Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the central mid-Atlantic Ridge.

5.4 earthquake is Fiji.

5.0 earthquake hits Madagascar.

5.0 earthquake hits the mid-Indian Ridge.

5.5 earthquake hits the south east Indian Ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits north-west of the Ryukyu Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 02a (Mekunu), located approximately 83 nm south-southeast of Salalah, Oman, is tracking north-northwestward at 06 knots.

In the North Atlantic Ocean: A broad surface low centered over the southeastern Yucatan Peninsula continues to develop along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula with a 70% chance of tropical cyclone formation.

NewsBytes:

Sri Lanka – Monsoon rains have caused flooding across much of Sri Lanka, leading to the deaths of at least 13 people and displacement of more than 400,000 others. A number of major rivers to burst their banks affecting more than 120,000 people in half of the country’s 25 districts. The military has been deployed to help.

Wildlife

France – Asian Worm Invasion

A silent invasion of giant hammerhead flatworms has been occurring for the past two decades in France and some of its territories.

The extent of the invasion was uncovered by citizen scientists, who found that several non-native species now slither across urban areas of southern France and its overseas territories from the Caribbean to Oceania.

The ecological impact of the invasion is unclear, but the worms prey on animals living in the ground, including earthworms.

The Asian natives are believed to be inadvertently spreading through international trade.

Worms

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Eerie blue flames flared from the ground on Hawaii’s Big Island on Tuesday night (May 22), marking a rarely seen phenomenon that can arise during volcanic eruptions. When red-hot lava buries plants and shrubs, the burning vegetation produces methane, a colorless gas that burns blue, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

When methane is heated, it can seep into voids below the surface — in this case, the cracks on Kahukai Street in the residential area of Leilani Estates. Heated methane can explode, but when it was ignited on Tuesday night, its blue flames simply burned out of the fractures in the road, several feet away from the lava, the USGS reported.

Screen Shot 2018 05 25 at 11 00 06 AM

Environment

Asia – Heat Wave

A searing pre-monsoon heat wave that has baked parts of South Asia for weeks killed at least 65 people during a three-day period in the southern Pakistan city of Karachi, according to a social welfare organization.

Temperatures soaring to 111 degrees Fahrenheit caused the deaths during the opening days of Ramadan, when most Muslims do not eat or drink in daylight hours. Power failures made finding relief from the heat nearly impossible for many.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 121 degrees Fahrenheit (49.4 degrees Celsius) in Bahariya, Egypt.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 92.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 68.9 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Life-threatening bushfires in Western Australia’s south have destroyed at least one home and buildings at a holiday-stay farm. An emergency warning was issued for parts of Napier, Redmond and Marbelup in the City of Albany on Thursday night and also for Elleker on Friday afternoon.

More than 50 bushfires have torn through the region since Thursday, including at Stirling Range National Park, where over 17,800 hectares have been burnt.

The two most dangerous bushfires had burnt through about 4300 hectares by Friday afternoon and more strong winds are expected.

Disease

Dengue Fever – Reunion

Public Health France has reported an additional 387 biologically confirmed and probable dengue fever cases in the past week on Reunion Island. This brings the total since the beginning of the year to 3416 laboratory confirmed or probable cases. Seventy-five people required hospitalization for their illness, nine with severe dengue.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Obgoing Activity for the week of 16 May – 22 May 2018

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that there were 13 events and 20 explosions at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 14-21 May. Tephra was ejected as far as 1.1 km from the crater, and ash plumes rose as high as 2.7 km above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16-22 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, W, and SW.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 12-14 May that sent ash plumes as high as 2.8 km (9,200 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted about 20 km SW on 13 May. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Fuego | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that beginning at 1400 on 17 May a lahar descended the Seca (Santa Teresa) drainage on Fuego’s W flank. The lahar was 25 m wide, 1 m deep, and carried trees and blocks 1.5 m in diameter. During 19-21 May explosions occurred at a rate of 5-8 per hour, and generated ash plumes that rose almost 1 km and drifted 10-20 km S, SW, and W. Some explosions were accompanied by rumbling audible more than 30 km away, and shock waves that vibrated structures in Morelia (9 km SW) and Panimaché (8 km SW). Incandescent material was ejected 200-300 m above the crater rim, and generated avalanches of material within the Seca, Ceniza (SSW), and Las Lajas (SE) drainages that reached vegetated areas. Ash fell in areas downwind including in Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Morelia, Panimaché I and II, and Finca Palo Verde. A lava flow 700-800 m long was active in the Ceniza drainage.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that during 13-15 May a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images, as well as ash plumes drifting about 150 km SW on 14 May. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Kirishimayama | Kyushu (Japan) : The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 15 May ash plumes from Shinmoedake (Shinmoe peak), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, were identified in satellite images drifting S at an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. JMA noted that white plumes rose 100 m above the crater rim during 18-21 May. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy was identified in satellite images during 13-14 May. Strong explosions began at 0315 on 15 May, and generated ash plumes that rose as high as 10.5 km (34,400 ft) a.s.l. The ash clouds lingered around Klyuchevskoy and surrounding volcanoes for about eight hours before gradually dissipating. Nighttime summit incandescence and a hot avalanche were noted. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange.

Sabancaya | Peru : Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that explosive activity at Sabancaya was comparable to the previous week; explosions averaged 30 per day during 14-20 May. Seismicity was dominated by long-period events and signals indicating emissions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 1.9 km above the crater rim and drifted N and NW. The MIROVA system detected nine thermal anomalies, and on 19 May the sulfur dioxide gas flux was high at 3,147 tons/day. The report noted that the public should not approach the crater within a 12-km radius.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images on 28 and 11-16 May. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Sinabung | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that during 16-21 May gray-to-white plumes from Sinabung rose as high as 700 m above the crater rim and drifted in multiple directions. At 0900 on 20 May an event produced an ash plume that rose 700 m and drifted NW. An ash plume from an event later that day at 2122 rose 2.5 km and drifted W and NW. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 3 km and extensions of 7 km on the SSE sector, 6 km in the ESE sector, and 4 km in the NNE sector.

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that an event at Turrialba at 0900 on 21 May generated a plume that rose to an unknown height due to poor visibility.