17-18 December ash plumes from Suwanosejima rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and SW.

Sinabung | Indonesia : Based on PVMBG observations, webcam views, and satellite images, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 15, 17, and 19 December ash plumes from Sinabung rose 3-5.8 km (10,000-19,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and S.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that during 10-16 December lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by strong fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, ash explosions, and hot avalanches. Satellite images showed a daily thermal anomaly over the dome. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Sabancaya | Peru : IGP’s OVS reported that during 12-18 December seismicity at Sabancaya continued to be dominated by long-period earthquakes; hybrid earthquakes decreased from 14 events per day to 6. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 3.5 km above the crater and drifted more than 35 km NW, E, SE, and S.

Based on webcam and satellite views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 14-20 December gas-and-water-vapor emissions and sporadic ash puffs rose 6.4-8.2 km (21,000-27,000 ft) a.s.l. (2.3 km above the crater) and drifted SW, WSW, W, and NW.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : According to ONEMI on 16 December, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that in recent days there had been sporadic explosions at craters formed at Nevados de Chillán in 2016. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the middle level on a three-colour scale, and the public was reminded not to approach the craters within a 3-km radius.

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) :During 14-20 December HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise and fall, circulate, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook vent; the lake level rose as high as 13 m below the Halema’uma’u floor. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu’u ‘O’o Crater and from a vent high on the NE flank of the cone. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu’u ‘O’o Crater’s E flank, continued to enter the ocean near Kamokuna at the easternmost lava delta. An active branch of 61G remained active E of Pu’u ‘O’o and advanced slowly E at a rate of only a few tens of meters per day.