Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova region.

5.2 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.1 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Seram, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Fiji.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Canada – Authorities remain on high alert for flooding across southern Quebec as waters continue to rise with military on the way to assist in evacuations. A least one death can be attributed to the flooding thus far. A woman was killed early Saturday morning in Pontiac, Que., about 50 kilometres west of Ottawa, when she drove into a massive hole created after floodwaters washed out a road.

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Global Warming

Earth Day 2019: 10 amazing places where travelers can see a changing climate

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador – El Nino, a cyclical pattern of Pacific storms caused by warm water, has become stronger in recent years, researchers say. And that has affected the famed Ecuadorian islands known for bird, reptile and sea life. The El Nino years can be more intense. The change has even affected finches, which have evolved in just a few years to adapt to the changing environment.

Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan – The lowest place on earth is shrinking, Gunter says. In the last 40 years, the famed salt-laden sea has diminished by a third and dropped 80 feet. Much of the change is due to increased use of water for irrigation from the Jordan River. That’s the key component.

Venice, Italy – Flooding has long plagued the famed canal city, but it has intensified in recent years, with some areas regularly inundated at peak high tides. It’s a regular event, it’s not just something hypothetical that we’re anticipating. The city is developing plans to build flood walls and other barriers to keep the sea at bay.

Fairbanks, Alaska – A drunken forest may sound like something out of a “Harry Potter” book, but it’s actually a change caused by rising temperatures. As permafrost, the layer of permanently frozen ground, disappears in Alaska, trees begin to tilt. There are forests that are leaning like a hurricane blew them. They look like they’ve had too much to drink.

Antarctic Peninsula – When climate changes, not all species react the same. On the southern continent, gentoo penguins are thriving because they build pebble nests on shorelines newly exposed by melting ice. Alternatively, Adélie penguins are having trouble because they fish from floating sea ice, which is less plentiful. There are winners and losers.

Greensburg, Kansas – Although not well-known, this south-central Kansas town is an environmental survivor, Gunter says. It was nearly destroyed by a tornado in 2007, but has since rebuilt as one of the most eco-conscious places in the world. It was the first U.S. city to fully adopt LED street lights, and it gets 100% of its power from renewable energy. It also has the most buildings per capita built to LEED standards. It’s rebuilt itself stronger than before.

Acadia National Park, Maine – Scientists last year collected data in the popular Atlantic Coast park. In the future, the area’s lobster population is predicted to migrate north to seek cooler waters, as will the whales that pass by offshore. You’re seeing a shift in the types of species that exist there.

The Alps – Europe’s famous mountain range still looms over the continent, but warming temperatures are taking their toll. Not only are its glaciers receding, but its plant life is changing as lowland species gain a foothold. The Alps sit lower in elevation than the Rocky Mountains, so they’re more susceptible.

Florida Keys – Coral reefs face pressure due to warming water and a shift in the chemical composition of oceans that has bleached out color. “There’s more carbon in the water,” Gunter explains. “Some corals are more resilient than others. You’ll see parts of a reef that look really good. But in others, change is noticeable.

Glacier National Park, Montana – The glaciers that give the park its name have been in retreat for many years, peaking in the 19th century at the end of a period called the Little Ice Age. Since then the number of glaciers in the park has dropped from about 150 to several dozen today. It’s striking.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

Massive steppe wildfires, propelled by strong winds, have destroyed more than a hundred houses in the Siberian region of Trans-Baikal, leaving hundreds of local residents homeless. More than 400 people were affected by the wildfires that got out of control in the remote Russian region on the Mongolian border. At least, 111 houses in 15 villages were lost in the disaster, the governor’s office said. The people evacuated in time and there have been no fatalities related to the fires.

Wildfires – Mexico

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An image from NASA Earth Observatory shows a large wildfire burning in a forest located west of Cienega de Escobar in Durango, Mexico. According to news reports, the fire is one of 95 wildfires burning in 18 Mexican states.

Wildfires – Scotland

A series of wildfires took hold on the north side of the Isle of Bute. The fire service said a large area of moorland and forestry were affected.

Disease

Chikungunya – Republic of the Congo

Reports from the Republic of the Congo show that the chikungunya epidemic that began Jan. 7 has grown to 8,000 cases. The outbreak has affected eight departments ( Kouilou, Bouenza, Pointe Noire, Plateaux, Pool and Brazaville, Niari, Lékoumu).

Measles – Ukraine – Update

With an additional 2,279 people infected with measles during the week ending April 13, the outbreak in Ukraine now stands at 39,549 including 14 fatalities, according to the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Fifty-four percent of cases have been reported in children.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.3 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Lombok, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits offshore Guatemala.

5.0 earthquake hits southeast of Easter Island.

Wildlife

Botswana Considers Culling Elephants

People living on the outskirts of Botswana’s game parks are anxiously waiting to see if the government is going to do anything to stop roaming wildlife from killing villagers and eating and destroying their crops.

The government is in the process of debating whether to cull elephants, revoke the 2014 ban on hunting or try to keep the wildlife off villagers’ land.

Communities living on the outskirts of fence-less, state-owned parks and forest reserves say their lives are proof that wild animals cannot coexist harmoniously with human beings.

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi appears to be sympathetic to the plight of these communities who are attacked and killed by wild animals and whose crops are eaten and destroyed.

Culling and hunting options have sparked widespread opposition and criticism from animal rights groups and conservationists.

In what appears to be a political crusade to justify culling and hunting as options, the Botswana government has said:

– 25 people have been killed by elephants between 2009 and this year so far;

– Botswana has an elephant population of 130 000 against its carrying capacity of 54 000;

– More than 70% of the elephant population lived outside their designated areas.

Global Warming

Melting Glaciers bring threat of Flash Floods

The Himalaya, the breathtaking consequence of the battle between two tectonic plates, is home to spectacular mountains and a family of glaciers whose waters sustain 1.65 billion people across the region. The thawing of these glaciers leaves behind a myriad of lakes, some of which can suddenly burst their banks and flood downstream.

A satellite-based assessment of 1,291 glacial lakes in the Tibetan Plateau and along the main Himalaya range found that 16 percent of them potentially threaten human settlements. Since 1935, around 40 glacial lake outburst flood disasters have taken place across the Tibetan Plateau.

Environment

Cool Roofs

A new study finds that making rooftops a light-reflective colour can reduce heat-related deaths and cool peak daytime temperatures by more than 3 degrees Celsius during heat waves.

Cities store more heat than the surrounding countryside due to the urban heat island effect. This makes cities more susceptible to the increasing number and intensity of heat waves under global warming.

New modelling by the University of Oxford found that introducing cool roofs across a city could prevent about a quarter of heat wave-related deaths and cut the need for air conditioning.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits the western Indian-Antarctic ridge.

5,2 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit the Nicobar Islands off India.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Canada – Municipalities across southern Quebec are preparing for spring flooding that could be particularly bad, and warning residents to do the same. With heavy rain in the forecast, Laval has already declared a state of emergency, and Rigaud, about an hour from Montreal, has told residents to leave their homes ahead of possible weekend flooding, which could be worse than the 2017 deluge.

Wildlife

Butterfly Bonanza

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Residents of Israel and Lebanon have been treated to the flutter of millions of butterflies that have appeared this spring in numbers not seen in more than 100 years.

The massive migration of Vanessa cardui butterflies from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait came after a winter that saw unusually heavy rainfall. Experts say this gave the species’ caterpillars a bumper crop of plants to thrive on.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority says the butterflies have reached Cypress on their way to Spain and other parts of Europe for the summer.

Bleak Future for Corals

Unprecedented coral bleaching events at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef during 2016 and 2017 have left the World Heritage Site without enough juvenile coral to rebuild, scientists warn.

A report in the journal Nature says the number of “coral babies” trying to repopulate the reef has fallen by 89 percent.

While there are ongoing small-scale efforts to transplant juvenile coral to the reef, researchers say that the efforts are likely to be futile due to the high probability of more severe coral bleaching events brought on by a warming world.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 74.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 58.9 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, 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

Global measles Cases on the Rise

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports preliminary global data that shows reported cases rose by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. By region, Africa has recorded a 700% increase, the Americas 60%, Europe 300%, the Eastern Mediterranean 100%, with 40% increases in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.

Yellow Fever – Brazil

In the current 2018- 2019 season (July 2018 to March 2019), a total of 75 confirmed human cases, including 17 deaths (case fatality rate = 23%), have been reported in Brazil in the states of São Paulo (62), Paraná (12), and Santa Catarina (1).

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 10 April – 16 April 2019

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 1847 on 11 April an explosion at Agung produced a dense gray ash plume that rose 2 km above the crater rim and drifted W. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) with the exclusion zone set at a 4-km radius.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was occasionally visible during 12-15 April. Two events and one explosion generated plumes that rose a maximum of 2.2 km above the crater rim and ejected material as far as 700 m. 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 10-12 and 15-16 April ash plumes from Dukono rose as high as 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and visitors were 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 on 9 April that sent ash plumes up to 2.2 km (7,200 ft) a.s.l. Weather clouds obscured views on the other days during 5-12 April. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Etna | Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that during 8-14 April gas emissions of variable intensity rose from Etna’s summit craters. During each night webcams recorded pulsating flashes from the E vent in New Southeast Crater (NSEC) which became more intense towards the end of the week. A minor ash emission from Bocca Nuova Crater was visible at 0520 on 8 April.

Fuego | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 10-11 April steaming lahars descended Fuego’s Las Lajas (SE), El Jute (SE), Ceniza (SSW), and Taniluyá (SW) drainages, carrying blocks up to 3 m in diameter, and branches and tree trunks. On 11 April lahars were 3 m deep and 20 m wide. During 11-15 April there were 12-22 explosions per hour, generating ash plumes that rose almost 1.1 km and drifted10-15 km N, NE, E, and W. Minor ashfall was reported in areas downwind including Alotenango, Ciudad Vieja (13.5 km NE), La Réunion, Yepocapa (8 km N), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofia (12 km SW), and Panimache (8 km SW). Shock waves sometimes vibrated residential structures. Incandescent material was ejected 100-300 m high and caused avalanches of material that occasionally traveled long distances down Seca, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, and Honda ravines. A lava flow, 400-500 m long, advanced in the Seca drainage.

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 10 April ash plumes from Ibu were identified in satellite images drifting N at an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. During 15-16 April ash plumes drifted N and NE at an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. 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.

Kadovar | Papua New Guinea : Based on satellite data and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 10 April an ash plume from Kadovar rose to an altitude of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and E.

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 16 April an ash emission from Karangetang rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Kerinci | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that at 1559 on 13 April and 0629 on 14 April brownish ash plumes rose 400 m above Kerinci’s crater rim and drifted E and NE, respectively, as noted by a ground-based observer. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and tourists were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that an eruption at Anak Krakatau was recorded by the seismic network at 0932 on14 April. An ash plume drifted NE. An event was recorded at 2358 on 15 April, though no ash plume was visible. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 5-km radius hazard zone from the crater.

Merapi | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 5-11 April the lava dome at Merapi continued to grow slowly, with extruded material channeled into the SE-flank Gendol River drainage. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Rincon de la Vieja | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that an eruption at Rincón de la Vieja recorded at 0617 on 10 April produced a gas-and-steam plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim and drifted SE. At 0643 on 12 April a plume rose 500 m. Another event was detected at 0700 on 13 April, although poor weather conditions prevented visual observations. On 14 April OVSICORI-UNA noted that aerial photographs taken during an overflight showed a milky-gray acid lake at a relatively low water level with convection cells of several tens meters of diameter in the center and Eastern parts of the lake.

Ruapehu | North Island (New Zealand) : GeoNet reported that, at least for the last 10 years of continuous lake-temperature monitoring, heating cycles at Ruapehu’s summit Crater Lake have occurred over periods of about 12 months with temperatures ranging from 15 to 45 degrees Celsius. However, the temperature remained elevated at 30 degrees for a period of six months starting in September 2018. GeoNet noted that during the previous two weeks the lake temperature increased further, at a rate of around a half of a degree per day, to 42 degrees on 9 April. Tremor levels also increased. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 1 (minor volcanic unrest) and the Aviation colour Code remained at Green.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch’s lava dome was identified daily in satellite images during 6-12 April. Explosions on 10 April generated ash plumes that rose to 8-9 km (26,200-29,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 1,300 km SSE. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).