Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6,6 earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

5.3 earthquake hits the Northern Territory, Australia.

5.2 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

Wildlife

Mass Die-Off of Puffins

Hundreds of “severely emaciated” puffin carcasses have washed ashore on an Alaskan island, and researchers believe thousands more have died at sea as warming waters continue to shrink their food supply.

Between October 2016 and January 2017, inhabitants of St Paul Island in the Bering sea found the starved bodies of more than 350 seabirds, primarily tufted puffins.

Analysing the location of bird carcasses and wind data, Timothy Jones at the University of Washington in Seattle and his colleagues estimated that between 3000 and 9000 birds died in total.

When they examined some of the bodies, they found no signs of infection or unsafe levels of toxins. “Collected specimens were severely emaciated, suggesting starvation as the ultimate cause of mortality,” Jones wrote.

Tufted puffins, which accounted for 79 per cent of the bird carcasses found, eat fish and marine invertebrates, which in turn eat phytoplankton. But changes to atmospheric conditions, including the ongoing heatwave, have massively disrupted the marine ecosystems, he wrote. There is less winter sea-ice, and warmer temperatures have been linked to fewer forage fish, crustaceans and other prey animals as they either die off or move north to cooler waters.

Almost all the puffins they found were adults in the process of moulting, which makes them flightless for up to 40 days and requires more nutritional energy than normal.

Tufted puffins st paul island 900 isaac sanchez cc by 20

Environment

Heatwave in India

Almost half of India has been put on heatwave alert, with at least 500 people being reported to have died in the heatwave sweeping India, with temperatures reaching 48C (118F) in some areas. Most deaths have taken place in the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, where more than 140 people have died since Saturday.

Wildfires

Wildfires – South Carolina, USA

So far, at least two wildfires have broken out in South Carolina amid a record-breaking heat wave. Fire managers at the Francis Marion National Forest say they a wildfire that started on Monday named the “Memorial Fire” are continuing to suppress a fire that has covered 1,300 acres so far. In Aiken County, officials evacuated residents near I-20 and Old Granite Hwy. on Tuesday due to a rapidly spreading fire named the “Gateway Fire” which has burned about 300 acres.

Disease

Ebola – DR Congo

A mob in eastern Congo killed an Ebola health worker and looted a clinic, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, underscoring a breakdown in public trust that is hampering efforts to contain the deadly virus.

Attacks on treatment centers by armed groups and mistrust among residents who view the disease as a conspiracy have become major impediments to containing Democratic Republic of Congo’s worst-ever Ebola outbreak.

The hemorrhagic fever has so far killed 1,281 people, according to the latest ministry figures, and shows no signs of slowing its spread, with dozens of new cases a week.

Hepatitis A – Florida, USA

The Florida Department of Health reported an additional 92 hepatitis A cases the week ending May 25, bringing the outbreak total for 2019 to 1312 cases.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 22 May – 28 May 2019

Colima | Mexico : Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia – Universidad de Colima reported that 51 low-magnitude explosions mainly from the NE part of Colima’s crater were recorded by the seismic and infrasound network during 11-24 May. Emissions from the explosions consisted mainly of water vapor and gas, and were the first surficial manifestations of activity since seismicity increased in the past few weeks. Footage from five drone overflights conducted on 22 May showed fumarolic activity on the inner wall of the NE part of the crater and a new small explosion crater near the center of the main crater.

Hakoneyama | Honshu (Japan) : JMA reported that the number of earthquakes at Hakoneyama increased on 18 May and remained elevated through 27 May. The epicenters were centered around the W bank of Lake Ashinoko and around Komagatake. Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) data continued to indicate a trend of inflation. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Sarychev Peak | Matua Island (Russia) : SVERT lowered the Alert Level for Sarychev Peak to Green on 22 May, noting that the last activity recorded was an ash plume on 16 May and a thermal anomaly on 17 May.

Sinabung | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that an eruption at Sinabung was recorded at 0253 on 25 May. An ash plume from the event drifted W and NW according to the Darwin VAAC; fog prevented ground-based visual observations. Ashfall was reported in several areas downwind according to a news article. At 0629 on 27 May a dense gray ash plume rose 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted S. The VAAC reported that at 0700 an ash plume was visible in satellite images at an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l., or 3.7 km above the crater rim. Eruptive events were recorded at 2323 on 27 May and 0118 on 28 May, though ash plumes were not visible. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 3 km and extensions to 5 km on the SE sector and 4 km in the NE sector.