Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
6.3 earthquake hits south of Bali, Indonesia.
5.6 earthquake hits Wasatch Front Urban area, Utah, USA.
5.2 earthquake hits offshore Northern California.
5.0 earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 22s (Herold), located approximately 827 nm east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking east-southeastward at 12 knots.
Timor Leste – Heavy rainfall on Friday, 13 March 2020 from 16:00 to 18:00 local time caused an overflow of river and huge floods in Timor Leste. The flood brought water and mud along the road, damaging vehicles, houses and electricity lines in Dili municipality, mainly in administration posts of Cristo Rei, Nain Feto, Dom Aleixo, and Vera Cruz, and outside of Dili, namely in Hera. 1,664 households or 9,126 people (4,875 female and 4,251 male) are affected. The flood has destroyed at least 190 houses and injured seven teenagers.
Madagascar – After meandering near the northeastern corner of Madagascar as a tropical storm, a tropical cyclone developed on Sunday and was given the name Herold. During late last week and into the weekend, Herold produced 449 mm (17.68 inches) of rain in Sambava and 274 mm (10.79 inches) in Antlaha, both along the northeastern coast of Madagascar.
Wildfires – China
Two bushfires that broke out Wednesday in Beijing’s northern suburbs of Yanqing and Pinggu have been put out, with cleanup work currently underway, local authorities said.
The first fire broke out at 4:33 p.m. Wednesday on a mountain in Yanqing. More than 600 firefighters rushed to the scene to fight the blaze, and as of 8:30 p.m., the fire was put out and the site was brought under control.
In the city’s northeastern suburb of Pinggu, some 300 firefighting personnel and 37 fire engines were sent by the municipal fire corps after another forest fire broke out at around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday. The fire had been brought under control as of 10:40 p.m.
Illegal Wildlife Trade under Attack in Vietnam
Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, has asked the country’s agriculture ministry to draft a directive to stop illegal trading and consumption of wildlife over fears it spreads disease.
The directive, seen as a victory for animal rights organisations, will lead to a clamping down on street-side markets dotted across the country, increase prosecutions of online traders and ideally put pressure on thousands of farms with known links to illegal wildlife trading.
Vitenam’s move to ban the wildlife trade follows similar moves by the Chinese government, after the new coronavirus pandemic appeared to have emerged from a wet market in Wuhan.
Both illegal and “legal” wildlife trading flourishes in Vietnam, where the trade has grown into a billion-dollar industry. There are thousands of markets around the country, many of which include stalls selling animals for food or as pets. Anyone walking around some of the street-side stalls of the Mekong delta can see fish tanks stuffed with sea turtles or skinned-alive frogs.
Nearly 220,000 people have now been confirmed with the coronavirus globally, and while at least 84,000 people have recovered from COVID-19, more than 8,800 have died.
China has reported no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time since the the pandemic began, marking a major turning point in the global battle to contain Covid-19. At a news conference on Thursday morning, officials from China’s National Health Commission announced there had been just 34 new cases in the past 24 hours — all imported from overseas — and eight new deaths.
Italy – Italy, the country most affected by the coronavirus outside China, reported a further 475 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, as the world stepped up efforts against the pandemic by closing schools, shutting down cities and imposing strict border controls.
South Korea – The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 152 new cases, taking the national tally to 8,565.
Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the Week 11 March 2020 – 17 March 2020
Antillanca Volcanic Complex : On 11 March SERNAGEOMIN raised the Alert Level for the Antillanca Volcanic Complex to Yellow because of increased seismicity near Casablanca stratovolcano. Volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes began to be recorded in August 2019 and were located about 6.3 km NE of the stratovolcano. During 31 January-1 February a total of 131 VT events were located to the W and NW; the two largest events were M 3.1 and 3.2. A swarm of 73 VT events were detected on 9 March with epicenters located 2.4 km NNW and a maximum local magnitude of 1.8.
Kanlaon | Philippines : PHIVOLCS reported that ground-deformation data at Kanlaon indicated long-term slow inflation of the volcano since 2017, slow inflation of the lower flanks since May 2019, and notable inflation of the upper flanks beginning near the end of January 2020. The seismic network recorded a total of 80 volcanic earthquakes since 9 March; 77 of them were low-frequency events associated with magmatic fluids. The deformation and seismic data both indicated unrest; PHIVOLCS raised the Alert Level to 1 (on a scale of 0-5) on 11 March and reminded the public to remain outside of the 4-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone. During 12-17 March there were between two and eight volcanic earthquakes recorded daily.