Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.4 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits northern Iran.

5.1 earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Kenya – The death toll from the ongoing floods in Kenya has risen to 194.

Somalia – At least 16 people have died while more than 200,000 others have been affected by torrential rains and riverine floods since the Gu (April-June) rains started in Somalia a month ago 10 other people are missing due to floods and at least 2,000 farms have been swamped by water.

Wildlife

Killer Wasps Arrive in USA

A giant and invasive bee-killing wasp, dubbed the world’s most venomous and intimidating insect, has arrived in Washington state, threatening agriculture. The Asian giant hornet is up to 2 inches in length and was first reported last fall along the Canadian border.

Its venom is seven times stronger than that of honeybees, and its stingers can even penetrate protective clothing. A few dozen of them can kill an entire colony of honeybees within a few hours. It’s believed the wasp arrived in a container ship from Japan or South Korea.It killed 50 people last year in Japan alone.

Flamingo Bounty

Some of the more colourful examples of how wildlife is reclaiming habitat during the global coronavirus lockdowns are the nearly 150,000 flamingos that have gathered in the wetlands around Mumbai, India.

Smaller numbers of the birds typically migrate to areas near the city from November until May. The Bombay Natural History Society believes there are around 25% more of the pink-winged visitors this year. It says they are now roosting in areas where they have never been seen.

EWCOLOR

Global Warming

80% Drop in Freshwater Insect Populations – Global Warming

According to a long-term study in a nature reserve in the State of Hesse, environmental changes attributable to global warming have resulted in an 80% drop in the sizes of freshwater insect populations over the past 40 years.

The Breitenbach, a headwater stream located in the hills of Eastern Hesse, is one of the most intensively investigated watercourses in the world. For more than 40 years, researchers have been following the fortunes of its insect communities. The stream lies within the boundaries of a nature reserve, and its relative remoteness minimizes the direct impact of humans on its flora and fauna.

The analysis, which appears in the journal Conservation Biology, shows that insect communities in the Breitenbach have diminished in abundance by more than 80% over the past four decades. The authors link this alarming decline to climate change.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.8 degrees Celsius) in Tillabury, Niger.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 91.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 68.3 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.

Disease

COVID-19

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

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Botulism – Ukraine

A shipment of 204 vials of Canadian-produced anti-botulism serum, procured under Ukraine’s state budget, is being delivered to the country’s regions. 44 cases of botulism have been reported in the Ukraine to date this year.

Ebola – DR Congo

From 29 April to 5 May 2020, no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported from North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 29 April 2020 – 5 May 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 27 April-4 May incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible nightly. An explosion at 2246 on 27 April generated an ash plume that rose over 3 km above the crater rim and ejected blocks 600-900 m from the crater. An eruptive event at 1510 on 2 May produced a plume that rose 1.4 km above the rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 29 April-5 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE. 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 April-1 May that sent ash plumes up to 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted E, causing ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk during 25-30 April. An ash cloud was identified in satellite data on 29 April drifting 180 km SE. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that Strombolian and Vulcanian activity at Klyuchevskoy was visible during 24 April-1 May along with a bright thermal anomaly identified in satellite images. Ash plumes drifted about 425 km W, and a lava flow continued to descend the Apakhonchich drainage on the SE flank. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Reykjanes | Iceland : IMO reported that uplift detected in the Thorbjorn area decreased in the beginning of April and stopped later in the month. Seismicity, which had occurred across three main volcanic systems: Eldey, Reykjanes-Svartsengi, and Krýsuvík, had significantly decreased. These data indicated that the injection of magma beneath Thorbjorn had stopped, though there were indications of deformation over a larger area. On 4 May the Aviation colour Code was lowered to Green.

Rincon de la Vieja | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported two phreatic explosions at Rincón de la Vieja during 30 April-5 May and continuing fluctuations in tremor levels. At 1610 on 30 April an event produced a gas-and-steam plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater rim. At 1317 on 5 May a steam plume rose 200 m above the rim.

Ruapehu | North Island (New Zealand) : On 4 May GeoNet reported a cooling trend of the crater lake water at Ruapehu with a current temperature of 35 degrees Celsius. During February-April the water temperature had peaked at 42 degrees Celsius. The intensity of volcanic tremor had been weak during the past month after a peak in strength in early March; tremor had declined slowly almost in conjunction with the lake water cooling trend. During a visit to the lake the previous week volcanologists noted that the lake was a uniform gray colour with a few surface slicks and no obvious upwelling. Since that visit the water level had risen and was flowing into the upper Whangaehu River. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 1 (minor volcanic unrest) and the Aviation colour Code remained at Green.

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 27 April-3 May. Eruptive events produced dense white-gray ash plumes that rose 100-400 m above the summit; white plumes rose as high as 200 m. Incandescent material from the ends of lava flows descended 1 km in the Kembar and Kobokan drainages (on the S flank), reaching a maximum distance of 2 km from the crater. 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.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that at 0432 on 28 April an eruption at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater produced a plume that rose 1.6 km above the crater rim and ejected blocks as far as 800 m from the crater. An explosion at 1214 on 29 April caused glass in an office building to vibrate in a village 4 km SSW. There was a total of 64 and 50 explosions recorded on 28 and 29 April, respectively; two explosions were detected on 30 April and one on 1 May. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Yasur | Vanuatu : On 30 April the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported that recent visual observations at Yasur confirmed that gas-and-ash emissions were ongoing. The report noted that some of the explosions could be intense and eject bombs outside of the summit crater. Data from the seismic network indicated a decrease in activity as compared to March data. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4). VMGD had increased the radius of the permanent exclusion zone to 600 m in mid-March and that remained in effect; residents and tourists were reminded that volcanic ash and gas could reach areas impacted by trade winds.