Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits off the coast of Oregon, USA.

5.2 earthquake hits south of Tonga.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Sierra Leone – Torrential rains starting from 2 August have led to flooding in Freetown. Despite the normal peak of the rainy season in August, the soil was previously saturated by rains in July. At least 6 people are reported dead and some 5,000 people are believed to have lost their shelter. Informal settlements, including impoverished slum communities, scattered around the city and mostly built in flood or landslide prone areas, are the most affected.

Saudi Arabia – Parts of Taif were lashed by heavy rains on Thursday, prompting the civil defence agency to warn people in the governorate to shun flood-hit valleys and pooled water. Rescue teams saved two families, who had been trapped by flash floods in the western Saudi region, media reported on Friday.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Borneo

The state Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) has recorded 494 cases involving wildfires from Aug 1 till today. In a statement released by Bomba today, 1391.73 acres of land have been affected by the forest, bush and peat soil fires. Kuching recorded the highest bushfire cases as of today with eight cases, followed by Miri with four cases.

Wildfires – Colorado, USA

At least two evacuation orders were in place for residents in Jefferson County as a wildfire continued to burn in the area well into the night Thursday. In total, 328 homes were affected, but officials said that no structures had been lost.

Disease

Typhoid – Singapore

Singapore health officials apparently issued a memo for physicians recently due to an increase in locally acquired typhoid fever. According to the memo, posted on the Etern Medical Facebook page, as of August 13, 15 local cases have been confirmed from July 13 through August 2. All the patients were hospitalized and stable.

Syphilis – Japan

Syphilis has become a big public health issue in recent years, with 2018 seeing more than 6,000 cases globally, the highest number since 1970. To date in 2019, the Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) has reported 3894 cases, including 1,010 cases in Tokyo, more than 25 percent of the country’s total.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

5.0 earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm 11w (Krosa) is located approximately 296 nm west of Misawa, Japan, is tracking north-northeastward at 18 knots.

Screen Shot 2019 08 16 at 12 30 47 PM

NewsBytes:

Japan – Heavy rains lashed parts of western Japan on Thursday as tropical storm Krosa bore down on the country, forcing the cancellations of hundreds of flights and trains as authorities advised more than 400,000 people to evacuate.

Environment

Plastic Pollution goes Airborne

Tiny bits of microplastics have been discovered in recent months in rainwater and snowfall from Colorado to the Arctic.

They join similar plastic pollution that has shown up in groundwater, rivers and lakes, and at the deepest depths of the sea.

Scientists from the Northwest Passage Project, taking ice core samples this summer in Arctic Canada, say they also found visible plastic beads and filaments of various shapes and sizes in the ice.

Earlier studies have found that plastic has fallen from the sky in Europe’s Pyrenees Mountains, a region near Hong Kong, the Iranian capital of Tehran and Paris.

EWCOLOR

Global Warming

Fracking Methane

A new study concludes that the recent boom in fracking to extract shale gas, largely composed of methane, is responsible for a surge in the atmospheric concentration of the powerful greenhouse gas over the past decade.

Robert Howarth at Cornell University says he estimates that fracking in the U.S. and Canada is also responsible for more than half of the increase in the global fossil fuel emissions seen over the past 10 years.

His report warns that if shale gas extraction continues to rise, it will make the goals of the Paris climate change agreement even more difficult to achieve.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50.0 degrees Celsius) in Mitribah, Kuwait.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 102.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 74.4 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 – Canary Islands

The heart of Spain’s Gran Canaria has been left devastated by two wildfires that ravaged big chunks of the island this week. One of the blazes started on Saturday in the north of the island, close to a prehispanic archaeological site declared a UNESCO world heritage site last month. The flames burnt through 1,500 hectares and reached nearby towns. On Monday, a second fire was declared in Telde, in the east of the island.

Wildfires – France

More than 500 firefighters have been called out to battle a blaze that has already destroyed hundreds of hectares of pine forest in southern France. Some 900 hectares have been destroyed since the fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon in the rugged hills of the Aude department, about 100 kilometres southeast of Toulouse.

Disease

Dengue Fever – Thailand

Thailand health officials reported an additional 4,500 dengue fever cases during the past week, which has brought the total case tally to 49,174 cases with 64 deaths.

African Swine Fever – Myanmar

Myanmar is now the 7th Asian country to report confirmed African swine fever (ASF) cases. The ASF virus was confirmed in Wan Nwet Village, Mongla, Keng Tung, Shan State on the Myanmar/China border where 15 cases were reported, including 12 deaths.

Banana-killing virus reaches Latin America

Officials in Colombia declared a national emergency after confirming the presence of this deadly fungus, known as Fusarium oxysporum Tropical Race 4 (TR4), in the country. This is the first time the fungus has been detected in Latin America. However, the fungus isn’t new — for decades, it has been devastating banana plantations in Asia, Australia and East Africa.

Although this fungus isn’t harmful to humans, it is a “serious threat” to banana production, according to the United Nations. The fungus attacks the plant’s roots and blocks its vascular system — the network used to transport water and nutrients — and ultimately kills the plant. Once the fungus finds its way into soil, it can’t be treated with fungicides, and it’s very difficult to remove.

What’s more, the fungus attacks the most commonly exported banana, the Cavendish banana. Cavendish bananas reproduce asexually, meaning that the plants are essentially clones of their parents. This means banana crops lack genetic diversity, and infections can spread quickly.

Ebola – DR Congo

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continued this week with similar transmission intensity to recent weeks, with an average of 81 cases per week (range 68 to 91 cases per week) in the past six weeks.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 7 August – 13 August 2019

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 5-13 August very small eruptive events were detected at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano), though none of them were explosive. Crater incandescence was occasionally visible in webcams at night. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Asosan | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that increased eruptive activity at Asosan that began on 28 July continued at least through 13 August. Ash plumes drifted N and NW, and crater incandescence was visible at night. Sulfur dioxide gas emissions were very high at 2,000-5,000 tons per day. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and statements from ground-based observers, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-13 August 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. Ashfall was reported on 8 August at the Galela Airport, Maluku Utara, 17 km NW. 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 on 2 and 4 August that sent ash plumes up to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. A thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images on those same two days. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 7-12 August white-to-gray plumes rose 200-800 m above Ibu’s crater rim. 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.

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 5-11 August lava continued to effuse from Karangetang’s Main Crater and travel down drainages on the W and SW flanks, producing incandescent avalanches that descended those same drainages. White plumes rose from the summit craters rose 50-100 m above the peak. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was visible in satellite images during 2 and 4-6 August. Ash plumes drifted 180 km SE and NW during 3-5 August. 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 during 5-6 August. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Merapi | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 5-11 August the lava-dome volume at Merapi had decreased compared to the week before and was an estimated 461,000 cubic meters, based on analyses of drone images. Extruded lava fell into the upper parts of the SE-flank, generating a total of two block-and-ash flows that traveled as far as 1.2 km down the Gendol drainage on 4 and 6 August. Diffuse white plumes rose as high as 50 m above the summit on some days. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to stay outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : ONEMI and SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 8-13 August multiple explosions at Nevados de Chillán’s Nicanor Crater generated gas-and-ash plumes and ejected incandescent material around the crater. These explosions were recorded at 0438 on 8 August, at 2223 on 10 August, at 1831 and 1952 on 12 August, and at 0427, 1058, and 1116 on 13 August. Eruption plumes rose as high as 765 m above the summit. The Alert Level remained at Orange, the second highest level on a four-colour scale, and residents were reminded not to approach the crater within 3 km. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the communities of Pinto, Coihueco, and San Fabián; on 13 August they stated that the public should stay at least 3 km away from the crater on the SW flank and 5 km away on the ENE flank.

Piton de la Fournaise | Reunion Island (France) : OVPF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise began at 0700 on 11 August and was accompanied by rapid deformation. The locations of the earthquakes and area of deformation indicated that magma rose from deep under the SE edge of Dolomieu Crater to beneath the E and SE flanks. Tremor began around 1620, indicating the likely start of this year’s fourth eruption, though inclement weather conditions prevented visual confirmation. The Alert Level was raised to 2-2. On 12 August OVPF confirmed that fissures had opened in the E part of l’Enclos Fouqué, SE of the upper Grandes Pentes. Scientists saw two fissures, about 1.4 km apart, at 1,700 and 1,500 m elevation during an overflight on 13 August. Only the lowest elevation fissure was active. Three distinct cones along the fissure fed lava flows that merged into one which traveled to 665 m elevation and caused small fires as it burned local vegetation.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 7-13 August there were 125-209 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained ash. As many as seven explosions were recorded daily, with the exceptions of 7 August (no explosion were detected) and 11 August (16 were documented). Two explosions on 13 August were characterized as major (at 0427 and 0453) and ejected incandescent material onto the flanks. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-colour scale).

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : The Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-13 August ash plumes from Sangeang Api were identified in satellite images rising to 2.4-3 km (8,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Semisopochnoi | United States : AVO reported that during 7-13 August seismicity at Semisopochnoi remained elevated and was characterized by periods of continuous tremor and discrete low-frequency earthquakes. No unusual activity was observed in satellite images, though views were often cloudy. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch’s lava dome was identified daily in satellite images during 2-9 August. A diffuse ash plume rose to 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 40 km NW on 5 August. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Stromboli | Aeolian Islands (Italy) : INGV reported that Stromboli’s crater terrace activity was analyzed during 5-11 August through webcam views, and field inspections during 7-8 August. At least nine vents in Area N (north crater area, NCA) were active on 7 August, three of which had well-formed spatter cones, with Strombolian activity ejecting material 150 m high. A large scoria cone in Area C-S (South Central crater area) jetted material 200 m high. Lava from Area C-S vents continued to travel down the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco, reaching 500-600 m elevation.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that volcanic earthquakes began to be detected at Suwanosejima on 4 August and volcanic tremors were occasionally recorded during 4-9 August. Four eruptive events occurred at Ontake Crater on 5 August and one on 6 August. Large blocks were ejected as far as 400 m and ash plumes rose as high as 1.5 km above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Villarrica | Chile : POVI reported that a portion of the E edge of Villarrica’s summit crater rim collapsed between 9 and 12 August.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 earthquake hits the Revilla Gigedo Islands.

5.5 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.4 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern Xizang, China.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Screen Shot 2019 08 15 at 1 28 37 PM

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm 11w (Krosa) is located approximately 35 nm southeast of Iwakuni, Japan, is tracking northward at 15 knots.

NewsBytes:

India – More than 500 persons have died and at least are 100 missing in torrential rains and floods across India by Wednesday (August 14), stated official data. In the last one week, 91 deaths have been reported from Kerala, 54 from Karnataka, 48 from Maharashtra and eight from Odisha. Between July and the first week of August, at least 98 deaths were reported from Gujarat, 123 in Bihar and 71 in Assam. With several persons still missing, authorities fear the toll will likely go up. While the flood water is receding from most states, the India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rainfall over the next five days in several places.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Greece

Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate their homes after three huge wildfires devastated a Greek island. Water-dropping planes and helicopters have been deployed to the island of Evia, where a huge blaze is burning through a protected nature reserve.

Residents from four villages and a monastery have had to flee as firefighters battle the wildfires, which broke out at about 3am on Tuesday. More than 200 firefighters are working to control the infernos, with one member of the force being taken to hospital after suffering serious burns.