Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 earthquake hits eastern Honshu, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 earthquake hits the Gulf of Aden.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Rwanda & Burundi – Severe flooding and landslides in Rwanda and Burundi have claimed the lives of at least nine people and affected 27,000 people from April 17 to 20, 2020. Heavy rainfall triggered landslides in the district of Gicumbi in the Northern Province of Rwanda, with the most affected areas being Nyankenke and Kageyo sectors. Heavy rainfall wiped out the cobblestone road in an area commonly known as “Ku Ntaraga” in Kimisagara. Meteo Rwanda has issued heavy rainfall warnings until April 26, 2020.

Southeast USA – At least five people were killed when severe storms ripped through southern states Wednesday night, after weeks of extreme weather that killed more than two-dozen people and destroyed hundreds of homes. A tornado in Marshall County, Oklahoma killed one person and damaged at least two businesses. At least three people were killed when apparent tornado in southeast Texas touched down about 6 p.m. near Onalaska, about 75 miles north of Houston, the Polk County Emergency Management System said in a statement. There was a flood-related death in Mansfield, southeast of Fort-Worth, where a man reportedly lost his balance as he tried to retrieve a trash can from the water. Hours later, a tornado hit Rapides Parish in Alexandria, Louisiana, and destroyed homes. There were no deaths reported as of 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.

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Lake Victoria waters rise – Five years ago, scientists warned about the rising water levels of Lake Victoria, but many people did not take them seriously. Raging floods, which have left trails of destruction and swept away villages, have only worsened and is slowly turning into a calamity. Several beaches, fish-landing sites, sporting facilities and luxurious homes have been submerged as water levels continue to rise. Many human activities are now submerged in water. Fields adjacent to the lake are now inundated on a regular basis, making farming impossible. The latest floods have marooned a number of villages on the shores of the lake.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australian bushfire smoke cloud continues to circle the earth

The vast smoke cloud which darkened New Zealand skies in January is continuing its journey around the world. The Australian bushfire smoke is now 35km above the earth and scientists are still tracking it almost four months later.

Niwa (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) atmospheric scientist Dr Richard Querel said it was remarkable to be able to track a smoke plume for more than 100 days. The main bulk of the plume was about five kilometres high and hundreds of kilometres wide.

Scientists have been tracking the smoke since it formed in December, and it has since travelled around the globe several times.

Disease

COVID-19

The countries with the 10 greatest number of Covid-19 cases:

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Guinea Worm Disease – Ethiopia

After reporting zero human cases for more than two years, Ethiopia has recorded six suspected new human cases of dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease) over the past two weeks. All of them are from Gog district in the region of Gambella.

Covid-19 in Pets

On Wednesday, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) announced the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in two pet cats. These are the first pets in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. The cats live in two separate areas of New York state. 

Volcanos

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

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that over the past few weeks a minor amount of ash was present in Karymsky’s gas-and-steam plumes and trace ash deposits were visible on the surrounding snow. A very weak thermal anomaly was identified in satellite data on 6 April. The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 18 April an ash plume rose to 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE based on satellite data and information from UHPP (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport). The Aviation colour Code was raised to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-colour scale) on 19 April.

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that during 13-19 April dense gray eruption plumes from Anak Krakatau rose as high as 50 m above the crater rim, and white plumes rose 25-100 m above the summit. Satellite data acquired on 15 April revealed new lava flows from the 10-11 April eruption covering the vent and extending the coastline W. 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.

Lokon-Empung | Sulawesi (Indonesia) : An increased number of volcanic earthquakes over a few days prompted PVMBG to issue a VONA on 15 April and raise the Aviation colour Code for Lokon-Empung to Yellow (the second lowest on a four-colour scale). The volcano Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and tourists were reminded not to approach the crater within a radius of 1.5 km.

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 1-16 April. Eruptive events produced gray ash plumes that rose 400-600 m above the summit. Additionally, gray-to-white gas plumes from Jonggring-Seloko Crater rose 200-400 m; incandescent material was ejected 10-20 m above the crater. Incandescent lava flows traveled 500-1,000 m down the Kembar, Bang, and Kobokan drainages (on the S flank). At 0608 on 17 April a pyroclastic flow descended 2 km along the Bang drainage. Ash plumes drifted N, SE, and SW during 15-16 and 20-21 April. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was reminded to stay outside of the general 1-km radius from the summit and 4 km on the SSE flank.