Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 earthquake hits near the coast of southern Peru.

5.3 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Screen Shot 2019 05 09 at 1 33 16 PM

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 26s (Lili), located approximately 257 nm north- northwest of Darwin, Australia, is tracking south-southwestward at 05 knots.

NewsBytes:

USA – Deadly thunderstorms unleashed baseball-sized hail, flooding rainfall and numerous tornadoes across western portions of Texas and Oklahoma Tuesday into late Wednesday as severe conditions jolted the region for a second consecutive day. The potent storms turned deadly after a man was swept away in rising waters in Austin, Texas, Wednesday afternoon. At least 17 preliminary tornadoes were reported on Tuesday. Law enforcement confirmed that a tornado moved from Howardwick to Alanreed, Texas, which is east of Amarillo. A dangerous situation unfolded on Tuesday evening as a large tornado tracked from near Hobart to Rocky, Oklahoma. An additional four tornadoes were reported Wednesday. Meanwhile, heavy rain inundated the Houston area through Tuesday evening. Heavy rainfall across south-central Kansas on Tuesday night closed portions of Interstate 35 from south of Wichita to the Kansas/Oklahoma border. People were evacuated from their homes and schools were closed or delayed Wednesday after Kansas was hit with back-to-back thunderstorms. The powerful storms disrupted power lines in regions across Texas. During Tuesday evening, over 30,000 customers were without power throughout the state. Severe weather across the south-central U.S. brought multiple strikes of lighting along with damaging winds and flash flooding, with over 200,000 lightning strikes across this region of the country over a 36-hour period.

Environment

A Single Thundercloud Carries 1 Billion Volts of Electricity

Using an array of sensors designed to measure electric fields and the intensity of muons — heavy particles that constantly rain down from Earth’s upper atmosphere, decaying as they pass through matter — the team measured the voltage of a large thundercloud that rolled over Ooty, a town in India, for 18 minutes on Dec. 1, 2014. The researchers found that, on average, the cloud was charged with about 1.3 gigavolts of electricity, which is 1.3 times 10^9 volts — roughly 10 million times more voltage than is supplied by a typical power outlet in North America.

Armed with this knowledge, the researchers were finally able to calculate that the thunderstorm carried about 2 gigawatts of power, making this single cloud more powerful than the most powerful nuclear power plants in the world.

Screen Shot 2019 05 09 at 1 26 54 PM

Global Warming

U.N. Secretary-General Warns of ‘Total Disaster’ If Global Warming Isn’t Stopped

The United Nations secretary-general said the world must dramatically change the way it fuels factories, vehicles and homes to limit future warming to a level scientists call nearly impossible.

That’s because the alternative “would mean a catastrophic situation for the whole world,” António Guterres told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview.

Guterres said he’s about to tour Pacific islands to see how climate change is devastating them as part of his renewed push to fight it. He is summoning world leaders to the U.N. in September to tell them “they need to do much more in order for us to be able to reverse the present trends and to defeat the climate change.”

That means, he said, the world has to change, not in small incremental ways but in big “transformative” ways, into a green economy with electric vehicles and “clean cities.”

Guterres said he will ask leaders to stop subsidizing fossil fuels. Burning coal, oil and gas triggers warming by releasing heat-trapping gases.

He said he wants countries to build no new coal power plants after 2020. He wants them to put a price on the use of carbon. And ultimately he wants to make sure that by 2050 the world is no longer putting more greenhouse gases into the air than nature sucks out.

Global temperatures have already risen about 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) since the industrial age began. The issue is how much more the thermometers will rise.

Wildlife

Ocean wildlife gain reprieve as offshore drilling plan delayed indefinitely

North Atlantic right whales and other marine wildlife are safe, at least for now, from a Trump administration plan to expand offshore drilling.

On April 25, US Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told The Wall Street Journal that the administration is indefinitely delaying plans to open 90 percent of all federal waters to oil and gas leasing. The delay stems from a U.S. District Court ruling in March that blocked proposed lease sales in the Arctic Ocean. Secretary Bernhardt said the administration will wait for the appeals process to run its course before proceeding with a broader drilling expansion.

Disease

Dengue Fever – Reunion – Update

Health officials in Reunion reported an additional 1322 confirmed dengue fever cases during the week ending April 28. This brings the total cases for the first four months of 2019 to more than 9200. Areas in the south of the island continue to be very active for dengue.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

From 1 March through 8 April 2019, the National International Health Regulations (IHR) Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 45 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 13 deaths.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 1 May – 7 May 2019

Asosan | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that sulfur dioxide emissions at Asosan’s Nakadake Crater continued to be very high at 3,200 tons per day on 2 May. At night during 2-3 May webcams recorded weak incandescence from the crater. At 1540 on 3 May a very small eruption produced an off-white plume that rose 600 m above the crater rim. Later that day, at 1948, an ash plume rose 2 km and, according to the Tokyo VAAC, drifted S. Emissions from eruptive events continued until 0620 on 5 May, rising to 500 m. Afterwards white plumes rose as high as 1.1 km, at least through 7 May. Crater incandescence continued to be visible. During a field survey on 4 May ashfall was confirmed in areas downwind including parts of Takamori (7 km SSE), Minamiaso village (8 km SW), and Yamato (24 km SSW). Sulfur dioxide emissions were 4,000 tons per day on 4 May, and 3,100 tons per day on 6 May. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Colima | Mexico : Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia – Universidad de Colima reported increased seismicity at Colima during 20-26 April characterized by a considerable increase in the number of high-frequency and volcano-tectonic events. On 26 April a consensus was reached to raise the Alert Level to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-colour scale) and extend the exclusion zone to a 8-km radius during a meeting of the Coordinación Nacional de Protección Civil (CNPC), the Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil Colima (UEPC), the Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil y Bomberos de Jalisco (UEPCBJ), the Universidad de Colima (UdeC), and la Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG). Seismicity continued to be elevated through 3 May. The largest events (M 2.4-3) were located 0.5-3 km deep in the N and NE parts of the volcano.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy was identified in satellite images during 26 April-3 May. The Aviation colour Code was raised to Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Sinabung | Indonesia : PVMBG and BNPB reported that an eruption at Sinabung at 0641 on 7 May generated a dense ash plume that rose 2 km above the crater rim and drifted SW, causing the sky to turn dark in some areas. The eruption lasted 42 minutes and 49 seconds according to the seismic data. Ashfall was reported on farms in many villages in the Simpang Empat (7 km SE), Namanteran, Kabanjahe, and Berastadi districts. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 3 km and extensions to 7 km on the SSE sector, 6 km in the ESE sector, and 4 km in the NNE sector.