Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

Two 5.3 earthquakes hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

Three 5.2 earthquakes hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Two 5.1 earthquakes hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

Five 5.0 earthquakes hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Iran-Iraq border region.

5.0 earthquake hits Los Lagos, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 19s (Faraji), located approximately 1408 nm east of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking west-southwestward at 11 knots.

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Newsbytes:

Indonesia – Four people have died, 1 is still missing and over 60,000 people have been displaced after heavy rain caused flooding and landslides on the island of Java, Indonesia. Disaster authorities in Indonesia report that heavy rainfall from 04 February 2021 caused flooding and landslides in 8 regencies / cities in West Java Province from 07 February. As of 10 February, 156,800 people were affected, 63,700 displaced and 39,100 buildings damaged.

Environment

Sahara Dust

One of the strongest in a series of powerful winter storms raging across parts of Europe drew in a massive plume of Saharan dust, which coated Pyrenees and Alpine ski resorts with an orange hue. The airborne particles also triggered respiratory problems in humans from Barcelona to southern France. Originating in Algeria, the dust turned skies red as far north as the German city of Stuttgart. The dust contained particles of calcite, ferric oxide, quartz and clay.

EWCOLOR

Rodent Invasion

Parts of southeastern Australia have been overrun by a massive infestation of mice, with untold numbers of the ravenous rodents swarming into people’s homes and threatening crops.

The center of the infestation is in rural New South Wales, but the pests have also spread into parts of Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. Researcher Steve Henry blames abundant rainfall and a good harvest for allowing mice to spike in numbers starting last year. He says all that is needed to start killing the mice off is a cold, heavy rain to flood their nests in the ground.

Wildlife

Ocean Noise

The racket of human activity beneath the ocean surface is drowning out the natural noises made by marine creatures, which researchers say is as harmful as overfishing, pollution and climate change.

A University of Exeter team made the conclusion after reviewing more than 500 studies on marine noise. The review says while military sonar and oil exploration blasts are obvious sources of distress and deafness in the ocean, noise from shipping has increased by 32 times in the past 50 years. The study says the din of offshore wind farms, bottom trawling and other sources are drowning out the calls many species use to communicate, spawn and migrate.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41.1 degrees Celsius) in Rivadavia, Salta, Argentina.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 59.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50.6 degrees Celsius) at Fort Relianace, Northwest Territories, Canada.

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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Rift Valley Fever – Kenya

In a follow-up on the Rift Valley Fever (RVF) outbreak in Kenya, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports as of Feb. 4, 2021, there are a 32 total cases reported, of which 14 are confirmed and 11 deaths.

Ebola – DR Congo

In a follow-up on the report of a new Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) case in Butembo, North Kivu Province, the Minister of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 3 February 2021 – 9 February 2021

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 29 January-1 February incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was often visible nightly. Seven explosions generated eruption plumes that rose as high as 2 km above the crater rim and ejected bombs 1,000-1,300 km away from the crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 1,100 tons per day on 2 February. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Asamayama – Honshu (Japan) : On 5 February JMA lowered the Alert Level for Asamayama to 1 (on a scale of 1-5) noting that no deformation or crater incandescence had been detected since late November 2020, sulfur dioxide emissions had trended downward beginning in December, volcanic earthquakes were recorded only occasionally since mid-December, and the number of small-amplitude volcanic tremors were recorded occasionally and had not increased.

Dukono – Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 3-4, 6-7, and 9 February ash plumes from Dukono rose to 1.5-2.1 km (5,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SW, 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 29 January and 1-2 February that sent ash plumes to 2.3 km (7,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu – Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 3-9 February gray-and-white ash plume from Ibu rose 200-800 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. 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.

Karymsky – Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky’s summit crater was visible in satellite images on 2 February. Weather clouds obscured views on the other days during 30 January-5 February. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kilauea – Hawaiian Islands (USA) : HVO reported that lava from a vent on the inner NW wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater streamed down the cone into a perched lava lake during 3-9 February. The western half of the lake dropped from 213 m on 3 February to 211 m on 4 February and stayed at that level during 5-6 February; the drop in lake level was likely the result of summit deflation that was detected by tiltmeters. The lake level had risen to 214 m by the morning of 7 February coincident with the onset of summit inflation. A small dome fountain was visible at the entry point of lava into the lake on 8 February. The stagnant E half of the lake, separated by a series of surface cracks, was about 5 m lowed than the W half.

Klyuchevskoy – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that Strombolian and sometimes Vulcanian activity at Klyuchevskoy continued during 29 January-5 February and lava advanced down the Apakhonchich drainage on the SE flank. A large bright thermal anomaly was identified daily in satellite images. Steam-and-gas plumes with some ash rose to 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 92 km in multiple directions. The Aviation colour Code remined at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Lewotolo – Lomblen Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolo continued during 3-9 February. Gray-and-white ash plumes rose 200-700 m above the summit and drifted E and SE. During 5-9 February Strombolian explosions ejected material 100-350 m above the summit and incandescent material was ejected 300-500 m SE from the crater. Rumbling and occasional banging sounds were reported. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay 4 km away from the summer crater.

Pacaya – Guatemala : On 6 February INSIVUMEH reported increased Strombolian activity and a higher number of explosions at Pacaya’s Mackenney Crater. The explosions rattled nearby houses and ejected ballistics as far as 500 m from the crater. Ash plumes rose as high as 650 m above the summit and drifted 5 km W, NW, and N. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including San Francisco de Sales, El Cedro, Calderas, El Bejucal, and Mesías Altas. Lava effusion also increased and two active lava flows, 800 and 1,200 m long, were advancing. On 8 February ash plumes rose almost 600 m and drifted 30 km NW and W, and 10 km N. Explosions ejected ballistics as far as 300 m from the crater.

Popocatepetl – Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 3-9 January there were 14-34 steam, gas, and ash emissions from Popocatépetl. Minor crater incandescence from the crater was visible during a few of the nights. An explosion at 2138 on 6 February generated an eruption plume with low ash content that rose 2 km above the summit and drifted NE. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-colour scale).

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images on 29 January as well as 2 and 4 February. Weather clouds obscured views of the volcano on the other days during 30 January-5 February. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Sinabung – Indonesia : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Sinabung continued during 3-9 February, though weather conditions sometimes prevented visual confirmation. Dense white plumes rose as high as 1 km above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. An eruptive event was recorded on 5 February but was not seen, and on 6 February a pyroclastic flow traveled 2.5 km down the flank. The Darwin VAAC noted that ash plumes rose to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NNW that same day. On 7 February ash plumes rose 1 km above the summit and drifted E, SE, and S, causing ashfall in the Karo Regency. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 3 km and extensions to 5 km in the SE sector and 4 km in the NE sector.

Soufriere St. Vincent – St. Vincent : University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) and National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) reported that the lava dome in Soufrière St. Vincent’s main crater continued to grow during 1-9 February. Gas data analysis conducted during a field visit showed that sulfur dioxide emissions were first detected on 1 February, suggesting that ground water was drying up and no longer interacting with the gas species. The dome had an estimated volume of 5.93 million cubic meters. Scientists observed damaged vegetation, likely caused by fire, on the NW part of the crater (just N of the dome). A report on 6 February stated that the dome continued to spread laterally N and S, with N as the dominant growth direction. Gas-and-steam continued to rise from the top of the dome as well as along the contact of the old and new domes. Scientists visited the Wallibou Hot Spring area on 7 February after a report of anomalously higher temperatures and gas odors; they collected water samples and took temperatures measurements for later analysis. Initial findings suggested the presence of hydrogen sulfide in that area and temperatures that had increased around 5-6 degrees; the lead scientist noted that based on their findings there was no increased risk associated with the hot springs. NEMPO reminded the public to avoid the volcano and that descending into the crater remained extremely dangerous. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater was occasionally visible at night during 29 January-5 February. Intermittent explosions produced ash plumes that rose as high as 1.2 km above the crater rim and ejected bombs 300 m away from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).