Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.6 earthquake hits western Turkey.

5.6 earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia.

5.6 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits Myanmar.

5.1 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.1 earthquake hits southeast od Easter Island.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere – Tropical cyclone (tc) 09s (Nine), located approximately 449 nm east-southeast of Port Mathurin, Mauritius, is tracking south-southeastward at 14 knots.


Iran – Since 11 January, heavy rains and river overflowing have led to widespread floods, affecting especially Sistan and Baluchistan (SB), Hormozgan and Kerman. Depth of water reached 8 metres. New waves of rain are expected. In SB, 13 counties are particularly impacted with thousands of people displaced and living in emergency shelters. 500 roads to villages are blocked, 719 villages damaged as well as agricultural land, livestock, schools, health clinics. First estimates report more than 200 000 people directly affected; 100 000 people have their houses at least partially destroyed.

Spain – Storm Gloria caused sea foam to engulf roads in the town of Tossa de Mar and left heavy rainfall and flooding all across Spain’s Catalonia region. The death toll has risen to 9.

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Space Events

Oldest Crater

When we gaze out into our solar system and observe its several planets and many moons, one thing tends to be true of just about all of them: They have lots and lots of impact craters. Each of those scars on a planet or moon’s surface tells a story, and while Earth’s weather and plentiful water ensure that most impact craters are erased or obscured from view, there are still a number of them that researchers have been able to sniff out.

As NASA reveals in a new post on its website, the previous record holder for the oldest crater on Earth has been bested by a new discovery in Australia. Called the Yarrabubba meteor crater, it’s estimated to be a whopping 2.229 billion years old.

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Hepatitis A – Florida, USA

The Florida Department of Health saw an additional 40 outbreak hepatitis A (HAV) cases during the past week, bringing the total to 4,046 cases since Jan. 2018. This also puts the case tally for 2020 to over 100.

Novel Coronavirus – China

China banned trains and planes from leaving a major city at the centre of a virus outbreak on Thursday, seeking to seal off its 11 million people to contain the contagious disease that has claimed 17 lives, infected hundreds and spread to other countries.

Authorities in Wuhan, a major transport hub, also suspended public buses and subways, and said residents should not leave “without a special reason”.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the Week 15 January 2020 – 21 January 2020

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that during 13-19 January dense white gas plumes rose 25-300 m above the bottom of Anak Krakatau’s crater. Two eruptive events were recorded by the seismic network on 15 January. 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.

Kuchinoerabujima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : White plumes from Kuchinoerabujima rose 600 m above the crater rim during 14-17 January. Minor eruptive activity from 1659 on 17 January through 1030 on 20 January generated grayish-white plumes that rose 300 m. Sulfur dioxide emissions were high at 800 and 1,600 tons per day on 15 and 16 January, respectively. The Alert Level remained at 3 (the middle level on a scale of 1-5).

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that an eruption at Semeru was recorded at 0725 on 18 January and lasted almost four minutes. A gray ash plume rose around 400 m above the crater rim and drifted SW and W. Ash plumes rose 300-400 m and drifted W and N during 19-21 January. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale from 1-4); the public was warned to stay 1 km away from the active crater and 4 km away on the SSE flank.

Taal | Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that the eruption at Taal continued during 14-21 January, though was generally weaker. Activity during 15-16 January was characterized by dark gray, steam-laden plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the vents in Main Crater and drifted S and SW. Satellite images showed that the Main Crater lake was gone, and new craters had formed on the floor and N flank of Volcano Island. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 4,186 tonnes per day on 15 January. Eruptive events at 0617 and 0621 on 16 January generated short-lived, dark gray ash plumes that rose 500 and 800 m, respectively, and drifted SW. Weak steam plumes rose 800 m and drifted SW during 1100-1700, and nine weak explosions were recorded by the seismic network. Dropping water levels of Taal Lake were first observed in some areas on 16 January but reported to be lake-wide the next day. The known ground cracks in the barangays of Lemery, Agoncillo, Talisay, and San Nicolas in Batangas Province widened a few centimeters by 17 January, and a new steaming fissure was identified on the N flank of the island. Steady steam emissions were visible during 17-21 January. Infrequent weak explosions generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km and drifted SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions fluctuated and were as high as 4,353 tonnes per day on 20 January and as low as 344 tonnes per day on 21 January. From 1300 on 12 January to 0800 on 21 January the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) had recorded a total of 718 volcanic earthquakes; 176 of those had magnitudes ranging from 1.2-4.1 and were felt with Intensities of I-V. During 20-21 January there were five volcanic earthquakes with magnitudes of 1.6-2.5; the Taal Volcano network (which can detect smaller events not detectable by the PSN) recorded 448 volcanic earthquakes, including 17 low-frequency events. According to the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) there were a total of 148,987 people in 493 evacuation centers as of 1800 on 21 January. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).