Wildfires – Australia

Firefighters are being brought in from around Western Australia to help battle a 1 200 Ha bushfire raging through Perth’s semi-rural northeast amid fears that stronger winds will increase its intensity. More than 150 firefighters tackled the blaze near Shady Hills and Bullsbrook.

After burning more than 85,000 hectares of land for over six weeks, the last two bushfires burning in Victoria’s Gippsland region have been contained.


Wildfire in Lone Pine, California

A wildfire has burned a 406-acre area east of Lone Pine, California.

Nearly 500 firefighters are struggling to control the blaze.


Wildfires – Victoria, Australia

Rain falling across Melbourne has eased the threat of a large grassfire burning on the city’s northern outskirts.

The 2400-hectare Donnybrook blaze was still burning out of control this morning, but welcome rain and cooler conditions have reduced the threat to homes.

Fires in the area destroyed several sheds yesterday, and smoke from the 2000 hectare grass fire cast a pall over much of Melbourne last night.

728762 grampians bushfire


Wildfires in Chile

Dozens of homes were destroyed in Valparaiso, Chile by wildfires that burned out of control along several sections of the densely populated hills of the city; about 600 people were affected and evacuated to emergency shelters.

At least 75 houses were totally consumed by the flames in the Rodelillo and Los Placeres neighbourhoods of Valparaiso. The fire started Thursday, early afternoon, in bushy vegetation in the ravines that separate some of the city hills and quickly spread to the houses.

Incendio Valparaiso


Wildfires – Australia

Three fires burning in plantation forest and grassland are joining into one and racing towards a small town in central Victoria.

The large, fast-moving fire is expected to impact Middle Creek and Buangor anytime.

Twenty tankers and two aircraft are on scene.


Wildfires – Australia

Two homes have been destroyed and others are under threat from bushfires burning in the shires of Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Nannup and Donnybrook-Balingup in south-west Western Australia. A string of bushfires sparked by lightning strikes on Tuesday have swept through the region.


Wildfires – Australia

Hot Saturday sparks fresh Victoria fires. Victorian firefighters have been kept busy battling two major fires in the state’s east, whilst also tackling a flurry of blazes closer to Melbourne.

Western Australia’s Health Department has issued a heat wave warning for Perth and warned people to remain indoors and hydrated.


Wildfire – China

Around 1800 firefighters are struggling to control the forest fire in Dali city in Yunnan province of China.

Wildfires – Tasmania

Tasmanian bushfire crews are bracing for worsening conditions as they battle three large wildfires in the south of the Australian state. Evacuations have been ordered.


Wildfires – Australia

A string of bushfires have broken out along the Great Eastern Highway in Western Australia, including one across the highway from the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre at Northam, north-east of Perth.


Australia – Fire warning

Firefighting resources from across Victoria will boost crews battling two serious bushfires as the fire danger increases in hotter conditions over coming days. The Harrietville fire in the alpine region now has 246 firefighters on the scene, with 140 at Aberfeldy in Gippsland, with dangerous fire conditions expected until Sunday. The Harrietville fire has burnt about 6500 hectares since it started on January 21 while the fire in Gippsland has burned about 75,000 hectares, killed a man and destroyed 21 homes.

A small bushfire is burning near Esperance, Western Australia.


Bushfire in Victoria, Australia

A large bushfire is burning out of control in Victoria’s Mount Hotham area after leaping containment lines.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Activity has generally decreased over the past days, with less tremor and weaker explosion signals. Today, tremor seems to be stronger again.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Vigorous eruptive activity has started at the Bocca Nuova crater and produced a short phase of violent strombolian activity.

Santorini (Cyclades, Greece): According to the latest seismic and satellite data, the uplift at the Santorini volcano (2011-2012) has has come to an end.

Tjörnes Fracture Zone (North of Iceland): Earthquakes continue with typically 10-20 quakes recorded in the TFZ. The swarm that had started 20 Oct last year has now been going on for over 3 months and shows no signs of stopping.

Tolbachik (Kamchatka): (30 Jan) The eruption continues unchanged.

Taal (Luzon, Philippines): Elevated seismic activity continues. During yesterday-today, PHILVOLCS detected 13 volcanic earthquakes. Two of these events, which occurred at 7:03 and 7:04 PM yesterday, were felt at intensity II and accompanied by rumbling sound as reported by residents of Barangay Calauit located at the southeast sector of the volcano island.

Tongariro (North Island, New Zealand): Some small earthquakes have appeared again today, but generally, seismic activity has been showing a decreasing trend over the past weeks.

White Island (New Zealand): (30 Jan) Activity remains elevated and fluctuates between stronger and weaker phases. In its latest bulletin, GNS reports that the hot lake has dried out and a small tuff cone has started to form on the former floor of the lake: The active vent continues to produce vigorous bursts of mud, rock, steam and gas from 50-100 m high. Ash is not being carried into the plume. This activity is intermittent as is the seismic activity. Current activity is not sufficient for Volcanic Alert Level 2.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): Activity today remained low. Only few and very weak explosions and small block avalanches from the active flows were reported by INSIVUMEH.

Fuego (Guatemala): Explosions have been becoming more frequent (now 12 during the past day vs a previous average of only 5). They produce light gray ash plumes drifting south and SE for about 5 km. The lava flow is still weakly active, but was only 150 m long this morning.

San Cristobal (Nicaragua): (30 Jan) Numerous tiny volcanic earthquakes and weak volcanic tremor reflect internal unrest.

Masaya (Nicaragua): (30 Jan) Seismic activity remains at more or less stable levels, showing normal background activity of continuous internal fluid movements.

Copahue (Chile/Argentina border): (30 Jan) Seismic and degassing activity is on the increase, Sernageomin reported in its latest bulletin (29 Jan). During 28-29 Jan, a total of 345 volcanic earthquakes (plus more than 400 not counted ones because below threshold) and 6 hours of volcanic tremor were recorded. The seismic swarm was accompanied by an increase in the degassing activity, creating a column of 500 m during pulses of more intense activity. No glow or ash emissions were seen.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Stromboli has returned to more normal levels of activity during the past days and not produced any new lava flows. Our colleague Marc Szlegat (www.vulkane.net) reports from his recent visit that the NE vent still was the site of powerful explosions that were accompanied by shock waves.

El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): Slightly elevated earthquake activity continues.

Tolbachik (Kamchatka, Russia): The eruption continues with little changes. Lava continues to be erupted from the southern fissure vent and feeds large lava flows. KVERT reports strong tremor that obscures seismic recordings from nearby Bezymianny volcano.

Sakurajima (Kyushu): Small to moderately sized explosions continue at relatively high frequency (up to 5-6 per day), with ash plumes rising 5-10,000 ft (1.5-3 km).

Taal (Luzon, Philippines): Earthquake activity remains elevated (20 during the past 3 days), but no other parameters suggest an eruption could be imminent. Alert status remains yellow.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): An eruption produced an ash cloud rising to 10,000 ft (3 km) earlier today, VAAC Darwin reported.

White Island (New Zealand): Earthquakes continue to occur in pulses, and tremor remains elevated, but less stable. It just seems to have dropped sharply. A recent webcam image shows pulsating steam ejections from the crater vent.

Katmai (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The earthquake swarm which began early on 26 Jan has ended.

Colima (Western Mexico): Infrequent small ash explosions and rockfalls have continued during the past days.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Emission numbers dropped drastically during yesterday and are down to 1 per hour, but degassing remains intense and glow can be seen at the summit. During one of the stronger steam/gas explosions yesterday at 09:18 h local time, the plume reached 2 km height above the crater.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): Activity has remained the same: 1-2 explosions per hour with ash plumes rising up to 800 m and weak avalanches from the active flows descending the flanks of the lava dome.

Fuego (Guatemala): Yesterday seems to have been a more “explosive” day at the volcano. INSIVUMEH reports 9 with ash columns up to 500 m height and drifting 6 km west and SW. As a response to the more explosive nature, it seems that the rate of effusion feeding the flow has dropped. The flow decreased to only 200 m length this morning.

Reventador (Ecuador): Seismic activity remains high with continuous, fluctuating tremor and explosion signals. Bad weather mostly prevents direct observations.

Cotopaxi (Ecuador): What seems to be a strong seismic swarm has been visible on recent seismograms, but IGPEN has not issued any notes about this otherwise interesting activity, it is suspected that the VC1 station at the NE base of the volcano is either malfunctioning, showing something else or simply having a very strong magnification of normal backgroud seismicity.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): Internal unrest continues in the form of moderate seismic activity including numerous long period events (72 during 26-28 Jan) and tremor pulses (3). Probable gas and steam emissions could not be observed due to cloud cover.

Copahue (Chile/Argentina border): Seismic and surface activity remained low. However, SERNAGEOMIN also recorded 2 deep seated tremor pulses yesterday morning at 08:36 and 11:43 local time, wich could reflect magma movements at depth.

Nyiragongo (DRCongo): A strong SO2 plume appears on today’s NOAA satellite data image. The lava lake is still active, but the safety situation in the area is still critical and visits are currently not recommended.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): (28 Jan) Activity has dropped again abruptly (and so the tremor signal). A new eruptive phase has started at Bocca Nuova. Since this morning (28 Jan), small ash emissions have been observed and now at night, glow can be seen. The tremor signal has been rising as well.

Karkar (Northeast of New Guinea): An explosion occurred this morning. An ash plume rising to 14,000 ft (4.3 km) and extending 20 nautical miles NE was spotted on satellite data by VAAC Darwin.

White Island (New Zealand): Seismic activity has changed from continuous volcanic tremor to a pattern of intermittent tremor. When occurring, the volcanic tremor remains strong. GNS does not think that an eruption is imminent, but reports that the vigorous hydrothermal activity is throwing out rocks and mud and might be followed by ash emissions:

Mammoth Mountain (California, USA): Another small earthquake swarm occurred under the (dormant) volcano during 28-29 Jan. Numerous tiny quakes were registered at shallow depths (mostly 1-5 km).

Storms and Floods

Tropical Cyclone Felleng

(13s) was located approximately 460 nm north of La Reunion. Felleng is predicted to continue to intensify as it nears Madagascar. Felleng will travel between eastern Madagascar and La Reunion Island by Feb. 1.

Landslide in Turkey

At least seven people have been killed in a landslide in Turkey. The landslide also hit a football pitch in Sirnak, Turkey.


Flooding in UK

Flooding has been reported in Devon, Somerset and south-east Wales. Heavy rain and strong wind warnings have been issued in these regions.

Flooding in Ireland

Heavy rainfall has caused flooding in the Spanish Arch, Galway city of Ireland.

The gale force winds, high tides and heavy rain caused flash flooding in Galway city. Galway city is currently on high alert.

Floods also closed Wolfe Tone Bridge and Lough Atalia Road.

Flooding in Queensland, Australia

Massive summer floods have killed four people and forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes across two Australian states on Tuesday, disrupting air and rail travel and coal production.

A deluge fed by the ex-tropical cyclone Oswald dumped more than 200 millimetres (8 inches) of rain in some areas of the Queensland and New South Wales states over the past three days, swelling rivers and swamping towns.

The worst-hit areas were around Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Ipswich in the Queensland state, and around the northern New South Wales towns of Grafton and Lismore.

A fleet of 14 helicopters rescued more than 1,000 people across Queensland overnight and rescue efforts continued on Tuesday.

Natural disaster areas have been declared in ten local government areas hit by flooding in northern NSW.