Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.3 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits North Island, New Zealand.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Kenya – The Masinga Dam, the largest man-made lake in East and Central Africa has spilled, raising fears that it may cause floods and destruction of property in surrounding villages. Water levels have risen in the dam due to heavy rains pounding the area.

Uganda – The ongoing heavy rain in Bugisu Sub-region has washed away nearly 20 bridges on several roads connecting the sub-region to various districts, leaving travellers stranded. The rivers that burst their banks due to the downpour include, Manafwa, Solokho, Tsutu, Namatala and Nabuyonga.

Wildlife

Innkeeper Worms Wash Up on California Beach

Thousands of unusual marine worms, called fat innkeeper worms — or “penis fish”— washed up on Drake’s Beach in California after a recent storm.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

An out-of-control bushfire has burnt through more than 11,000 hectares of land north of Perth with residents urged to leave while they still can.

In regional Victoria, a spate of grassfires razed farmland and destroyed a shed, with police investigating the blazes, which started in “quick succession”.

Disease

Measles – Samoa

Health officials in Samoa released the latest numbers on the measles outbreak in the country today. The Ministry of Health confirms a total of 5,080 measles cases have been reported to the Disease Surveillance Team, since the outbreak started. There were 85 recorded in the last 24 hours. There are currently 169 measles deaths reported.

African Swine Fever – Indonesia

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported Thursday that Indonesia is the latest Asian country to report an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF). According to FAO: The Minister of Agriculture announced the confirmation of ASF outbreak in North Sumatra Province on 12 December 2019.

Wildlife

Thousands of baby flying foxes starve after Australian bushfires

Thousands of baby grey-headed flying foxes have been abandoned by their mothers in the latest example of wildlife devastation caused by Australia’s severe drought and bushfires, which disrupted the bats’ ability to produce milk for their offspring.

A threatened species, the grey-headed flying fox is one of the world’s largest bats, with a wingspan of up to a meter, and is covered in dark grey fur with an orange collar.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 115.0 degrees Fahrenheit (46.1 degrees Celsius) in Birdsville, Queensland.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 59.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50.5 degrees Celsius) at Verkhoyansk, Siberia.

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.

Disease

Ebola – DR Congo

Twenty-seven new confirmed cases were reported from 4 to 10 December in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 4 December – 10 December 2019

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible at night during 2-9 December. There were 15 explosions and four non-explosive eruptive events detected by the seismic network. Ash plumes rose 2.3-2.6 km above the crater rim and blocks were ejected as far as 1.7 km away. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible at night during 2-9 December. There were 15 explosions and four non-explosive eruptive events detected by the seismic network. Ash plumes rose 2.3-2.6 km above the crater rim and blocks were ejected as far as 1.7 km away. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 4-9 December 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 30 November and 1-2 and 5 December that sent ash plumes up to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted NE and E. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 2-8 December lava continued to effuse from Karangetang’s Main Crater (S), traveling as far as 1.8 km down the Nanitu, Pangi, and Sense drainages on the SW and W flanks. Sometimes dense white plumes rose to 200 m above the summit. Incandescence from both summit craters was visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy was visible on 29 November and 1 December, the same days a weak thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Reventador | Ecuador : IG reported that during 8-15 October seismic data from Reventador’s network indicated a high level of seismic activity, including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and signals indicating emissions. Weather sometimes prevented views of the summit area, although during clear conditions ash, gas, and steam plumes were visible rising sometimes higher than 1 km above the crater rim and drifting N, NW, W, and SW. Crater incandescence was periodically observed at night. Blocks rolled 500-700 m down the flanks in multiple directions during 7-10 December.

Sangay | Ecuador : IG reported that the eruption at Sangay that began on 7 May was continuing as of 4 December without a notable increase or decrease in activity levels. Activity was concentrated at two eruptive centers: the Central Crater and the Ñuñurcu dome (located 190 m SSE of Central Crater). Sporadic explosions at Central Crater produced ash plumes that rose as high as 2 km above the crater rim and drifted mainly NE during the previous month. Minor ashfall was recorded in the towns of Alao (20 km NW), Cebadas (35 km WNW), and Guaguallá (Chimborazo province), in Macas (42 km SSE, Morona-Santiago province), and in the Azuay province. Almost continuous lava effusion from the Ñuñurcu dome fed lava flows that traveled down the SE flank. Collapses along the margins of the lava flows generated small pyroclastic flows and small rockfalls that reached the upper channel of the Río Volcán. These deposits created dams which were remobilized by rainfall into lahars, which in turn partially dammed parts of the river at the confluence of the Río Upano. Parque Nacional Sangay and IG-EPN staff measured deposits at the confluence that were more than 2 m thick on 27 November; similar deposits were observed along a 16-km stretch upsteam. Sulfur dioxide emissions up to 640 tons/day were detected by satellite in recent weeks, and a strong sulfur odor was noted around 1 km above the crater rim during a 3 December overflight.

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : The Darwin VAAC reported that during 4-5 and 7-9 December discrete ash emissions from Sangeang Api rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, W, and SW. A thermal anomaly was visible on 27 November. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 29 November-6 December. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Shishaldin | Fox Islands (USA) : AVO reported that elevated surface temperatures at Shishaldin were identified in satellite images during 3-4 December consistent with lava effusion, and a pilot confirmed active lava flows on the flank. Continuous tremor was recorded by the seismic network during 4-5 December. Seismicity, including Strombolian explosion signals, continued to increase until 2100 on 5 December and then afterwards was characterized by episodic tremor bursts and occasional Strombolian activity. Intermittent, very minor, and low-level ash or steam emissions near the summit and along the N flank were visible in clear webcam views on 5 December. A new lava flow had traveled 1.4 km down the NW flank. The eruption either slowed or paused during 6-7 December as evidenced by decreased seismicity and slightly elevated surface temperatures in satellite data. Temperatures again increased and were slightly elevated during 7-9 December, likely signifying renewed lava effusion. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

Global Warming

Scientists detect methane surge in South Sudan

Scientists think they can now explain at least part of the recent growth in methane levels in the atmosphere. Researchers, led from Edinburgh University, UK, say their studies point to a big jump in emissions coming from just the wetlands of South Sudan.

Satellite data indicates the region received a large pulse of water from East African lakes, including Victoria. This would have boosted CH4 from the wetlands, accounting for a significant part of the rise in global methane.

Environment

Smoke Pollution – Sydney, Australia

Bushfire smoke smothered Sydney on Tuesday, setting off fire alarms, suspending ferry services and triggering health warnings over choking air pollution.

The Sydney Opera House and harbour bridge were barely discernible through the thick haze enveloping the city, with smoke stinging the eyes and making it difficult to breathe.

The Air Quality Index compiled by the state environment department reached as high as 2,552 in some eastern suburbs — soaring past the “hazardous” threshold of 200. The pollution has been so bad it has set off smoke alarms in office buildings across the CBD, while ash has been washing up on the city’s usually pristine beaches. Flight arrivals at Sydney Airport were delayed by up to 30 minutes due to poor visibility.

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