Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

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

5.5 earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.2 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Mayotte region.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Indonesia – Residents of Indonesia’s capital who had been forced into shelters by widespread flooding began returning to their homes Thursday as the waters started to recede, though the death toll from the disaster jumped to 30. Those returning to their homes found streets covered in mud and debris. Cars that had been parked in driveways were swept away, landing upside down in parks or piled up in narrow alleys. Sidewalks were strewn with sandals, pots and pans and old photographs.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.7 degrees Celsius) in Death Valley, California.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 116.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 82.2 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, 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 – Australia

Australian bushfires sparked in September have spread for months, leading to a state of emergency in many regions.

As of the new year, the blazes have scorched more than 14 million acres of land, killed about half a billion animals, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Researchers from the University of Sydney believe 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been impacted in the state of New South Wales alone since the blazes first broke out in September.

The blazes are so large and widespread that satellites in space can easily photograph them from orbit.

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Disease

Ebola – DR Congo

Since the last disease outbreak news published on 19 December 2019, 29 new confirmed cases were reported from 18 to 31 December in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu province.

Chickenpox – Mexico

In a follow-up on an earlier report, health officials in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico are reporting the chickenpox outbreak at the Leona Vicario migrant shelter in Ciudad Juarez has grown to 127 confirmed cases.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the Week 25 December 2019 – 31 December 2019

Bezymianny | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : On 1 January KVERT reported that activity at Bezymianny had significantly declined during the previous week; the temperature of the thermal anomaly identified in satellite images decreased and nighttime lava-dome incandescence was no longer visible. The Aviation colour Code was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-colour scale).

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that on 29 December an eruption at Anak Krakatau recorded by the webcam generated an ash plume that rose 200 m above the vent and drifted N. According to Simon Carn, satellite images of the volcano acquired by Planet Labs on 30 December suggested that the crater lake was almost gone, replaced by tephra deposits and a growing cone. PVMBG noted that during 30-31 December seismicity increased, minor inflation was recorded, and eruption plumes rose as high as 2 km above the summit (about 157 m a.s.l.). An eruption at 0651 on 31 December produced a dense gray-to-black ash plume that rose around 1 km above the vent and drifted S. 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.

Pavlof | United States : On 28 December AVO announced that the Volcano Alert Level for Pavlof was raised to Advisory and the Aviation colour Code was raised to Yellow because seismicity was elevated above background levels during the previous few days. AVO noted that an eruption was not likely or imminent; however, past eruptions at Pavlof occurred with minor or no warning. Elevated seismicity continued through 31 December.

Saunders | South Sandwich Islands (UK) : Three distinct thermal anomalies in the summit crater of Michael on Saunders Island were identified in a satellite image acquired on 24 December. Satellite images from 29 November and 2 December showed similar anomalies.