Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Atlantic Ocean: Tropical Depression Cristobal is located about 80 mi…130 km sse of Campeche Mexico with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…nne or 20 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

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NewsBytes:

Cuba – Cuba suffered several hydrometeorological events that reached their highest intensity on 25 and 26 May 2020. Heavy rains, floods and strong winds particularly affected the central Cuban Provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara. On 25 to 26 May, a severe local storm brought tornados, hail falls, waterspouts and linear winds over 92 km/h.

Yemen – Floods swept through Yemen amid heavy seasonal rains, leaving at least 16 people dead and flooding dozens of homes, security officials said Thursday. The casualties were reported in eastern Hadramawt and southern Shabwa provinces, where it began raining late Wednesday, said the officials, At least 25 houses were flooded and hundreds of livestock killed in Hadramawt, the officials said. Yemeni military planes have been rescuing residents trapped in valleys by the flooding

Mexico – Heavy rain and winds from Cristobal caused more damage and forced evacuations Thursday in parts of Mexico. One person died in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas in the state of Chiapas. The heavy rain also washed out part of bridge in Pichucalco in Chiapas, cutting off two farming communities. In addition to Chiapas, the storm also caused damage in Campeche, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. Landslides were reported in 15 cities in two states.

Wildlife

Great Barrier Reef Suffers Most Severe Bleaching to Date

February 2020 was the hottest month on record since records began in 1900, Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, told Reuters.

“We saw record-breaking temperatures all along the length of the Great Barrier Reef, there wasn’t a cool portion in the north, or a cool portion in the south this time around,” Hughes said.

“The whole Barrier Reef was hot so the bleaching we have seen this year is the most extensive so far.”

Hughes added that he is now almost certain that the Reef is not going to recover to what it looked like even five years ago, not to mention thirty years ago. If the global warming trends continue the Great Barrier Reef will be destroyed, he said.

“We will have some sort of tropical ecosystem, but it won’t look like coral reef, there might be more seaweed, more sponges, a lot less coral, but it will be a very different ecosystem.”

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Verge of Extinction

More than 500 species of land animals could be lost within 20 years as Earth’s sixth mass extinction of wildlife accelerates, scientists warn. They say that such losses could pass the tipping point for the collapse of civilization as we know it.

“When humanity exterminates other creatures, it is sawing off the limb on which it is sitting, destroying working parts of our own life-support system,” said Stanford University’s Paul Ehrlich.

An international research team writes in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: “Extinction breeds extinctions.” They say that wildlife trade and other activities have already wiped out hundreds of species.

Environment

Earth’s Cleanest Place

A team of researchers from Colorado State University say they have found an area of the world were the atmosphere is pristine and free of pollution.

In the air just above the surface of the Southern Ocean south of 40 degrees south latitude, they found no evidence of particles, or aerosols, produced by human activities and transported around the planet in weather patterns.

What microbes they did find were determined through DNA analysis to have been tossed up by the seething ocean, meaning that pollution and soil particles caused by land use far away were not traveling south into the air around Antarctica.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

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

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 89.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 67.2 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

Wildfires – California, USA

A California fire department is battling a four-alarm wildfire near the Suisun City Wildlife Center in the San Francisco Bay Area. At least seven homes have been lost, about 15 are directly threatened and more than 100 are indirectly threatened. Half of the firefighters are battling the fire and half are trying to save structures. The fire has burned more than 8 000 acres and is still not under control. Most of the animals were released including foxes and coyotes but some of the animals were lost, including some flightless owls.

Wildfires – Utah, USA

Firefighting crews are working to extinguish three lightning-caused wildfires that have burned thousands of acres in Box Elder County. The three wildfires are south and west of Park Valley and have burned a combined area of about 10 000 acres.

Disease

COVID-19

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

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Ebola – DR Congo

No new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 27 April 2020.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 27 May 2020 – 2 June 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 25 May-1 June incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible almost nightly. The daily sulfur dioxide emission rate was high. There were three explosive events and 18 eruptive events during 25-29 May with plumes rising as high as 3 km above the crater rim. Material was ejected 800-1,100 m away from the crater. An eruption at 1337 on 1 June generated an ash plume that rose to 3 km. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Asosan | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that eruptive activity at Asosan was recorded during 29 May-2 June. Volcanic plumes rose 1,000-1,600 m above the crater rim. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high; the rate was 1,000 tons per day on 27 May. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 27 May-2 June ash plumes from Dukono rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and 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 exclusion zone.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 22-29 May that sent ash plumes up to 4.6 km (15,100 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted E and 60 km SE, causing ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 22 and 24 May. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Nevado del Ruiz | Colombia : Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales reported that during 27 May-2 June seismicity at Nevado del Ruiz was at similar levels to the week before, with signals dominated by periods of continuous volcanic tremor, tremor pulses, long-period, and very-long-period earthquakes. Some of the earthquakes were associated with minor gas-and-ash emissions that drifted N and were recorded by the webcam. The highest gas-and-steam plume rose about 1.3 km above the summit, recorded on 29 May. The Alert Level remained at 3 (Yellow; the second lowest level on a four-color scale).

Reventador | Ecuador : IG reported that during 27 May-2 June seismic data from Reventador’s network indicated a high level of seismic activity, including explosions, long-period earthquakes, and signals indicating emissions. Gas, steam, and ash emissions observed daily with the webcam or reported by the Washington VAAC rose as high as 1.4 km above the summit crater and drifted N, NW, W, and SW. Cloudy weather sometimes prevented views of the volcano. Incandescent blocks rolled as far as 500 m down the S and E flanks during 27-28 May. Nighttime crater incandescence was visible during 27-28 and 30 May, as well as during 1-2 June.

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 26-29 May and 1-2 June. Some of the events were not visually confirmed by webcams because of weather conditions or darkness. On 26 May a minor amount of ash fell in areas to the NW including in Los Angeles of Quebrada Grande, and Liberia. A phreatic eruption at 1521 on 27 May generated a plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater rim. At 1524 on 28 May an event generated a plume that rose 3 km above the rim and drifted W. Phreatic eruptions at 1745 on 1 June, and at 1446 and 1701 on 2 June produced plumes that rose 1-2 km.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy was visible during 22-29 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 over 200 km E during 22 and 25-28 May. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 27 May-2 June, though sometimes weather conditions prevented visual confirmation. Ash plumes rose 300-500 m above the crater and drifted N, W, and SW on most days. White plumes rose 300 m and drifted N during 26-27 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 22-29 May. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that nighttime incandescence at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater was visible during 22-29 May. Five explosions were recorded, producing plumes that rose as high as 700 m above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Whakaari/White Island : On 29 May GeoNet reported that activity at Whakaari/White Island continued in an elevated state of unrest. Gas and observations flights have resumed; sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide gas flux increased from 20 to 27 May, possibly indicating a new body of magma at a shallow depth. Areas of lava remained hot on 20 May with temperatures around 500 degrees Celsius. Incandescence from gas emissions around the lobes was visible in nighttime webcam images. Tremor levels remained low overall, punctuated with occasional episodes of slightly elevated tremor. Some shallow-source volcanic earthquakes were recorded. Satellite-based measurements showed several centimeters of subsidence since the December 2019 eruption. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Yasur | Vanuatu : On 28 May the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported that recent visual observations at Yasur confirmed ongoing explosions and gas-and-ash emissions. The report noted that some of the explosions could be intense and eject bombs outside of the summit crater. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4). VMGD reminded residents and tourists that hazardous areas were near and around the volcanic crater, within a 600-m-radius exclusion zone, and that volcanic ash and gas could reach areas impacted by trade winds.