Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.3 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.1 earthquake hits south of the Mariana Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.


South Africa – Heavy downpours and gale force winds caused severe damage throughout Cape Town on Thursday night. Flooding has resulted in numerous road closures in these areas. A power failure has also been reported at the Huguenot Tunnel resulting in full closure of the road. Roofs have been blown off in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village and a few properties have been damaged. Trees have been uprooted in Parow, Goodwood, Constantia and Belhar areas. Power lines came down in Goodwood, Parow Valley, Langa, Bergvliet, Durbanville and Maitland. Hout Bay residents have reported mudslides in their area.

North Carolina, USA = Five people are dead and three others missing after mudslides and flash floods ravaged parts of North Carolina and Virginia as post-tropical cyclone Alberto moves northward after being downgraded from a subtropical storm. In North Carolina, two people were killed on Wednesday, authorities said, when flooding and mudslides caused a house to collapse in Boone, located in the northwest corner of the state.

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Oceanic Heat Wave

Tropical fish from off northeastern Australia have been spotted around parts of New Zealand, lured across the Tasman Sea by a record-breaking hot summer season.

The country’s unusual warmth was largely generated by what meteorologists term a “marine heat wave,” which has seen water temperatures nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

The rare appearance of the Queensland groper, also known as the giant grouper, has startled New Zealand divers, who fear the fish won’t survive once temperatures cool to near normal.


Happy Captives?

A controversial study suggests captive dolphins can be as “happy” as those swimming free in the wild, and also appear to look forward to human interaction.

French researchers played specific sounds before offering the dolphins different things to do, such as playing with new toys, interacting with a human or being left to do as they pleased. The marine mammals would clearly bob their heads out of the water when they anticipated a human was coming.

The scientists conclude this means the dolphins become excited when offered the chance to connect with their human trainers.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius) in Jacobabad, Pakistan.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 88.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 66.7 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.


African Swine Fever – South Africa

African Swine Fever, a severe haemorrhagic disease of pigs, has been reported in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, the Department of Agriculture said on Thursday.

The virus, which is not transmitted to humans, can result in “a great number of deaths among pigs in a short span of time” and is transmitted by contact with infected pigs, ticks or feeding of infected swill, the department said in a statement.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 23 May – 29 May 2018

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that although there were some periods of foggy conditions during 23-29 May, white plumes were occasionally observed rising as high as 400 m above Agung’s crater rim. At 0539 on 29 May an event generated an ash plume that rose 500 m above the crater rim and drifted SW. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the exclusion zone continued at a 4-km radius.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that there were 21 events and 19 explosions at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 21-28 May. Tephra was ejected as far as 1.3 km from the crater, and ash plumes rose as high as 3.2 km above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Ambae | Vanuatu : On 18 May a news article noted that the eruption from a cone in Ambae’s Lake Voui continued with minor activity at the vent. The article noted that widespread ashfall had significantly impacted food and water supplies, shelter, and the health of island residents. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 0-5), and the report reminded residents to stay at least 3 km away from the active crater.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 23-29 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, WNW, and NW. Ash plumes drifted as far as 225 km NW on 28 May.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that during 19-20 May a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Langila | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 23 and 26-28 May ash plumes from Langila rose to altitudes of 2.4-3 km (8,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WSW, W, and NW.

Mayon | Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that during 23-29 May white steam plumes from Mayon drifted WNW, WSW, and SW, sometimes rising 250-300 m above the crater rim. Crater incandescence was visible each night. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 0-5 scale) and PHIVOLCS reminded residents to stay away from the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone on the SSW and ENE flanks.

Reventador | Ecuador : During 23-28 May IG reported a high level of seismic activity including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and signals indicating emissions at Reventador. Steam, gas, and ash plumes rose 1.5 km above the crater rim and drifted NW on 23 May, and a plume of gas, water vapor, and ash rose 300 m on 26 May; cloudy weather prevented views of emissions on most days. A lava flow had advanced to 900 m on the NE flank. On 27 May incandescent blocks were observed rolling as far as 800 m down the flanks in multiple directions. An ash plume rose 3 km above the crater rim and quickly drifted W, causing ashfall in Papallacta (62 km SW), San Antonio de Pichincha (90 km W), Tabacundo (63 km WNW), Cayambe (57 km WNW), Puellaro (85 km WNW), and Puembo (80 km W).

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 35 per day during 21-27 May. Seismicity was dominated by long-period events and signals indicating emissions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 3.3 km above the crater rim and drifted 30 km NE, E, and SE. The MIROVA system detected nine thermal anomalies, and on 24 May the sulfur dioxide gas flux was high at 3,950 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 19-20 and 23-24 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that an event at Turrialba at 0930 on 28 May generated a plume that rose 300 m above the crater rim and drifted SE.