Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
6.1 earthquake hits the Bismarck Sea.
5.4 earthquake hits the Bismarck Sea.
5.3 earthquake hits the Gulf of California.
Two 5.3 earthquakes hit the Bismarck Sea.
5.1 earthquake hits southwest of Africa.
5.0 earthquake hits east of the Kuril Islands.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
There are no current tropical storms.
Bolivia – At least 10 thousand hectares of banana plantations were flooded in the Cochabamba tropic, causing millions in losses to the community and producers. More than 7 500 families were affected by the floods.
Argentina – Intense rainfall in Northeast Argentina has caused devastating floods, amplifying the economic burdens of the country’s record inflation. About 3,500 people have evacuated the region, and millions of hectares of crops have been sent underwater. The flooded region, which extends into Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil, has received about five times more rain than expected since the beginning of the year. Some areas received a whole year’s worth of rainfall in the first 15 days of the calendar year. 2.4 million hectares of soybeans are flooded. The greatest losses come from the Pampa Húmeda region, one of the main food producers in the world. Other crops like corn and cotton, along with livestock have been wiped out across the Northeast. Just last year, Argentina was plagued with severe drought, the worst that had hit the country in half a century. This drought crushed the country’s agricultural sector and strained the country’s economy. It’s blamed in part for the current run on Argentine currency.
California, USA – Heavy rain, snow and wind pummeled much of California Thursday, causing at least five deaths, leaving thousands without power and forcing wildfire victims threatened by floods to flee their homes. Southern California authorities concerned with rising streams and excessive runoff ordered evacuations in parts of Malibu and other areas scarred by wildfires. Malibu schools canceled classes. In harder hit Northern California, authorities warned of imminent floods and debris flows in the wildfire-ravished city of Paradise and the surrounding region denuded of protective trees and vegetation, telling residents to prepare to flee their homes on a moment’s notice.
The nearly 16,000 desalination plants around the world that extract fresh water from the sea are discharging far greater amounts of toxic brine back into the ocean than previously thought, a new U.N. study reveals.
It says the salt-laden liquid is increasing the density of salinity where it is released, and poses a significant risk to marine life and ecosystems.
More than half of the 5 billion cubic feet of brine discharged each day worldwide comes from desalination plants operating in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.
Magnetic North Pole Shift
The erratic and rapid shift of the Magnetic North Pole since 2014 has prompted scientists to update a year earlier than scheduled a model used in crucial navigation systems.
The unprecedented update was requested by the U.S. military due to the mounting level of inaccuracies in guidance across the Arctic for ships, planes and submarines.
Scientists believe the wayward pole is being influenced by changes in the flow of iron in Earth’s outer core.
But some experts believe the planet’s magnetic poles are on the verge of reversing, which is long overdue.
Global Temperature Extremes
The week’s hottest temperature was 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.8 degrees Celsius) in Port Augusta, South Australia.
The week’s coldest temperature was minus 70.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.7 degrees Celsius) at Olenek, Siberia.
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.
Measles – Madagascar
From 4 October 2018 to 7 January 2019, 19 539 measles cases and 39 “facility-based” deaths have been reported by the Ministry of Public Health (MoH) of Madagascar. Cases were reported from 66 of 114 total districts in all 22 regions of Madagascar.
Foot and Mouth Disease – Algeria
More than 12,000 livestock have died in Algeria following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
The Algerian Interior Ministry has classified the outbreak as a “major danger” after it spread to 28 states and killed thousands of livestock, causing markets to shut down for fear of selling infected meat. The crisis has been aggravated by the fact that livestock owners are still waiting for vaccines, which have been delayed until the end of the month.
Global Volcanic Activity – Volcanoes Today, 18 January 2019
Shiveluch (Kamchatka): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Tokyo warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 13000 ft (4000 m) altitude or flight level 130 and is moving at 20 kts in E direction.
Kuchinoerabu-jima (Ryukyu Islands): (17 Jan) Following renewed unrest and a minor eruption beginning last August, earlier today a more significant explosion occurred, sending ash to 20,000ft (6km) and generating a moderate pyroclastic flow which travelled 1.5km (~1 mile) down the southwest flank, though fortunately did not affect adjacent communities. No injuries have been reported and this event was smaller than the powerful explosion in 2015. JMA has kept the alert level at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).
Kadovar (Northeast of New Guinea): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Darwin warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 10000 ft (3000 m) altitude or flight level 100 and is moving at 10 kts in W direction.
Cleveland (Aleutian Islands, Alaska): (17 Jan) A new lava dome has been observed to be growing in the summit crater following a small explosion on January 9- continuing a pattern of behaviour typical of Cleveland since it began a period of regular activity in 2005. AVO raised Cleveland to ORANGE/WATCH.
Reventador (Ecuador): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: VA DETECTED IN STLT IMAGERY
Sabancaya (Peru): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Buenos Aires (VAAC) issued the following report: continuous ash emissions
Planchón-Peteroa (Central Chile and Argentina): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Buenos Aires warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 15000 ft (4600 m) altitude or flight level 150 .