Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.1 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Coquimbo, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Screen Shot 2019 06 28 at 2 17 00 PM

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Alvin is located about 535 mi…860 km sw of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…nw or 305 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

NewsBytes:

USA – Major flooding hits Chicago south suburbs, northwest Indiana after storms. Rain and storms left several parts of the Chicago area underwater with flooding late Wednesday into Thursday morning. In northwest Indiana, several houses were flooded and roads closed with high standing water, leaving drivers stranded. The Indiana-2 railroad underpass west of Lowell was completely flooded out.

Environment

“Plasticrust”

EWCOLOR

Researchers say they have found a strange new combination of rock and plastic forming on Portugal’s Atlantic island of Madeira.

Researcher Ignacio Gestoso says the new hybrid geology was first observed on the island’s volcanic shore in 2016, the apparent result of waterborne plastic pollution being slammed into rocks by wave action.

The new “plasticrust” looks like melted plastic encrusted on the rocks, according to Gestoso and colleagues at the island’s Marine and Environmental Research Center. They say the plastic is mainly polyethylene, a mixture of polymers and ethylene used in single-use packaging, bottles and food containers.

Heatwave in Europe

Europe’s record-breaking heatwave is forecast to intensify further on Thursday with authorities on high alert as temperatures threaten to exceed 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the continent.

The stifling heat prompted traffic restrictions in France, sparked forest fires in Spain, and fanned debate in Germany over public nudity as sweltering residents stripped down.

Meteorologists blame a blast of hot air from northern Africa for the heat this week, which has already set new records in Europe for June. According to reports, the high temperatures have already claimed the lives of three people.

Exceptional for arriving so early in summer, the heatwave will on Thursday and Friday likely send mercury above 40C in France, Spain and Greece.

Paris Bans 60% of Cars Due To Heatwave and Pollution Levels

Paris imposed a ban on older and less efficient cars on Wednesday and is due to stay in place within the A86 second ring-road – which encompasses Paris and 79 towns around it – as long as the hot weather lasts, the city council said.

Data firm AAA Data said that nearly five million vehicles registered in the Ile-de-France area around Paris were covered, about 60 percent of total, a record number to be restricted. The city was not immediately available to comment on those estimates.

Traffic was lighter in Paris, but not significantly so. Several drivers said they were ignoring the restrictions as the fines for breaking them – just 68 euros ($77) for cars and 135 euros for vans – were so low.

French authorities also stepped up restrictions on water use on Thursday as swathes of western Europe remained in the grip of an intense heatwave.

Paris’ driving ban was imposed under the new “Crit’Air” colored stickers system, which classifies cars by age and pollution levels.

Only electric or hydrogen vehicles, petrol cars registered after Jan. 2006 and diesel cars registered from Jan. 2011 – corresponding to Crit’Air levels 1 and 2 out of 5 – were allowed on the roads.

Wildlife

Domestic honeybee diseases threaten wild bumblebees

Bee populations around the world are in decline, among them many species of wild bumblebees.

New research by the University of Vermont in the US has found that diseases transmitted by domestic honeybees could be to blame for this.

Lead researcher Samantha Alger, an expert beekeeper and researcher in the university’s Department of Plant and Soil Science and Gund Institute for Environment, found that several of the viruses affecting bumblebees had spread from managed bees in apiaries to nearby populations of wild bumblebees.

Her research had shown that this was occurring due to different species of bees sharing flowers during pollination.

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) were at a high risk, due to numerous factors, including land degradation and the use of pesticides, she said.

Native bee populations such as the rusty patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis) were being listed as severely threatened in terms of the Endangered Species Act in the US, as populations had declined by an estimated 90%.

This species had long been a key pollinator of various fruit crops such as cranberries, plums, apples and other agricultural plants.

The research team discovered that two well-known RNA viruses found in honeybees, the deformed wing virus and the black queen cell virus were more prevalent in bumblebees collected less than 300m from commercial beehives.

The study also found that active infections of the deformed wing virus were higher near commercial apiaries, but no deformed wing virus infections were found in the bumblebees collected where foraging honeybees and apiaries were absent.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius) in Salah, Algeria.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 98.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 72.2 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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Spain

Firefighters battled wildfires at a scale not seen for 20 years in Spain. More than 500 firefighters and soldiers struggled to bring a huge forest fire under control in the Catalan province of Tarragona that has so far burned across 5,500 hectares (12,355 acres) of land. Fifty-three people have been evacuated from their homes, five roads remain cut off and the civil protection authorities have advised people not to enter the area unless absolutely necessary. Hundreds of sheep have died in the smoke and flames.

Disease

Dengue Fever – Philippines – Update

The number of dengue cases in the country continue to rise with rainy season now here. Since the beginning of the year through June 1, the Philippines has seen 83,570 cases, including 354 deaths.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 19 June – 25 June 2019

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 17-21 June very small eruptive events at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) were recorded, as well as periodic crater incandescence through 24 June. An explosion recorded on 24 June generated a plume that rose 1.6 km above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 19-25 June ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 14-15 June that sent ash plumes up to 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted NW and NE. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 21 June ash plumes from Ibu rose to 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N and NE based on satellite images and weather models. During 24-25 June ash plumes rose to 1.5-2.4 km (5,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and ESE. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater, and 3.5 km away on the N side.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images during 14-15 June. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy was visible in satellite images on 14 June. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that Anak Krakatau’s seismic network recorded at least four eruptive events during 17-24 June. The events were not followed by visible ash emissions, though observations were hindered by weather conditions. A Surtseyan eruption was recorded by a local webcam around 0909 on 25 June. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km radius hazard zone from the crater.

Merapi | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 17-23 June the lava-dome volume at Merapi did not change and was an estimated 458,000 cubic meters, based on analyses of drone images. Extruded lava fell into the upper parts of the SE-flank, generating two block-and-ash flows that traveled 1.2 km down the Gendol drainage on 17 and 20 June. White plumes rose as high as 500 m above the summit. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Poas | Costa Rica : On 21 June OVSICORI-UNA reported that small, frequent phreatic eruptions from vent A (Boca Roja) were visible during good viewing conditions at Poás ejecting material less than 10 m high.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 19-25 June there were 26-201 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained minor amounts of ash. An explosion at 2058 on 21 June produced an ash plume that rose 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted W, and ejected incandescent material less than 1 km onto the flanks. Minor ashfall was reported in areas downwind including the municipalities of Ozumba (18 km W), Atlautla (16 km W), and Ecatzingo (15 km SW) in the State of Mexico, and in Tetela del Volcán (20 km SW) in the State of Morelos. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-colour scale).

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 20 June an ash plume from Semeru rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E based on satellite images.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch’s lava dome was identified daily in satellite images during 14-21 June. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Villarrica | Chile : According to POVI, observers near Villarrica during 20-21 June reported hearing noises from the volcano. The webcam recorded incandescent material ejected above the crater rim.