Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.4 earthquake hits the Rota region, North Mariana Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Izu Islands, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Bonin Islands, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Georgia Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 16p (Kevin), located approximately 289 nm west-northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking southeastward at 13 knots.

Tropical cyclone 15p (Judy), located approximately 417 nm east-southeast of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking southeastward at 14 knots.

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Malaysia – Rivers are above the danger mark in at least 16 locations in the state of Johor, Malaysia, where thousands of people have evacuated their homes. Around 630 mm of rain fell in under 48 hours in some locations of Johor. Meanwhile, flooding has also affected areas of Sarawak and Sabah States.

Australia – Authorities in Australia’s Northern Territory have ordered the evacuation of communities in the Victoria Daly Region after persistent heavy rain caused rivers to overflow. The upper Victoria River exceeded major flood levels after persistent heavy rain in the region. As of 01 March, the Victoria River at Kalkarindji stood at 16.99 metres, where the major flood stage is 14 metres. Rain has been falling in the state for the past week, but intensified over the last few days. Kalkarindji recorded 134 mm of rain in 24 hours to 01 March and Lajamanu recorded 114 mm.

Global Warming

Global CO2 emissions reached a record high in 2022

Communities around the world emitted more carbon dioxide in 2022 than in any other year on records dating to 1900. The high figure is a result of air travel rebounding from the pandemic and more cities turning to coal as a low-cost source of power.

Emissions of the climate-warming gas that were caused by energy production grew 0.9 per cent to reach 36.8 gigatons in 2022, the International Energy Agency reported Thursday. The mass of one gigaton is equivalent to about 10,000 fully loaded aircraft carriers, according to NASA.

Extreme weather events intensified last year’s carbon dioxide emissions. Droughts reduced the amount of water available for hydropower, which increased the need to burn fossil fuels. And heat waves drove up the demand for electricity.


Lassa fever – Ghana

In a follow-up on the report of Lassa fever in Ghana, the Ghana Health Service reports 12 additional Lassa fever cases who were close contacts of the initial cases. This brings the total to 14 confirmed cases in the current outbreak. One death has been recorded. The 13 surviving cases are in stable condition.

Cholera – South Africa

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has declared a cholera outbreak in Gauteng after six cases and one death were reported in the province. Two cases are especially worrying because their history shows they were infected locally.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New activity for the week 22 February – 28 February 2023

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported ongoing eruptive activity at Minamidake Crater and Showa Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 13-20 February and incandescence at both craters was visible nightly. Very small eruptive events occurred at Showa Crater. Three explosions and three or four eruptive events were recorded at Minamidake Crater during the week. Volcanic plumes rose as high as 1.5 km above the Minamidake Crater rim and large blocks were ejected 600-900 m from the vent. During an overflight on 21 February scientists observed white plumes rising from a vent on the N inner crater wall at Showa Crater and they noted more voluminous emissions compared to the 12 October 2022 overflight. No notable changes at Minamidake Crater were observed. At 1230 on 26 February an eruptive event at Minamidake Crater produced a plume that rose 1.2 km above the crater rim.

Aniakchak – Alaska Peninsula, Alaska : On 22 February AVO raised the Aviation Color Code for Aniakchak to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory (the second lowest level on a four-level scale) due to a recent increase in the number of earthquakes and a shallowing of those events. Background seismicity was generally characterized as deep (more than 15 km below sea level) long-period events occurring at a rate of about four events per month. Beginning in October 2022 the rate increased, and the earthquakes were located at depths less than 9 km below sea level. The earthquake rate further increased on 31 January and was sustained with dozens of earthquakes detected per day, including a M 3.7 earthquake recorded on 17 February. Elevated seismicity continued during 23-27 February at a variable rate. Dozens of earthquakes were recorded daily during 22-26 February, though more than one hundred small earthquakes (not all locatable) were detected during 24-25 February. Small earthquakes occurred at the rate of about 10 per hour during 26-28 February. AVO noted that there was no indication that an eruption of Aniakchak was imminent, or that one will occur. Increases in seismic activity have been detected previously at other similar volcanoes, with no subsequent eruptions.

Epi – Vanuatu : On 23 February the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported that minor unrest continued at Epi. Seismicity was sustained though there was only minor manifestation at the water’s surface; steaming at the surface lasting only a few hours at most was occasionally observed.

Karangetang – Sangihe Islands : According to PVMBG the eruption at Karangetang’s Main Crater (S crater) continued during 22-28 February. Nighttime webcam images posted with daily reports showed incandescent lava flows descending the flanks, though images from 0054 on 26 February and 0026 on 1 March showed only minor incandescence near the summit. The Darwin VAAC reported that during 22-23 February ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE based on analyses of satellite imagery and weather models.

Trident – Alaska : An earthquake swarm at Trident began on 24 August 2022 and within about four days the seismic network began detecting episodes of weak seismic tremor and low frequency earthquakes. The events were initially located at depths around 25 km, but then they progressively shallowed to around 5 km by 28 August. AVO attributed the swarm to moving magma or magmatic fluids and noted that seismic swarms had previously been recorded with no subsequent eruptions. Beginning on 1 January 2023 seismicity again increased with earthquakes occurring at an average rate of about ten per day at depths less than 6 km. The elevated seismicity was sustained. Dozens of small earthquakes were recorded daily during 23-28 February; the largest event, a M4, was recorded during the morning of 24 February. Trident last erupted during 1953-1974.