Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon (td) 01w (Vongfong), located approximately 60 nm east-southeast of Manila, Philippines, is tracking northwestward at 11 knots.

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Philippines – Typhoon Vongfong roared into the central Philippines, forcing officials to launch a complicated coastal evacuation effort made more challenging by the coronavirus pandemic. Vongfong packed winds of 100 mph when it made landfall.

Indonesia – Heavy rainfall throughout the week has caused floods and landslides in several provinces, as the rainy season is expected to be last longer than initially forecasted. A downpour lasting from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning led to floods in Lebak regency, Banten, submerging dozens of houses in Cipanas district and destroying a bridge in Lebak Gedong district.


Pollen Clouds

Vast sheets of pollen have blown across parts of the European landscape this spring, triggering allergy problems for those already suffering from the COVID-19 health crisis.

Images on social media and television have shown layers of yellow pollen reducing visibility in Spain, and Switzerland’s Lake Geneva ringed with yellow from the pollen that had fallen on the water and collected along the shoreline.

Strong winds blowing over vast tracts of olive orchards and other crops that stretch across southern Spain carried the pollen for long distances.


Amazonian Deforestation

Satellite observations by Brazil’s space agency, INPE, confirm that deforestation in the Amazon rainforest rose sharply as the coronavirus crisis deepened in the country during April.

The health emergency has prevented many officials in charge of preventing the practice from being in the field to thwart illegal logging and land clearing. INPE says that losses in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon soared by 64% during the month, with 465 square miles lost.

Despite supporting policies that have encouraged farmers, ranchers and loggers to clear Amazon land to help the economy, President Jair Bolsonaro has authorized the deployment of the armed forces to deter the practices.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 119 degrees Fahrenheit (48.3 degrees Celsius) in Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 73.3 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.


Wildfires – Siberia

Wildfires in Siberia and the Russian Far East have become as much as ten times worse compared to this time last year, according to Ecowatch. Experts say this is due to the current climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, which have contributed to the destruction of these fires.

As of April 27, ten times the amount of land was on fire in the Krasnoyarsk region in Russia. This is being compared to the same time last year. In Transbaikal, a southern region of Russia, there is three times as much land burning. It has also been reported that in the Amur region, there were 1.5 times as many fires burning compared to last year.



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

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Ebola – DR Congo

From 6 to 12 May 2020, no new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported from North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since the resurgence of the outbreak on 10 April 2020, seven confirmed cases have been reported from Kasanga, Malepe and Kanzulinzuli Health Areas in Beni Health Zone.

Cholera – Kenya

Over 23 Kenyans have lost their lives since the outbreak of cholera in Marsabit County in mid-March 2020. Members of the local fishing communities residing on Abalakwa Island in Lake Turkana and Illeret village have called upon the national government to come to their rescue. Humanitarian organisations in the area report that over 300 Kenyans have been infected with the deadly disease as residents claim no meaningful help has been forthcoming from the national government despite numerous appeals. 


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 6 May 2020 – 12 May 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 4-11 May incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible nightly. There were four eruptive events with plumes rising as high as 2.3 km above the crater rim. Three explosions were recorded; an explosion at 0531 on 9 May produced an ash plume that rose 4.2 km and ejected material 600-900 m away from the crater. JMA noted that ash plumes had not risen higher than 4 km since 8 November 2019. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Asosan | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that eruptive activity at Asosan was recorded during 4-11 May. Volcanic plumes rose 700-900 m above the crater rim and caused ashfall in areas downwind. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high at 3,000-4,800 tons per day during 7-8 May. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO lowered both the Volcano Alert Level and the Aviation colour Code for Cleveland to Unassigned on 7 May, noting that explosive activity on 9 January 2019 (and subsequent lava extrusion in the summit crater) was followed by an overall decrease in detected surface temperature and no further surface changes.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 6-12 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, 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.

Etna | Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that on 5 May increasing and pulsating ash emissions at Etna’s New Southeast Crater (NSEC) formed a plume that drifted SSE. The activity may have concurrently occurred with the enlargement of vent number 3. Explosive activity at Voragine Crater (VOR), with minor ash emissions and occasional visible shreds of incandescent material, was relatively mild and discontinuous. During a field inspection on 8 May, volcanologists observed that the main cone was almost unchanged and produced modest ash emissions. Strong explosive activity at a cone located E of the main cone produced a lot of ash, and ejected coarse material that fell on the W edge of VOR as well as on the S terrace of Bocca Nuova Crater. Activity at NSEC again increased; on 10 May Strombolian explosions ejected material out of the crater and onto the flanks. Concurrently, increased activity in VOR was characterized by the ejection of ballistics beyond its crater rim. After a few hours Strombolian activity in NSEC significantly decreased and explosive activity in VOR was both less intense and less frequent.

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 9 May an ash plume from Ibu rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE based on satellite images and weather models. On 12 May an ash plume rose to 2.1 km a.s.l. and drifted N. 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.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 5-12 May there were 94-157 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained minor amounts of ash. Minor explosions were recorded at 1534 and 1609 on 7 May, at 1648 on 10 May, at 1723 and 2351 on 11 May, and at 0302 and 0604 on 12 May. Crater incandescence was visible some nights. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-colour scale).

Rincon de la Vieja | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported periodic phreatic explosions at Rincón de la Vieja during 6-12 May. Phreatic explosions were recorded at 1624 on 6 May and 0343 on 8 May, though inclement weather conditions hindered visual confirmation. Two small emissions were noted at 1850 on 8 May and at 0020 on 9 May. An event at 1925 on 9 May generated a gas-and-steam plume that rose almost 2 km above the crater rim.

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 10 May a discrete ash emission from Sangeang Api rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 4-10 May. Eruptive events produced dense white-gray ash plumes that rose 200-500 m above the summit. Incandescent material from the ends of lava flows descended 500-1,000 m 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 during 1-8 May explosions occurred twice a day at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater and produced plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim. Material was ejected 400 m from the crater. Crater incandescence was visible nightly. Rumbling sounds were noted in a village 4 km SSW. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).