Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the Prince Edward Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits Kepulauan Sangihe, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 earthquake hits Puerto Rico.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 04p (Sarai), located approximately 164 nm south-southeast of Suva, Fiji, is tracking east-southeastward at 07 knots.


Fiji – Nearly 2,000 people took refuge in emergency shelters and one man was missing after being swept away in floodwaters as Tropical Cyclone Sarai pounded Fiji on Saturday causing widespread damage. With wind gusts strengthening to 150 kilometres per hour during the day, Sarai destroyed houses and crops, brought down trees, cut power and caused considerable flooding in low-lying areas. Thousands of holidaymakers were stranded with flights to and from Fiji either cancelled or rescheduled.

Kenya – Torrential rains caused massive floods in western Kenya on Saturday, affecting thousands of families in the region. Government officials said over 6,000 families in Kisumu were displaced and had lost their property, much of which was destroyed following a night of heavy rain. Many local residents have said they have no dry place to sleep and feared the flooding could worsen as they wait for aid.


Another record year for manatee deaths

Wildlife experts say more manatees were killed by boaters in Florida this year than in any other.

At a time when boaters are supposed to slow down, wildlife experts say some aren’t following the rules, with deadly results. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says last year, 125 manatees were killed by boat, and so far this year, 129 manatees were killed.

Although manatees are no longer listed as endangered, they still face many dangers.

Koala Receives Water from Passing Cyclists

This desperate koala can be seen hastily drinking water in a bid to cool down amid the soaring heat in Australia. The marsupial approached a group of cyclists who were riding towards Adelaide, where temperatures are nearing 40C. The group saw the stricken animal in the middle of the road when they went round a bend in the state of South Australia and came to its assistance.

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Wildfires – Australia

Victorian authorities have told thousands of visitors and residents in East Gippsland – an area half the size of Belgium – to leave immediately as a bushfire threat looms.

There were three active fires in east Gippsland on Sunday with a combined area of more than 130,000ha. An evacuation warning has been issued for the east Gippsland town of Goonergah, which is surrounded by high-value old growth forests.

East Gippsland is popular with campers and holidaymakers over the New Year period. Up to 30,000 people are on holiday at Lakes Entrance, 300km east of Melbourne.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week 18 December-24 December 2019

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible at night during 16-23 December. There were 16 explosions and nine non-explosive eruptive events detected by the seismic network. Ash plumes rose as high as 2.5 km above the crater rim and material was ejected 0.5-1.3 km away from the crater. 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 18-24 December ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, ESE, and SE. 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 15-17 December that sent ash plumes up to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted E, causing ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk during 16-17 December. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Fuego | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that there were 8-18 explosions per hour recorded at Fuego during 18-24 December, generating ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim and drifted 10-205 km S, SW, and W. Ashfall was reported in several areas downwind including Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), and El Porvenir (8 km ENE). Explosions sometimes produced shock waves that rattled houses in nearby communities. Incandescent material was ejected 100-300 m high and caused avalanches of material that occasionally traveled long distances (reaching vegetated areas) down the Seca (W), Taniluyá (SW), Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), and Las Lajas (SE) ravines. Incandescent material traveled about 300 m down the Seca drainage during 23-24 December.

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 16-22 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 150 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).

Kirishimayama | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that the increase in the number of volcanic earthquakes with hypocenters just below Shinmoedake (Shinmoe peak), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, only lasted during 17-18 November. The number of volcanic earthquakes was low after that and no other data indicated increased activity. Scientists noted no changes to geothermal areas on the crater floor and below cracks on the W flank during a field survey on 12 December. The Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 1-5) on 20 December.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy was identified in satellite images during 12-15 and 17 December, and Strombolian activity was visible during 13-15 and 17 December. Gas-and-steam plumes rose to 5-5.5 km (16,400-18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45 km NE on 14 and 19 December. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : The Darwin VAAC reported that during 18-19 December discrete minor ash emissions from Sangeang Api rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. 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 13-20 December. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Shishaldin | Fox Islands (USA) : AVO reported that the eruption at Shishaldin continued during 18-24 December. Elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images, though clouds sometimes prevented views. Seismicity remained elevated and was characterized by ongoing tremor and periodic weak explosions. Satellite imagery indicated that the active summit cone had grown after collapsing the week before. Minor ash emissions drifted S on 19 December and E at 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. on 21 December. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.