Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.9 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the western Indian-Antarctic ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 06a (Pawan), located approximately 550 nm south of Salalah, Oman, is tracking west-southwestward at 05 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 03s (Ambali), located approximately 642 nm north-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking south-southwestward at 06 knots.

Tropical cyclone 02s (Belna), located approximately 847 nm north-northwest of St Denis, is tracking southwestward at 07 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Burundi – A landslide triggered by heavy rainfall has claimed the lives of 38 people in the Cibitoke province of northwestern Burundi. Out of total fatalities, 22 people died in Nyuempundu, 13 in Rukombe hill and three in Gikomero.

DR Congo – Heavy rain has flooded 10 provinces in the DRC, with more wet conditions forecast over the coming days. Nord and Sud Ubangui are among the most affected provinces and are also host to more than 130,000 Central African refugees. 260,000 people are affected in these two provinces, with an estimated 35,000 houses and 100 schools or health centres damaged or destroyed and 700 water points flooded.

La Nada

The U.N. weather agency said that neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions will emerge across the tropical Pacific Ocean during the next few months, but that doesn’t mean the world won’t experience freak and extreme weather.

World Meteorological Organization spokeswoman Clare Nullis told reporters that neutral ocean-temperature conditions will prevail through February.

Wildlife

Dolphin Dextrality

Researchers have observed that almost all bottle-nose dolphins appear to have a dominant right-hand side.

A team from the Florida-based Dolphin Communication Project say bottlenose dolphins appear to have an even more pronounced right-side bias than humans. The right-flipper trait is most evident when the mammals are chasing prey.

They almost always use the right flipper to make sharp left-hand turns just before digging their beaks into the sand to grab a meal. This appears to keeps their right eye and their right side close to the ocean floor during the forage.

Trump administration re-reauthorizes wildlife-killing M-44 ‘cyanide bombs’ despite strong opposition

After withdrawing an interim decision instituting minor restrictions on the use of sodium cyanide in wildlife-killing devices called M-44s, or “cyanide bombs,” the Trump administration today reissued a revised decision with slight modifications. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has now, again, approved cyanide bomb use on public lands even though they inhumanely and indiscriminately kill thousands of animals every year and have a history of severely injuring people.

Rare Siberian Tiger cubs

A hidden camera at Land of the Leopard National Park in Russia showed three Siberian Tiger Cubs playing as they waited for their mother who was hunting. The three cubs are four months old which is the most playful age and when hunting skills begin to develop.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (46.1 degrees Celsius) in Mardie, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 60.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.3 degrees Celsius) at Dzardzan, 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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

More than 2,000 firefighters are battling bushfires, which escalated in intensity late on Thursday. Authorities confirmed three fires had merged into a “mega blaze” north of Sydney on Friday, covering more than 300,000 hectares. That blaze is about the size of greater Sydney, officials said.

Australia’s largest city has been blanketed by thick smoke all week, causing a rise in medical problems.

Since October, bushfires have killed six people and destroyed more than 700 homes across Australia. The severity of the blazes so early in the fire season has caused alarm, and prompted calls for greater action to tackle climate change.

Australia’s bushfires have turned New Zealand’s glaciers red

Now, the Australian bushfire effects are being felt as far as New Zealand, as new images show that ash and smoke particles have travelled across the Tasman Sea, covering New Zealand’s Southern Alps in a layer of pink and red dust.

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Disease

Ebola – DR Congo

Nine new confirmed cases were reported from 27 November to 3 December in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

Dengue Fever – Sri Lanka

The number of dengue fever cases in Sri Lanka are rising at a fast pace and in November, nearly 20,000 cases were reported. Since the beginning of the year, health authorities have reported 83,365 cases to date, including 19,826 in November alone.

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

From 1 through 31 October 2019, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 15 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) infection and six associated deaths.

Super Swine

Chinese biotechnology centers are scrambling to use genetic engineering in an effort to create healthier hogs in the wake of an expanding African swine fever crisis that cost the country half of its pigs this year.

While individual farms have been trying to breed much larger and tastier swine with conventional methods, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have managed to breed hogs fortified with a gene that helps the animals cope with the bitterly cold winters in many parts of the country.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 27 November – 03 December 2019

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible at night during 25 November-2 December. There were 16 explosions and three non-explosive eruptive events detected by the seismic network. Ash plumes rose as high as 2.7 km above the crater rim and blocks were ejected as far as 1.3 km away. One of the explosions, recorded at 2010 on 28 November, produced an eruption plume that rose 3.3 km. 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 27 November-3 December ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, E, and NE. 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 22-23 and 28 November that sent ash plumes up to 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted SE and E, and produced ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 23 November. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on PVMBG observations and satellite images, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 3 December an ash plume from Ibu rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. A thermal anomaly was visible in satellite images.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy was visible during 21 and 26-27 November, and a weak thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images during 21-25 and 28 November. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that at 0543 on 27 October an eruptive event at Anak Krakatau ejected a white-and-black plume 150 m above the active vent. 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.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 26 November-3 December white-to-gray plumes from Nevados de Chillán’s Nicanor Crater rose as high as 1.7 km above the rim and drifted SE, NE, and NNW. Occasional explosions ejecting incandescent material onto the flank were visible at night. The report noted that the newest lava flow (L4) traveled down the NNE flank adjacent to three previous flows (L1, L2, and L3). The point of emission of L4 was about 60 m SSE of the emission point for the previous three lava flows. L4 had two lobes and was about 90 m long, measured from the rim of Nicanor Crater, on 27 November. By 29 November it had lengthened to 165 m. The volcano Alert Level remained at Orange, the second highest level on a four-colour scale. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the communities of Pinto, Coihueco, and San Fabián, and 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.

Sabancaya | Peru : Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported that an average of 17 daily low-to-medium intensity explosions occurred at Sabancaya during 25 November-1 December. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 4 km above the summit and drifted NE, E, and S. There were five thermal anomalies identified in satellite data, originating from the 240-m-diameter lava dome in the summit crater. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale) and the public were warned to stay outside of a 12-km radius.

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : The Darwin VAAC reported that during 27 November-3 December discrete and short-lived ash emissions from Sangeang Api rose to altitudes of 2.4-3.3 km (8,000-11,000 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 22-29 November. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Shishaldin | Fox Islands (USA) : AVO reported that seismic levels at Shishaldin were variable but elevated during 26 November-3 December. Weather clouds sometimes obscured satellite image views and mostly prevented webcam views, though elevated surface temperatures were still visible in multiple satellite images. An active 1.5-km-long lava flow on the NW flank was visible in satellite images on 1 December. Continuous tremor transitioned to episodic bursts during the morning of 2 December, but by 3 December a decrease in seismic activity and surface temperatures suggested another pause in lava effusion. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Stromboli | Aeolian Islands (Italy) : INGV reported that during 25 November-1 December activity at Stromboli was characterized by ongoing explosive activity mainly from three vents in Area N (north crater area) and at least three vents in Area C-S (south central crater area). Low-to-medium-intensity explosions from Area N occurred at a rate of 7-11 events per hour and ejected lapilli and bombs 80-150 m above the vents. Ejected tephra fell onto the flanks and some blocks rolled a few hundred meters along the Sciara del Fuoco. Medium-intensity explosions from Area C-S occurred at a rate of 4-8 events per hour and ejected coarse material to heights less than150 m above the vents. Material was deposited along the upper parts of the Sciara del Fuoco.