Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Aegean Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits southern Qinghai, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

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

5.0 Earthquake hits the Fox Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Ophelia is located about 725 mi…1165 km SW of the Azores with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…NE or 40 degrees at 3 mph…6 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression 24w (twenty-four), located approximately 262 nm northeast of Manila, Philippines, is tracking westward at 07 knots.


Vietnam – Floods caused by a tropical depression in Vietnam killed 37 people, one of the highest death tolls recorded in the country from flooding, the disaster prevention agency said on Thursday. Forty people were missing and 21 others were injured after rains caused landslides and flooding, mostly in northern and central Vietnam. In a report, it said more than 17,000 households have been evacuated and more than 200 homes have collapsed, while nearly 18,000 other houses were submerged or damaged. It said more than 8,000 hectares of land growing rice was damaged and around 40,000 animals were killed or washed away.

Kenya – Residents of parts of Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western and Central parts of the country are asked to stay alert as flash floods are expected from Wednesday 11 October 2017.


Large Hole Opens in Antarctica Ice

A mysterious hole as big as the state of Maine has been spotted in Antarctica’s winter sea ice cover. The hole was discovered by researchers about a month ago.

Known as a polynya, this year’s hole was about 30,000 square miles at its largest, making it the biggest polynya observed in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea since the 1970s.

The harsh winter in Antarctica makes it hard to find holes like this one, so it can be difficult to study them. This is the second year that a polynya formed, though last year’s hole was not as big.

The deep water in that part of the Southern Ocean is warmer and saltier than the surface water. Ocean currents bring the warmer water upwards, where it melts the blankets of ice that had formed on the ocean’s surface. That melting created the polynya.

01 antarctic hole modis so 1km amsr 6250 2017 0925 1 300 adapt 590 1

The blue curves represent the ice edge, and the polynya is the dark region of open water within the ice pack.

Space Events

Rings Discovered around Dwarf Planet

Scientists have discovered a ring system around the dwarf planet Haumea.

Earlier this year, Haumea passed between Earth and a distant star, allowing planetary scientists to get a better idea of the dwarf planet’s shape and size.

Haumea is one of the largest objects inhabiting an area beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt. Pluto is the region’s largest resident, and Haumea shares some characteristics with its larger neighbor. Both take a highly elongated path around the sun that crosses the orbits of other planetary bodies; Pluto crosses Neptune’s orbit, and Haumea crosses Pluto’s. Also, both dwarf planets orbit at an angle to the paths of the eight planets, which circle the sun along a common plane. Also like Pluto, Haumea has moons — at least two, Hi’iaka and Namaka.

Screen Shot 2017 10 12 at 11 38 01 AM


Wildfires – California

21 people are now reported to have perished in the 22 blazes that have destroyed 115,000 acres (26,000ha) and 3,500 buildings across California since the fires started on Sunday.

Officials in the hard-hit Sonoma County say 380 people are still missing. More than 91,000 homes and businesses are without power.

At least four wineries have suffered “total or very significant losses”, Napa Valley Vintners said, with nine others reporting some damage to buildings or vineyards.


Madagascar – Plague

In a follow-up on the Madagascar plague outbreak, the Ministere de la Publique reported an additional 51 news plague cases today, bringing the total cases since August to 500.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 4 October – 10 October 2017

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : On 5 October PVMBG reported that the rate of volcanic earthquakes at Agung had not increased during the previous 12 days, but continued to fluctuate at a high level. The seismic network detected 1-3 earthquakes per minute on average, with a total more than 600 events per day. The number of shallow volcanic earthquakes increased to 200 per day during 24 September-5 October, possibly indicating that magmatic activity at shallow depths was still high. The number of earthquakes felt by staff at the Mt. Agung Volcano Observatory in Rendang village, 12.5 km SSW, peaked on 27 September and then decreased afterwards. Gas plumes rose 50-200 m above the crater rim. Satellite data indicated an area of water expulsion near the solfatara field on the crater floor thought to reflect a disturbance to the hydrologic system in response to intruded magma at depth. On 5 October BNPB reported that the number of evacuees reached 146,797 (spread out in 427 shelters), though about 28 villages (70,000 people) were located within the evacuation zone. About 10,000 farm animals had also been evacuated. On 7 October a white plume likely composed mostly of water vapor rose 1.5 km above the crater rim and slowly drifted E. During 8-10 October fumarolic plumes rose 50-200 m above the rim. The Alert Level remained at 4 (the highest level on a scale of 1-4) with the exclusion zone at 9 km, and an additional expansion to 12 km in the SE, S, and SW directions.

Aoba | Vanuatu : Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) stated that photographs and thermal infrared images taken on 30 September, and 1, 3, and 5 October during overflights of Aoba’s Lake Voui confirmed that the eruption was ongoing. Activity consisted of small explosions ejecting hot rock from vents on a new small island in the lake, and a small lava flow that traveled from the vent into the lake. On 6 October VGO noted that there was no evidence of the eruption escalating; the Alert Level was lowered to 3 (the middle level on a scale of 0-5) and residents and tourists were reminded to stay outside of the Red Zone defined as a 3 km radius around the active cone. Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Wellington VAAC reported that during 10-11 October ash plumes rose as high as 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. On 11 October a news article stated that the government extended a state of emergency on the island to 24 October, delaying the return of the 11,000 residents that had been evacuated.

Lewotolo | Lomblen Island (Indonesia) : The number of shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes at Lewotolo recently increased, prompting PVMBG to raise the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 7 October. The report noted that the public should not enter the 2-km-radius exclusion zone around the crater. Solfatara emissions rose as high as 500 m above the crater rim on 9 October; emissions during 1 August-6 October rose 50-600 m. BNPB reported that five earthquakes recorded by Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika (BMKG) on 10 October ranged in magnitude between 3.9 and 4.9, and were located 10-30 km below Lewotolo. The events were felt by local populations, causing an evacuation of 723 people. Preliminary data suggested that five homes were damaged from rock avalanches, triggered by the earthquakes.