Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.7 earthquake hits the west Chile rise.

5.3 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits Reykjanes ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Shetland Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Epsilon is located about 195 mi…310 km ene of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…n or 360 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 19w (Soudel), located approximately 264 nm south-southeast of Hong Kong, is tracking west-northwestward at 03 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Indonesia – A landslide struck at a coal mine in South Sumatra, Indonesia, after heavy rainfall. The landslide struck during the afternoon of 21 October 2020 in a coal mine near the village of Tanjung Lalang in Muara Enim Regency. Disaster authorities blamed the recent heavy rain and unstable soil conditions. Search and rescue operations including excavation machines searched for survivors. On 22 October disaster authorities reported 11 people had died in the disaster.

Mozambique – The government in Mozambique reports that 22 people have died and 12 injured after heavy rains, and strong winds in several regions of the country since the beginning of October 2020. 16,657 people from 3,695 families have been affected by floods in the provinces of Niassa, Nampula, Zambézia and Manica and in Maputo city. Almost 2,000 homes were damaged and 922 completely destroyed. Schools and health centres were also damaged. Flooding is also affected areas of Doa district in Tete province due to an overflow of the Zambezi river.

Kenya – Almost 25,000 people have been displaced by flooding along the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, while 7,000 households have been severely affected by Lake Victoria backflows. 24,320 people living on the shores of Lake Turkana have now been displaced by rising water in Kerio, Kangatotha, Kalokol and Lake Zone wards. Flooding has submerged homes and disrupted livelihoods.

Environment

Fracking Fallout

A new Harvard study finds that there are significantly elevated levels of airborne radioactive particles up to 31 miles downwind of U.S. fracking sites.

Using 16 years of data from 157 federal radiation monitoring stations, researchers found that sites with 100 fracking wells within 12 miles upwind had an average of about 7% more radiation in the air.

The highest contamination was near the Marcellus and Utica shale fields in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where radioactivity was 40% higher than normal.

While conventional oil and gas drilling doesn’t result in much impact on underground rocks that contain uranium isotopes, hydraulic fracturing blasts through shale and other layers containing them. Scientists say the resulting radioactive particles are carried downwind.

Wildlife

Seal tragedy

More than 5,000 seal mothers have aborted their pups at a key breeding colony along the coast of Namibia since early September, worrying marine scientists. Biopsies and tests have yet to determine why the miscarriages occurred on such a massive scale.

Experts from Ocean Conservation Namibia say similar events happen every few years, but never before on such a large scale. They add that the mothers often sit beside their aborted pups, or carry them around for a few days in grief. It’s believed that starvation, disease or pollution could be behind the disaster.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) in Rivadavia, Salta, Argentina.

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.

Disease

COVID-19

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

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Chikungunya – Sudan

In a follow-up on the chikungunya outbreak in West Darfur, Sudan, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports today that 248 people in West Darfur were diagnosed with chikungunya, with one related death reported. This is up from 45 confirmed cases a little over one week ago.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 14 October 2020 – 20 October 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 14-20 October incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible nightly. A small eruption was recorded on 13 October. During an overflight that same day scientists observed lava at the bottom of the crater. 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 15-17 and 19-20 October ash plumes from Dukono rose to 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, W, N, and E. 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 8-12 and 14-15 October that sent ash plumes up to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, E, SE, and S. Ash fell in Severo-Kurilsk during 9-10 October. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was visible in satellite data on 12 October. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kadovar | Papua New Guinea : Based on satellite data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 18 October a discrete ash puff from Kadovar rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

Kerinci | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that on 17 October dense white, brown, and black ash plumes rose 100-800 m above Kerinci’s summit and drifted NE. White-and-brown plumes rose as high as 400 m and drifted NE and E during 18-19 October. 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.

Pavlof | United States : AVO reported that no seismic tremor at Pavlof had been recorded during the previous two weeks, nor had eruptive activity or unusual surface temperatures been observed in satellite and webcam images. The Volcano Alert Level and Aviation colour Code were lowered to Normal and Green, respectively, on 14 October.

Reventador | Ecuador : IG reported that a high level of activity continued to be recorded at Reventador during 14-20 October. Gas, steam, and ash emissions, observed sometimes multiple times a day with the webcam or reported by the Washington VAAC, rose as high as 1 km above the summit crater and drifted NE, NW, and W. Crater incandescence and incandescent blocks rolling down the flanks were observed almost nightly; blocks rolled 600 m down the SE flank during 17-18 October. The 400-m-long lava flow on the NE flank remained active but did not advance.

Sangay | Ecuador : IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 14-20 October. Seismicity was characterized by explosions, harmonic tremor, long-period earthquakes, and signals indicating emissions. Weather clouds often prevented visual observations of the volcano, but the Washington VAAC and IG webcams recorded daily ash plumes that rose 570-2,100 m above the summit and drifted NW and W. One small secondary lahar was reported on 16 October.

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG that gray-and-white ash plumes rose 200-1,000 m above Semeru’s summit and drifted S and W during 16-17 October. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).).

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 8-16 October. A plume of re-suspended ash drifted 310 km SE during 8-9 October. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported nighttime incandescence and intermittent eruptive activity at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater during 9-16 October. Four explosions were recorded during 12-14 October; an explosion at 0100 on 13 October ejected bombs 400 m from the crater and an explosion at 0313 on 14 October produced an ash plume that rose 1.2 km above the crater rim. Ashfall was periodically reported in Toshima village, 4 km SSW. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Villarrica | Chile : SERNAGEOMIN reported that explosions at Villarrica were recorded at 0534 and 0804 on 15 October and were each associated with long-period seismicity. The first explosion ejected incandescent material above the crater rim and deposited tephra on the E flank as far as 3 km. The second explosion ejected tephra 450 m. An explosion and long-period event were recorded at 1722 on 20 October; an ash plume rose 240 m above the vent and drifted S. POVI noted that the vent was 5-6 m in diameter at a depth of 150 m below the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the second lowest level on a four-colour scale. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the municipalities of Villarrica, Pucón (16 km N), Curarrehue, and the commune of Panguipulli, and the exclusion zone for the public of 500 m around the crater.

Westdahl | Fox Islands (USA) : AVO reported that the seismic network at Westdahl has been re-established, again allowing seismic unrest at the volcano to be monitored. The Volcano Alert Level and Aviation colour Code were changed from Unassigned to Normal and Green, respectively, on 15 October.