Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 earthquake hits southern Peru

5.7 earthquake hits Kepulauan Taluad, Indonesia.

5.6 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.6 earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits the central mid-Atlantic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression 02e (Amanda), located approximately 1864 nm east-southeast of San Diego, is tracking north-northeastward at 08 knots.

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Thailand – Phuket- Heavy rain triggered flooding in several areas in downtown Muang district of this southern island province on Saturday morning. Several roads in the municipal area were impassable to small vehicles after heavy downpours pounded the island from 9.30am to 11.40am.

C1 1926788

India – A person drowned in the Kampur area of central Assam’s Nagaon district, taking the flood-related death toll to six in less than a week even as more than 4,000 people went back home from relief camps on Saturday. While the floods have destroyed crops on 26,977 hectares, surface communication has been disrupted with 68 roads and half-a-dozen bridges damaged.

South America – The Central American gyre, a broad area of low pressure, which formed this weekend, is drifting aimlessly between North and South America and could unleash life-threatening flooding and mudslides this week across Central America. It may also spin off two tropical storms that could menace the Gulf Coast and the region’s Pacific coasts.


Wildfires – Arizona, USA

Firefighters stopped forward progress of a wildfire that quickly burned through hundreds of acres and destroyed 10 homes in Cave Creek Saturday. According to the Arizona State Forestry and Fire Management, the Ocotillo Fire reached an estimated 1,216 acres Saturday night with 5% containment.

The fast-moving blaze forced the evacuation of numerous homes in the area north of Cave Creek Road, east of New River Road, west of Scopa Trail, and south of the Tonto National Forest boundary.



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

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Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever – Russia

Health officials in Russia have reported (computer translated) two laboratory-confirmed cases of Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever were confirmed among residents of Krasnosulinsky and Tselinsky districts. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10-40%.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.4 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.3 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.2 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.


Magnetic Mystery

Scientists are struggling to understand new weakening of Earth’s magnetic field in a region that stretches from South America to Africa and is causing technical disturbances in some of the satellites orbiting the planet.

“The new eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has appeared over the last decade and in recent years is developing vigorously,” said Jürgen Matzka, from the German Research Center for Geosciences.

The anomaly is allowing the inner Van Allen radiation belt to dip down to an altitude of about 120 miles, sometimes exposing satellites to several minutes of higher-than-usual radiation.

Astronauts have reported disturbances in their eyesight, known as cosmic ray visual phenomena, when passing through the anomaly.


Wildfires – Arctic

Active wildfires are being detected in the Arctic Circle as an unusually warm and dry spring threatens to bring back infernos that ravaged the region last year, scientists have warned.

Satellites belonging to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) are tracking multiple hotspots, leading to the suspicion that “zombie fires” – smouldering remnants of record blazes in 2019 are reactivating after a period of lull.

The risk of wildfires is significantly enhanced by abnormal arid conditions as seen in Europe during March and April.



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

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Measles, Dengue Fever – Brazil

While most of the attention on infectious diseases in Brazil is focused on the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, other outbreaks are making their mark in the largest South America country. This include some one million dengue fever cases and by far the most measles cases reported in the western hemisphere. Between 1 January and 20 May 2020, Brazil has reported 3,155 confirmed cases, including four deaths.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits eastern Honshu, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.


USA – As the wet and stormy weather moves east across the US, heavy rains this week, especially Thursday morning and afternoon, led to widespread flooding in parts of the Kansas City area, including Westport. In Illinois the rain hit hard and fast in DePue and within about an hour, a substantial part of the village was flooded.

India – Incessant rain and floods have forced hundreds of thousands of people to move to safer places in eastern India’s Assam state, adding to the misery brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and a mid-May cyclone.

Finland – Spring flood in Rovaniemi is expected to exceed the damage limit or even reach the level of the 1993 flood, Finland’s Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) reports. Rivers have been on the rise since the last few days’ heatwave has caused snow to melt quickly. Like northern Norway, also Finnish Lapland has seen a record amount of snow this winter.


Elephants Starving

Thousands of tame elephants in parts of Thailand are facing starvation because the COVID-19 pandemic has kept away the tourists they once toiled to entertain, leaving their owners unable to feed them.

More than 100 of the lumbering animals have traveled on foot up to 100 miles to areas where they can now feed themselves in their home habitats.

The Save Elephant Foundation in the northern province of Chiang Mai helped bring the unemployed elephants to where they can live alongside villagers in a sustainable manner. One owner said the elephants made happy noises upon their first return home in 20 years.


More Locusts

Fresh swarms of desert locusts are ravaging crops from East Africa to India, threatening food shortages at the same time as the coronavirus pandemic.

Heavy rains from last year’s unprecedented tropical cyclones in the Arabian Sea created excellent conditions for the pests to breed and spread.

The ravenous insects have arrived in Pakistan and parts of India just before the monsoon season will allow farmers to plant rice, cane, corn and cotton. Experts say these summer crops will quickly be devoured if the worst infestations in decades are not eradicated soon.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 123 degrees Fahrenheit (50.6 degrees Celsius) in Nawabshah, Pakistan.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 93.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 69.4 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.



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

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Ebola – DR Congo

From 20 to 26 May 2020, no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 20 May 2020 – 26 May 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 18-25 May incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible nightly. There were 17 explosive events and five eruptive events with plumes rising as high as 2.8 km above the crater rim. Material was ejected 800-1,300 m away from the crater. The daily sulfur dioxide emission rate was high; it was just over 1,200 tons per day on 22 May. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 20-26 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. 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 14-15 and 19-21 May that sent ash plumes up to 3.6 km (11,800 ft) a.s.l. A thermal anomaly was identified in satellite data on those same days, and ash plumes drifted 80 km SW, S, and SE during 14 and 20-21 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 20 May an ash plume from Ibu rose to 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l., or 500 m above the crater rim, based on information from PVMBG. Weather clouds prevented satellite views of the event. 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.

Fuego | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that in the evening on 20 May a new lava flow at Fuego traveled 300 m down the Ceniza (SSW) drainage. The crater was incandescent and gas emissions were constant; avalanches descended the flanks 1 km and reached vegetated areas. Explosions produced shock waves and ash plumes that rose just over 1 km above the summit. Lahars descended the Las Lajas ravine on the E flank 1650 on 21 May and the Ceniza drainage on the SW flank. There were 5-12 explosions per hour recorded during 22-26 May, generating ash plumes as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim that generally drifted 10-15 km in multiple directions. Shock waves rattled buildings within a 20-km radius, particularly in areas on the S flank. Incandescent material was ejected 100-300 m high and caused avalanches of blocks in the Ceniza, Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Las Lajas, and Honda drainages. Ashfall was reported in several areas downwind including Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Ciudad Vieja (13.5 km NE), San Miguel Dueñas (10 km NE), and Antigua Guatemala (18 km NE). Lava flows in the Ceniza drainage varied in length between 150 and 400 m long.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) :KVERT reported that Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy was visible during 15-22 May along with a bright thermal anomaly identified in satellite images. A lava flow continued to advance down the Apakhonchich drainage on the SE flank. Gas-and-steam plumes with some ash drifted 100 km NW, E, and SE during 15-17 and 21 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Pacaya | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 19-26 May Strombolian explosions at Pacaya’s Mackenney Crater ejected material as high as 100 m above the crater rim. Active lava flows were 200 m long on the NW flank during 21-22 May and 300 m long on the NE flank during 25-26 May.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 20-26 May there were 90-251 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained minor amounts of ash. The plumes drifted mainly E and SE. An explosion at 0302 on 21 May ejected incandescent material onto the flanks. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-colour scale).

Rincon de la Vieja | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that periodic phreatic explosions at Rincón de la Vieja continued to be recorded by the seismic network and webcams during 20-26 May; most plumes rose no higher than 500 m above the crater rim. Some of the events were not visually confirmed by webcams because of weather conditions or darkness. A small ash eruption at 0537 on 21 May produced a plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim and contained less water vapor than plumes from eruptive events in the past weeks. Plumes from eruptive events at 1624 on 22 May and 0608 on 24 May rose 1 km above the rim. An event at 0325 on 25 May was heard by residents to the N but was no visually confirmed due to darkness. Later that day, in the early evening, an hour-long sequence of eruptions produced gas-and-steam plumes and ejected tephra no higher than the crater rim (except for an event at 1738).

Santa Maria | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 19-26 May explosions at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose 700-1,000 m above the crater and drifted as far as 1 km NW, W, and SW. Avalanches of blocks descended the S, SE, and SW flanks of Caliente cone. Local ashfall around the volcano was sometimes reported.

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 20-26 May, though sometimes foggy conditions prevented visual confirmation. Incandescent material from the ends of lava flows descended 400-700 m in the Kembar drainage (on the S flank) during 20-21 and 25-26 May, reaching a maximum distance of 1.2 km from the crater. Ash plumes rose 200-500 m above the crater and drifted S during 19-20 May and N during 24-25 May. White plumes rose 400 m and drifted NE, E, S, and W on 26 May. 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.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 15-22 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that nighttime incandescence at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater was visible during 15-22 May. Two explosions were recorded on 21 May, producing plumes that rose as high as 900 m above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).