Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.3 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits the Peru-Ecuador border.

5.0 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 19s (Savannah), located approximately 1026 nm southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking west-southwestward at 04 knots.

Tropical cyclone 20p (Trevor), located approximately 350 nm northwest of Cairns, Australia, is tracking southwestward at 01 knot.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 21s (Veronica), located approximately 221 nm north-northwest of Port Hedland, Australia, is tracking south-southwestward at 05 knots.


Missouri, USA – A string of small Missouri towns prepared for the next deluge along the raging Missouri River on Wednesday after flooding wreaked nearly $1.5 billion in damage in Nebraska. High water unleashed by last week’s late-winter storm and melting snow has already inundated a large swath of Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa along the Missouri River, North America’s longest river. States of emergency have been declared in all or parts of the three Midwestern farm states. The Missouri River’s next major flood crest was forecast to hit St. Joseph, Missouri, at 6 a.m. on Friday and Kansas City, Missouri, 55 miles (88 km) to the south, about 24 hours later. Homeowners and businesses across Leavenworth County, Missouri, where 81,000 people were under a flood warning on Wednesday, were placing sandbags around property as they have watched the river rise over the last few days.


Troubled times for Namibian wildlife

There are worrying signs that Namibia’s legendary wild game numbers may be plummeting. Four years ago the Namibian Professional Hunters Association raised an alarm about the lack of huntable elephant bulls in the Caprivi region, where the number of communal conservancies had grown from one in 1997 to 15 today.

Professional hunters visiting the area are reporting that there is little wildlife left. The communities who notionally are supposed to manage the communal conservancies appear to be stripping the area of all wildlife for profit.

The loss of game has caused the lions to increasingly attack local farmers’ cattle and donkeys, which has led to widespread lion poisoning by the local population.

The authorities simply deny the reality blaming the lack of wildlife on the drought or on the racist attitude of hunters and the NGO’s reporting the situation. There would appears to be no concern on the part of the Namibian authorities for the preservation of the country’s natural resources.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

A group of Aussies spotted this behemoth on the beach and initially thought it was a rugged piece of driftwood. Upon closer inspection, however, they realized it was the body of an enormous, bony fish. It was later identified as an ocean sunfish, known to scientists as the Mola mola. These fish can grow up to 11 feet (3.3 meters) long and weigh up to 2.5 tons (2.2 metric tons).

Screen Shot 2019 03 21 at 10 14 14 AM


Parrot Disease – Sweden

Swedish public health authorities, Folkhalsomyndigheten, is reporting an outbreak of psittacosis, or parrot disease, since November 2018. According to officials, some 60 cases have been reported from the regions of Västra Götaland, Kalmar, Jönköping and Skåne. This is the highest number of cases reported in one winter in two decades.

African Swine Fever – China

Reports are emerging that many outbreaks of African Swine Fever on Chinese farms are not being reported to the authorities. Many farms where outbreaks occur are selling on unaffected pigs, spreading the disease further. Other farms simply lack the capability to test for the disease. The large 10 000 plus swine producing units are not reporting disease outbreaks because it would have a detrimental effect on their share prices. Poor provinces are also under-reporting outbreaks because they lack the funds to compensate farmers for culled animals. It has been suggested that most large pig farms are infected. At present it seems unlikely that the authorities will manage to bring the outbreak under control.


Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 13 March – 19 March 2019

Barren Island | Andaman Islands (India) : Based on analysis of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 14 and 16 March ash plumes from Barren Island rose to altitudes of 0.9 km (3,000 ft) and 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l., respectively, and drifted W and SW.

Bezymianny | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Bezymianny was identified in satellite images during 12-15 March, and intense gas-end-steam emissions continued to rise from the crater. Hot avalanches originating from the top of the lava dome were visible in webcam images at night. Late on 15 March KVERT reported that activity continued to intensify noting that the number of hot avalanches increased and ash plumes from the avalanches drifted about 100 km SE. The temperature of the thermal anomaly also increased. The Aviation colour Code was raised to Red (the highest level on a four-colour scale). Seismic data suggested that a powerful explosive eruption began at 0511 on 16 March. At 0530 webcam images recorded explosions generating ash plumes that rose as high as 15 km (49,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 10 km E. Thirty minutes later satellite images indicated continuing ash emissions rising to 15 km a.s.l. Ashfall was reported in Ust-Kamchatsk Village (120 km ENE) during 0650-0730. An ash plume, 79 x 65 km in dimension, was also identified drifting ENE. Strong explosions continued to produce ash plumes on 16 March, although they were lower-altitude (5-6 km (16,400-19,700 ft) a.s.l.) and had a higher concentration of ash. The plumes drifted E. By 0930 ash plumes were rising to altitudes of 4-4.5 (13,100-14,800 ft) a.s.l.; ash plumes drifted 100 km E. A large ash plume, 120 x 130 km in dimension, continued to drift E at an altitude of 15 km. The Aviation colour Code was lowered to Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale). By 1307 on 16 March satellite images showed ash plumes drifting 650 km E. The report noted that ashfall was likely occurring in Nikolskoye (370 km ESE) on Bering Island.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that during 8-12 March explosions at Karymsky generated ash plumes that rose as high as 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 100 km E. A thermal anomaly was visible on 10 and 12 March. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kirishimayama | Kyushu (Japan) : The number of volcanic earthquakes below Shinmoedake (Shinmoe peak), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, increased on 25 February prompting JMA to raise the Alert Level to 2 (on a scale of 1-5). The number of daily volcanic earthquakes decreased during 3-4 March, and each day through 18 March only a few were recorded.

Mayon | Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that during 13-19 March white steam plumes periodically emitted from Mayon drifted mainly W and SW, and crater incandescence was visible nightly. Three phreatic events, recorded at 1510, 1518, and 1534 on 12 March, generated light-brown-to-grayish ash plumes that rose 500-1,000 m above the crater rim and drifted SW. Six phreatic events on 13 March, recorded at 0906, 0939, 0946, 0955, 1000, and 1059, produced ash plumes that rose 200-700 m and drifted W. A phreatic event at 1855 on 14 March generated an ash plume that rose 500 m and drifted SW. 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.

Tengger Caldera | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 1 January-17 March plumes rising from Tengger Caldera’s Bromo cone were generally white to gray in colour, had variable densities, and rose no higher than 700 m above the crater rim. Tremor signals increased on 10 March and were accompanied by changes in the colour and height of the emissions. On 16 March a dense gray ash plume rose 1.5 km and drifted E, causing ashfall in areas both inside and outside the caldera. Two seismic signals indicating explosions were recorded around 1547 on 17 March. Periods of continuous ash emissions were observed during 17-18 March, with ash plumes rising as high as 1.2 km above the crater rim and drifting NE, N, NW, and W. At 1020 on 19 March a black ash plume rose 1.5 km and drifted E and NE. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Villarrica | Chile : POVI reported that on 17 March sporadic Strombolian explosions at Villarrica ejected incandescent material about 25 m above the summit crater rim.