Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

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

5.1 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits north of Macquarie Island.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 14s (Damien), located approximately 160 nm northwest of Port Hedland, Australia, is tracking southwestward at 04 knots


Australia – Much of Australia’s wildfire-ravaged east coast was drenched on Friday by the biggest rainfall in almost 20 years, dousing some of the most dangerous blazes and providing welcome relief to farmers battling an extended drought. The downpour came with its own risks – officials warned of flash floods and landslides across New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state – but was generally greeted jubilantly after months of devastating bushfires.

Southeast USA – A powerful winter storm raked the Southeast on Thursday with high winds, rain and floods that killed at least four people and injured several more across a dozen states. Rescue crews repeatedly pulled people from cars that got stuck in high water, but couldn’t reach a person whose vehicle disappeared into a rain-swollen creek. The storm front destroyed mobile homes in Mississippi and Alabama, caused mudslides in Tennessee and Kentucky and flooded communities that shoulder waterways across the Appalachian region. In Florida, high winds prompted the closure of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge spanning Tampa Bay, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Tornado watches were in effect Thursday night from northern Florida up through North Carolina.


Wild Food Ban – China

A network of environmental groups from 74 countries has urged China to make permanent its new ban on the sale of wildlife for food in public markets to help prevent future animal-bourne pathogens from infecting people.

It is believed the Wuhan coronavirus made the leap from wildlife to humans in that city’s market, where the flesh from dogs, turtles, bats, snakes, giant salamanders, crocodiles, hedgehogs and marmots was sold.

Experts believe the outbreak originated from human exposure to an infected snake or bat from the market.

The Friends of the Earth and Friend of the Sea also point to the overall environmental damage that the public markets are causing through their exploitation of wildlife.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 116 degrees Fahrenheit (46.7 degrees Celsius) in Badgerys Creek, New South Wales, Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 63.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52.8 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.

A Hot Start to 2020

The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service says January 2020 was Europe’s warmest January on record, topping January 2007 by two-thirds of a degree Fahrenheit.

The month was also the hottest for the entire planet by a tiny fraction of a degree above the previous record set in January 2016.

Last month’s warmth was especially noticeable in Scandinavia, where the capitals of Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen were virtually snow-free as freakishly warm daytime temperatures rose to above freezing every day.



Ebola – DR Congo

From 29 January to 4 February four new confirmed cases were reported in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Novel Coronavirus – China

Nationwide, more than 70 new deaths and 3,100 new cases emerged in the previous 24 hours, the national health authorities said Friday morning.

The new figures brought the total number of deaths in China to at least 636. And the total number of confirmed cases rose to 31,161. There are also more than 200 cases of infection outside China.

Wild poliovirus type 1

Eight additional wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported last week–five for 2019 and three for 2020–in Pakistan. This brings the number of cases in 2020 to 7 and 144 for 2019 in Pakistan.

Eight cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported this week: four from Bié province, one each from Malanje and Cuanza Norte provinces and two from Luanda. There were 111 cVDPV2 cases from seven outbreaks reported in 2019.

Five cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported this week in DRC: one each from Kwilu, Kongo Central and Kinshasa provinces and two from Sankuru, bringing the total number of 2019 cases to 82. The case in Kinshasa, a city of nearly 12 million people, is the first in the city.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 29 January 2020 – 04 February 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 27 January-3 February there were 26 explosions and 33 non-explosive eruptive events detected by the Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) seismic network. Ash plumes rose as high as 2.2 km above the crater rim and material was ejected 700-1,300 m away from the crater. Crater incandescence was visible at night. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was very high at 4,700 tons/day on 31 January. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Asosan | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that eruptive activity at Asosan was recorded during 27 January-3 February. Plumes rose 1.1 km above the crater rim and caused ashfall in areas downwind. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high, ranging from 1,900 to 3,400 tons per day during 28-29 and 31 January and 3 February. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Bulusan | Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS lowered the Alert Level for Bulusan to 0 (on a scale of 0-5) on 25 January, noting that activity at the volcano was at baseline levels. Specifically, sulfur dioxide flux had been below detectable levels since 2018, the frequency of volcanic earthquakes had been at baseline levels (0-2 earthquakes/day) since May 2019, and overall ground deformation data indicated that there was no pressurization from subsurface magma. Weak gas emissions from hydrothermal activity continued. PHIVOLCS reminded the public of the 4-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 29 January-4 February ash plumes from Dukono rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, S, 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 24-31 January that sent ash plumes up to 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l.; ash plumes drifted E. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 29 January-2 February white-to-gray plumes rose 200-800 m above Ibu’s summit; plumes drifted S on 2 February. Weather clouds prevented visual observations during 3-4 February. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater, and 3.5 km away on the N side.

Kadovar | Papua New Guinea : Based on satellite data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 2 February an ash plume from Kadovar rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ESE.

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 27 January-2 February 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 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).

Kerinci | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that during 1-3 February brown ash plumes rose 150-300 m above Kerinci’s summit; ash plumes drifted NE on 1 February. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy was visible during 24-31 January, and a thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images during 27-28 and 30 January. Vulcanian activity was recorded on 30 January; explosions generated ash plumes that rose to 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 282 km E. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 28 January-4 February white gas plumes from Nevados de Chillán’s Nicanor Crater rose as high as 900 m above the rim and drifted E, ESE, and SE. Minor explosions during 28-29 January ejected incandescent blocks that were visible at night. At 1356 on 30 January an explosion generated a gas-and-ash plume that rose 3.4 km above the crater rim; parts of the plume collapsed, generating pyroclastic flows that traveled NE and SE. Two thermal anomalies were identified in satellite images, one from vent CE4 (November 2019) and the second from a new vent named CE5, formed 60 m NW of the center of CE4. There had been no advancement of the lava flows (L1, L2, L3, and L4) since 24 November 2019. The number of long-period earthquakes and tremor associated with explosions both considerably decreased after December 2019. 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.

Sangay | Ecuador : IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 27 January-4 February, though weather clouds often prevented visual confirmation. Ash, steam, and gas plumes rose 880-1,200 m above the summit and drifted W and SW during 27-29 January. Minor ashfall was reported in Púngala and in several Chimborazo province communities during 27-28 February. A pyroclastic flow descended the SE flank on 28 January, reaching the Volcán River and causing secondary lahars in the river. Incandescent blocks rolled down the SE flank on 29 January. Minor ashfall was reported in the province of Chimborazo (W), particularly in the towns of Cebadas (35 km WNW) and Palmira (46 km W). On 30 January residents in the town of Alao (20 km NW) reported that vegetation was covered with fine white ash. An ash emission rose 570 m above the summit and drifted W on 31 January. Ashfall was reported in Macas (42 km SE) the next day. Gas-and-steam plumes rose up to 200 m and drifted W on 2 February. Incandescent blocks rolled down the SE flank on 3 February.

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that ash plumes from Semeru rose 400-500 m above the crater rim and drifted N on 30 January as well as 2 and 4 February. 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.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 23-24 and 27-30 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Shishaldin | Fox Islands (USA) : AVO reported that seismic activity at Shishaldin remained above background levels during 29 January-4 February. Weakly- to moderately-elevated surface temperatures were sometimes identified in satellite images. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Ulawun | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : RVO reported that during 17-31 January white vapor plumes rose from Ulawun’s Main Crater and weak, diffuse white vapor rose from the WSW flank fissure. Lahars were detected mid-month. Seismic activity was low with RSAM values below 200 units. The Alert Level remained at Stage 1.

White Island | North Island (New Zealand) : On 4 February GeoNet reported that White island remained at an elevated state of unrest. Temperatures at the vent area remained very hot at more than 550-570 degrees Celsius. Gas emissions measured during an overflight on 30 January had decreased compared to the previous week but remained at high levels. No changes to the vent area, the receding lake, or the area of lava extrusion were visually apparent. Continuing movement of the back-crater wall W of the 1914 landslide deposits was identified in satellite images, though not noted during the overflight. According to the New Zealand Police another person died as a result from the eruption, bringing the total number of deaths to 21. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 and the Aviation colour Code remained at Yellow.