Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.7 earthquake hits off the coast of Coquimbo, Chile.

5.5 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.2 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm 2 11 47 PM

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 17s (Haleh), located approximately 805 nm southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking southward at 14 knots.

NewsBytes:

Peru – Heavy rainfall has been affecting southern Peru (particualrly Arequipa, Moquegua, Tacna and Ica Regions) over the last week, causing rivers to overflow (especially the Rio Locumba), triggering floods, landslides and mudslides. According to media reports, as of 13 February at 8.00 UTC, ten people were killed, 1 800 injured and approximately 8 000 affected. Floods and landslides have damaged or destroyed roads, bridges, houses, crops and killed more than 5 500 animals.

California, USA – The latest in a series of Pacific storms has again brought more heavy rain to parts of California in the United States this week. Severe storms, hail and lightning were reported for much of central and southern California on Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, severe storms brought flooding rain and hail to Sonora in the central part of the state. The rain was so heavy at times that floodwaters rushed down the city streets, making them look more like rivers. Even the driest place in the US was not exempt from the line of storms. California’s Death Valley picked up 16mm of rain – more than double the park’s average March rainfall.

Environment

Ice Quakes

Researchers studying Antarctica’s McMurdo Ice Shelf have discovered that thousands of tiny “ice quakes” occur there each day. The scientists from the University of Chicago believe they are caused by pools of partially melted ice as they refreeze at night.

“As the temperature cools at night, the ice on the top contracts, and the water below expands as it undergoes freezing,” said glaciologist Douglas MacAyeal. “This warps the top lid, until it finally breaks with a snap.” He and his colleagues believe using seismometers such as theirs elsewhere in Antarctica may help other scientists track glacier melting.

Wildlife

Penguin Fatalities

Namibia’s first bird flu outbreak on record has killed more than 500 endangered African penguins at one colony near Lüderitz, and scientists fear the pathogen could spread to other colonies or even other species.

The Lüderitz Maritime Research Group noted on social media that most of the fatalities, which began to emerge in mid-December, were near a muddy patch adjoining the colony.

Because the H5N8 strain of avian influenza can survive for weeks in a wet environment, officials dispatched crews to spread buckets of salt over the mud in an attempt to curb infections. Penguin carcasses are being collected and burned. It is unknown how the virus arrived in Namibia.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 116 degrees Fahrenheit (46.7 degrees Celsius) in Eucla, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 71.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 57.2 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, 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.

Disease

Ebola – DR Congo

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is continuing with moderate intensity. Katwa and Butembo remain the major health zones of concern, while small clusters continue simultaneously in some geographically dispersed locations. During the last 21 days (13 February – 5 March 2019), 76 new confirmed and probable cases have been reported.

As of 5 March, 907 EVD cases1 (841 confirmed and 66 probable) have been reported, of which 57% (514) were female and 30% (273) were children aged less than 18 years. Overall, 569 deaths (case fatality ratio: 63%) have been reported, and 304 patients have been discharged from Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs).

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 27 February – 5 March 2019

Bezymianny | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Bezymianny was identified in satellite images during 28 February-1 March. Strong gas-and-steam emissions continued to be visible. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that ash plumes from Karymsky were identified in satellite images during 22 and 24-26 February rising as high as 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifting 216 km E. A thermal anomaly was visible during 24-25 and 27-28 February. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Piton de la Fournaise | Reunion Island (France) : OVPF reported that the fissure that opened 19 February at a site located at 1,800 m elevation at the foot of Piton Madoré, E of Piton de la Fournaise’s Dolomieu Crater, continued during 27 February-5 March. RSAM measurements showed fluctuating intensities though an overall upwards trend. Based on satellite images, the main flow front progressed slowly during 22-28 February, advancing only 300 m to 1,200 m elevation. A new lava flow emerged from an area near the cone and traveled NE; the more southern branches did not advance during 28 February-1 March. Scientists conducted fieldwork on 5 March and noted that the cone had grown to 100 m wide at the base, 25 m tall, and had a vent opening 50 m wide. High-temperature gas emissions rose from the vent, and Strombolian activity ejected material. White steam rose from the base of the cone, likely from the presence of lava tubes. The northernmost lava flow remained active.