Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6,8 earthquake hits eastern Turkey.

At least 19 people have been killed and more than 600 have been injured in eastern Turkey after an earthquake rattled Elazig on Friday evening at 08:55 pm.

5.3 earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

5.3 earthquake hits the Xizang-Qinghai border, China.

5.1 earthquake hits the Cook Strait, New Zealand.

5,0 earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere – Tropical cyclone (tc) 11s (Esami), located approximately 890 nm east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking east-southeastward at 10 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 10s (Diane), located approximately 171 nm east of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking east-southeastward at 16 knots.


Argentina – Flooding caused by a storm and heavy rainfall has caused the evacuation of more than 200 people in Tucuman province of northwest Argentina.

Peru – Flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall have affected the departments of Arequipa and Huanuco in Peru, damaging more than 80 homes.

Spain – The death toll from Storm Gloria in Spain rose to 13 people on Friday while four people were still missing as freak weather continued to batter the east of the country. The Balearic Islands and eastern regions including Catalonia and Valencia have borne the brunt of the storm now entering its fifth day. Winds of more than 140 km per hour, waves reaching more than 10 metres and heavy snow and rainfall have unleashed chaos, crippling transport and destroying infrastructure. Seawater has caused devastation as it smashed into and entered coastal towns while the heavy downpour has also prompted fear that swollen rivers could burst out of their beds and flood major cities including Girona. Elsewhere, such as in parts of Valencia, more than 80 cm of snow has accumulated.


Novel Coronavirus

– Confirmed cases: At least 1,297 in China, 19 abroad

– Deaths: 41

– Cities and provinces that have launched highest level of emergency response: Zhejiang, Guangdong, Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Sichuan, Jiangxi, Yunnan, Guizhou, Shandong, Fujian, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Hebei, Jiangsu, Hainan

– Human-to-human transmission confirmed

– Health experts say the virus has the potential to mutate

France – France’s Ministry of Solidarity and Health reported Friday three confirmed cases of infection with the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV. The three patients, having stayed in China, are currently hospitalized in referral health establishments (ESR), one in Bordeaux and two in Paris.

Hong Kong – The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) reports investigating three additional imported cases of novel coronavirus infection. This brings the total cases in Hong Kong to five.

USA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed the second infection with 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the United States has been detected in Illinois.

Marburg Virus – Sierra Leone

Scientists have detected Marburg virus in fruit bats in Sierra Leone, marking the first time the deadly virus has been found in West Africa. Eleven Egyptian rousette fruit bats tested positive for active Marburg virus infection.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits Tajikistan.

5.5 earthquake hits Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

5.4 earthquake hits southern Peru.

5.0 earthquake hits northern Algeria.

5.0 earthquake hits Tajikistan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere – Tropical cyclone (tc) 09s (Nine), located approximately 845 nm east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking southward at 14 knots.

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Madagascar – Floods across the island of Madagascar has killed at least 12 people this week, with 18 missing, after unseasonably heavy rain, the national disaster office said on Thursday. Parts of Africa have experienced heavy rain in recent months because the Indian Ocean is warmer than usual, partly as result of a cyclical weather phenomenon and partly because oceans are warming everywhere.


Human Footprint

Around 85% of Earth’s wildlife is now being trampled by intense human pressure, which researchers say is putting some of those species into an extinction crisis.

Scientists from the University of Queensland, the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups point to land species with small ranges as being disproportionately exposed to human competition from factors such as grazing livestock, agriculture and urban sprawl.

The study’s “Human Footprint” report also lists other influences, such as population density, transportation networks, and mining and utility corridors, for their impacts on wildlife.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 degrees Celsius) in Rivadavia, Argentina.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 62.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52.2 degrees Celsius) at Oimyakon, Siberia.

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.

Record Pressure

London experienced what was likely the U.K. capital’s highest barometric pressure since records began in 1692 as a massive area of high pressure blanketed the United Kingdom and much of northern Europe.

Instruments at London’s Heathrow Airport recorded a pressure of 1,049.6 millibars (30.99 inches of mercury) on Jan. 19. The all-time British record of 1,053.6 millibars (31.11 inches of mercury) was set in Aberdeen, Scotland, on Jan. 31, 1902.

The development of such a powerful high pressure system helped spawn Spain’s worst winter storm in decades to the south.

A deep low pressure area, dubbed storm Gloria, killed at least 11 people and caused widespread destruction and heavy snowfall across the Iberian Peninsula.


Lassa fever – Nigeria

The Lassa fever case count and death toll continues to rise in Nigeria this January. The Nigerian CDC reported an additional 81 confirmed Lassa cases during the week ending Jan. 19, bringing the case tally for 2020 to 163 to date. In addition, 10 more deaths were reported that week.

Novel Coronavirus

Vietnam – Health officials in Vietnam are reporting (computer translated) two positive 2019-NoCv cases.

Singapore – The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) reported today the confirmation of a imported case of novel coronavirus infection in the city-state.

Ebola – DR Congo

Nine new confirmed cases were reported from 15 to 21 January in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 15 January 2020 – 21 January 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported nighttime crater incandescence at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 14-20 January. Small eruptive events were occasionally recorded by the seismic network. A total of 21 explosions were detected, with ash plumes rising as high as 2 km above the crater rim and large blocks ejected as far as 1.3 km away from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Asosan | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that eruptive activity at Asosan was recorded during 7-20 January. Plumes rose 0.9-1 km above the crater rim during 15-20 January and caused ashfall in areas downwind; the Tokyo VAAC reported that ash plumes mainly drifted S, SE, E, and NE. 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 15-21 January ash plumes from Dukono rose 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, SE, S, and SW. 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 11 and 13-14 January that sent ash plumes up to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l.; ash plumes drifted E and caused ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Fuego | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that there were 8-17 explosions per hour recorded at Fuego during 14-21 January, generating ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim and generally drifted 10-22 km SW and W. Ashfall was reported in several areas downwind including Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), and El Porvenir (8 km ENE). Explosions sometimes produced shock waves that rattled houses in communities within a 7 km radius, though they were felt up to 25 km away during 19-20 January. Incandescent material was ejected 100-500 m high and caused avalanches of material that occasionally traveled long distances (reaching vegetated areas) down the Seca (W), Taniluyá (SW), Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), Honda, and Las Lajas (SE) ravines. Ash plumes drifted 18 km E during 20-21 January.

Ijen | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 1-18 January white plumes rose 250-400 m above Ijen’s water lake surface and no change in the colour of the water was noted. An increase in the number of shallow volcanic earthquakes was detected; continuous tremor emerged on 11 January, peaked on 15 January, and then decreased during 17-18 January. The temperature of the lake water fluctuated, though overall it decreased from 38 degrees Celsius in June 2019 to 20 degrees Celsius on 14 January; the lake water was 46 degrees Celsius during a period of increased activity from February to March 2018. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents and visitors were advised to not approach the crater rim or descend to the crater floor.

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 13-19 January lava continued to effuse from Karangetang’s Main Crater (S), traveling as far as 1.8 km down the Nanitu, Pangi, and Sense drainages on the SW and W flanks. Sometimes dense white plumes rose 50-300 m above the summit. Incandescence from both summit craters was visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy was identified in satellite images during 10-12 and 15-16 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Nishinoshima | Japan : The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) reported that during an overflight of Nishinoshima conducted from 1335 to 1412 on 17 January surveyors observed continuous gray emissions rising from the central crater of the pyroclastic cone to 1.8 km (5,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifting E and NE. The central crater was open to the ENE; lava flows traveled NE and entered the ocean, producing steam plumes at the coastline.

Pacaya | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 15-21 January Strombolian explosions at Pacaya’s Mackenney Crater ejected material as high as 100 m above the crater rim, building a small cone. Multiple lava flows, some short-lived, traveled as far as 150 m W and S, and down the NW flank towards Cerro Chino.

Reventador | Ecuador : IG reported that during 15-22 January seismic data from Reventador’s network indicated a high level of seismic activity, including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and signals indicating emissions. Daily gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 1.6 km above the crater rim and drifted W, NW, and N. Incandescent blocks rolled 700 m down the flanks. Weather sometimes prevented views of the summit area.

Santa Maria | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that explosions at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose 800-900 m above the crater and drifted as far as 1.4 km W and SW. INSIVUMEH noted that ashfall was likely in areas downwind. Avalanches of material descended the NW, SW, and SE flanks of Caliente cone.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 10-17 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Shishaldin | Fox Islands (USA) : AVO reported that after almost a week of relatively quiet conditions at Shishaldin, during 16-17 January seismicity began to climb and the temperature of the thermal anomaly slightly increased. Activity intensified at 0030 on 19 January and by around 0630 the plume became more ash-rich. By around 0828 the ash plume rose to 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 150 km E, prompting AVO to raise the Aviation colour Code to Red and the Volcano Alert Level to Warning. Lava flows descended the NE and N flanks and generated lahars. By 1530 seismicity abruptly decreased, though around the same time the robust steam-and-ash plume (visible to pilots and in webcam and satellite images) rose as high as 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l. and continued to drift 150 km SSE. Minor amounts of ash fell in False Pass. Ash emissions had significantly declined by 2200 and seismicity was low; the Aviation colour Code was lowered to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Watch just after midnight the next morning. A detached volcanic cloud was identified in satellite images drifting ESE over the Pacific Ocean. During 20-21 January elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images, though the N-flank flow was not active. Seismicity remained above background levels, and coincided with detections in infrasound data that suggested small explosions at the vent. Steaming from the summit was visible in webcam images.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that Suwanosejima’s seismic network recorded an explosion at Ontake Crater on 10 January and occasional small eruptive events during 12-17 January. Plumes rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim. Residents of Toshima Village (4 km SSW) reported ashfall and explosion and rumbling sounds. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

White Island | North Island (New Zealand) : On 22 January GeoNet reported that lava had been extruded into the vents created by the 9 December White Island eruption based on visual observations from the week before and on 21 January. Airborne gas measurements indicated high levels on 21 January and the vent temperature was very hot at more than 400 degrees Celsius. According to a news article another person died as a result from the eruption, bringing the total number of deaths to 20. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 and the Aviation colour Code remained at Yellow.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.6 earthquake hits western Turkey.

5.6 earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia.

5.6 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits Myanmar.

5.1 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.1 earthquake hits southeast od Easter Island.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere – Tropical cyclone (tc) 09s (Nine), located approximately 449 nm east-southeast of Port Mathurin, Mauritius, is tracking south-southeastward at 14 knots.


Iran – Since 11 January, heavy rains and river overflowing have led to widespread floods, affecting especially Sistan and Baluchistan (SB), Hormozgan and Kerman. Depth of water reached 8 metres. New waves of rain are expected. In SB, 13 counties are particularly impacted with thousands of people displaced and living in emergency shelters. 500 roads to villages are blocked, 719 villages damaged as well as agricultural land, livestock, schools, health clinics. First estimates report more than 200 000 people directly affected; 100 000 people have their houses at least partially destroyed.

Spain – Storm Gloria caused sea foam to engulf roads in the town of Tossa de Mar and left heavy rainfall and flooding all across Spain’s Catalonia region. The death toll has risen to 9.

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Space Events

Oldest Crater

When we gaze out into our solar system and observe its several planets and many moons, one thing tends to be true of just about all of them: They have lots and lots of impact craters. Each of those scars on a planet or moon’s surface tells a story, and while Earth’s weather and plentiful water ensure that most impact craters are erased or obscured from view, there are still a number of them that researchers have been able to sniff out.

As NASA reveals in a new post on its website, the previous record holder for the oldest crater on Earth has been bested by a new discovery in Australia. Called the Yarrabubba meteor crater, it’s estimated to be a whopping 2.229 billion years old.

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Hepatitis A – Florida, USA

The Florida Department of Health saw an additional 40 outbreak hepatitis A (HAV) cases during the past week, bringing the total to 4,046 cases since Jan. 2018. This also puts the case tally for 2020 to over 100.

Novel Coronavirus – China

China banned trains and planes from leaving a major city at the centre of a virus outbreak on Thursday, seeking to seal off its 11 million people to contain the contagious disease that has claimed 17 lives, infected hundreds and spread to other countries.

Authorities in Wuhan, a major transport hub, also suspended public buses and subways, and said residents should not leave “without a special reason”.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the Week 15 January 2020 – 21 January 2020

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that during 13-19 January dense white gas plumes rose 25-300 m above the bottom of Anak Krakatau’s crater. Two eruptive events were recorded by the seismic network on 15 January. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km-radius hazard zone from the crater.

Kuchinoerabujima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : White plumes from Kuchinoerabujima rose 600 m above the crater rim during 14-17 January. Minor eruptive activity from 1659 on 17 January through 1030 on 20 January generated grayish-white plumes that rose 300 m. Sulfur dioxide emissions were high at 800 and 1,600 tons per day on 15 and 16 January, respectively. The Alert Level remained at 3 (the middle level on a scale of 1-5).

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that an eruption at Semeru was recorded at 0725 on 18 January and lasted almost four minutes. A gray ash plume rose around 400 m above the crater rim and drifted SW and W. Ash plumes rose 300-400 m and drifted W and N during 19-21 January. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale from 1-4); the public was warned to stay 1 km away from the active crater and 4 km away on the SSE flank.

Taal | Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that the eruption at Taal continued during 14-21 January, though was generally weaker. Activity during 15-16 January was characterized by dark gray, steam-laden plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the vents in Main Crater and drifted S and SW. Satellite images showed that the Main Crater lake was gone, and new craters had formed on the floor and N flank of Volcano Island. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 4,186 tonnes per day on 15 January. Eruptive events at 0617 and 0621 on 16 January generated short-lived, dark gray ash plumes that rose 500 and 800 m, respectively, and drifted SW. Weak steam plumes rose 800 m and drifted SW during 1100-1700, and nine weak explosions were recorded by the seismic network. Dropping water levels of Taal Lake were first observed in some areas on 16 January but reported to be lake-wide the next day. The known ground cracks in the barangays of Lemery, Agoncillo, Talisay, and San Nicolas in Batangas Province widened a few centimeters by 17 January, and a new steaming fissure was identified on the N flank of the island. Steady steam emissions were visible during 17-21 January. Infrequent weak explosions generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km and drifted SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions fluctuated and were as high as 4,353 tonnes per day on 20 January and as low as 344 tonnes per day on 21 January. From 1300 on 12 January to 0800 on 21 January the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) had recorded a total of 718 volcanic earthquakes; 176 of those had magnitudes ranging from 1.2-4.1 and were felt with Intensities of I-V. During 20-21 January there were five volcanic earthquakes with magnitudes of 1.6-2.5; the Taal Volcano network (which can detect smaller events not detectable by the PSN) recorded 448 volcanic earthquakes, including 17 low-frequency events. According to the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) there were a total of 148,987 people in 493 evacuation centers as of 1800 on 21 January. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Costa Rica.