Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 8 August -14 August 2018

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : According to the Darwin VAAC, a webcam recorded an ash emission from Agung rising to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting 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 there were five events and three explosions at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 6-13 August, with ash plumes rising as high as 1.6 km above the crater rim and material ejected as far as 900 m. Crater incandescence was sometimes visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite data, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 8-14 August ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NE, and E.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 3-10 August that sent ash plumes as high as 3.7 km (12,100 ft) a.s.l. An ash cloud identified in satellite data drifted about 65 km E during 7-8 August. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Fuego | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that on 9 August heavy rain triggered lahars that traveled down the Seca drainage on Fuego’s W flank and the Mineral drainage, carrying tree trunks and blocks as large a 2 m in diameter. During 12-14 August weak-to-moderate explosions generated ash plumes that rose almost as high as 1 km above the summit and drifted W and SW. Incandescent material was ejected 150 m high, and avalanches of blocks descended the Cenizas (SSW), Las Lajas (SE), and Santa Teresa (W) drainages. Ashfall was reported in Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I (8 km SW), and finca Palo Verde.

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 0259 on 13 August an event at Ibu generated an ash plume that rose 600 m above the crater rim. 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 was identified in satellite images on 4 August, and an ash cloud drifted 50 km SE on 7 August. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) : HVO reported that during 8-14 August activity at Kilauea was characterized by a slowly-circulating lava pond deep within the Fissure 8 vent (though the pond was crusted over by 14 August) and a billowing gas plume, and a few scattered ocean entries. The summit area was quiet except for occasional rockfalls into the crater. Fresh black sand from fragmented lava was transported SW by the ocean current, and accumulated in the Pohoiki harbor, creating a sandbar. The westernmost ocean entry was about 1 km NE of the harbor. Earthquake and deformation data indicated no magma movement or pressurization in the system.

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that during 8-13 August incandescence emanated from Anak Krakatau at night. According to the Darwin VAAC, satellite data showed an ash plume rising to an altitude of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting W on 11 August. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4); residents and visitors were warned not to approach the volcano within 1 km of the crater.

Pacaya | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 12-14 August Strombolian explosions at Pacaya’s Mackenney Crater ejected material as high as 30 m above the crater rim. A 300-m-long lava flow originating from Mackenney Crater was visible on NW flank.

Sabancaya | Peru : Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that explosions at Sabancaya averaged 23 per day during 6-12 August. Hybrid earthquakes were infrequent and low magnitude. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 2.9 km above the crater rim and drifted 40 km SE, E, and NE. The MIROVA system detected five thermal anomalies, and on 9 August the sulfur dioxide gas flux was high at 2,700 tons/day. The report noted that the public should not approach the crater within a 12-km radius.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that satellite images showed a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch during 6-7 August. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Sierra Negra | Isla Isabela (Ecuador) : IG reported that the eruption at Sierra Negra continued during 7-14 August. Incandescence from active NNW lava flows was visible almost nightly. A steam-and-gas plume rose 1.8 km a.s.l. and drifted W on 7 August.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that during 3-10 August white plumes rose as high as 1 km above the rim of Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater, and incandescence from the crater was visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that pulsating, passive ash emissions rising from Turrialba and drifting W were visible during periods of clear weather on 10 August. The next day a strong sulfur odor was reported in parts of Heredia (38 km W) and San José (36 km WSW).

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.6 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

5.0 earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Atlantic Ocean: Subtropical Storm Ernesto is located about 605 mi…975 km se of Cape Race Newfoundland with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…nne or 30 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

Invest 98L is an area of disturbed weather in the Atlantic Ocean that had the potential for further tropical development.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Depression 19w (Leepi), located approximately 97 nm north-northeast of Pusan, South Korea, is tracking northeastward at 08 knots.

Tropical storm 20w (Bebinca), located approximately 110 nm east-southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam, is tracking westward at 10 knots.

Tropical storm 21w (Rumbia), located approximately 145 nm east-southeast of Shanghai, China, is tracking west-northwestward at 06 knots.

Tropical storm 22w (Soulik), located approximately 478 nm south of Iwo To, Japan, is tracking north-northwestward at 18 knots.

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Lane is located about 1390 mi…2235 km sw of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…w or 270 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

NewsBytes:

India – Update – The death toll brought on by floods, landslides and bridge collapses in India’s monsoon-hit state of Kerala has risen to 77 as heavy rainfall threatened new areas. Authorities in the southern state, which is home to 33 million people, have placed local agencies on the highest alert level in what has turned out to be Kerala’s worst monsoon in almost a century. More than 60,000 people have sought shelter in relief camps and the army and navy have been called in to assist with rescue operations, airlifting people to hospital, according to the official. Unconfirmed local media reports mentioned a much higher toll and cited ongoing efforts to reach many flooded areas.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A number of homes on the New South Wales south coast remain under threat from two out-of-control bushfires being whipped up by increasingly strong winds. An emergency warning has been issued for people near Yankees Gap Road at Bemboka and for the Mount Kingiman fire south of Ulladulla.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 8 August -14 August 2018

Etna | Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that during 6-12 August activity at Etna was similar to the previous week, characterized by gas emissions at the summit craters, Strombolian activity, and ash emissions. Strombolian explosions continued from vents in Bocca Nuova, and were particularly visible at night. Activity at Northeast Crater (NEC) consisted of frequent ash emissions and Strombolian explosions. Explosions at the E crater on the E flank of the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) generated gray-brown ash plumes that sometimes rose several hundred meters above Etna’s summit and quickly dissipated.

Great Sitkin | Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that a small phreatic explosion at Great Sitkin was recorded by the seismic network at 1105 on 11 August. The event was preceded by small local earthquakes. Cloudy satellite images prevented views of the volcano during 12-14 August. The Aviation colour Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : Servicio Nacional de Geología and Minería (SERNAGEOMIN) Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) and ONEMI reported that at 1212 on 8 August an explosion-type earthquake was recorded by Nevados de Chillán’s seismic network. A grayish ash plume rose 1.5 km above Nicanor Crater and incandescent material was ejected around the vent. The Alert Level remained at Orange, the second highest level on a four-colour scale, and residents were reminded not to approach the crater within 3 km. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the communities of Pinto, Coihueco, and San Fabián.

Rincon de la Vieja | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that a three-minute-long eruption at Rincón de la Vieja began at 1828 on 14 August. Foggy conditions prevented webcam views and an estimate of a plume height.

Sangay | Ecuador : In a special report IG stated that a new phase of activity at Sangay began on 8 August, with surficial activity characterized by low-energy ash emissions rising as high as 2.3 km above the crater rim and a possible new lava flow on the SE flank. The Washington VAAC reported that prior to 1500 on 8 August an ash emission rose to an altitude of 5.8 km (19,000 ft) a.s.l., or 500 m above the crater rim, and drifted SW. On 11 August a possible ash plume rose to 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l., or 2.3 km above the crater rim, and drifted WNW. Thermal anomalies were identified in satellite data on 14 August. That same day a webcam image showed incandescence on the upper part of the SE flank, suggesting a lava flow from the Ñuñurco dome. The report stated that no activity at Sangay had been observed since the last eruption ended in November 2017.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits Panama.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Atlantic Ocean: Subtropical Depression Five is located about 1015 mi…1630 km w of the Azores with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…n or 350 degrees at 5 mph…7 km/h.

Invest 98L is an area of disturbed weather in the Atlantic Ocean that had the potential for further tropical development.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Depression 19w (Leepi), located approximately 54 nm north-northeast of Pusan, South Korea, is tracking north-northeastward at 10 knots.

Tropical storm 20w (Bebinca), located approximately 200 nm west-southwest of Hong Kong, is tracking westward at 06 knots.

Tropical storm 21w (Rumbia), located approximately 186 nm north-northwest of Kadena AFB, is tracking northwestward at 13 knots.

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Depression Fourteen-E is located about 1170 mi…1880 km sw of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…w or 265 degrees at 14 mph…22 km/h.

Tropical Depression Hector is located about 1317 nm northwest of Johnston island, and is tracking northwestward at 20 knots.

In the Central Pacific Ocean: Invest 94L is an area of disturbed weather in the Central Pacific Ocean that has the potential for further tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Northeast USA – Heavy rain is forecast to continue falling in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, with flood warnings in place Tuesday through Wednesday in some areas. Rising water levels over the weekend and Monday prompted evacuations and emergency declarations in Pennsylvania with numerous water rescues. Torrents of brown water swept through streets and under bridges. The worst flooding has been west of Philadelphia to Reading and Allentown.

Disease

Leptospirosis – Israel

Israeli health officials are reporting 27 leptospirosis cases up to now, about half of them had been hospitalized. Hundreds more who visited the streams are expected to be examined, the ministry said. The bacterial infection has been linked to swimming in streams in the southern Golan Heights.

Foot and Mouth Disease – China

China’s Ministry of Agriculture reported on Tuesday an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in its central province of Henan. The O-type strain of the disease was found in five pigs at a slaughter plant, leading to the culling of 173 pigs, the ministry said, adding that the outbreak was under control. This is the seventh case of the O-type strain of the disease found in livestock this year.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 earthquake hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile.

5.1 earthquake hits the south-western Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Africa.

5.0 earthquake hits Reykjanes Ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Atlantic Ocean: Invest 98L is an area of disturbed weather in the Atlantic Ocean that had the potential for further tropical development.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm 19w (Leepi), located approximately 274 nm south-southeast of Iwakuni, Japan, is tracking northwestward at 15 knots.

Tropical storm 20w (Bebinca), located approximately 83 nm south-southwest of Hong Kong, is tracking west-northwestward at 02 knots.

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Hector is located about 250 mi…400 km sw of Midway island with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 290 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Suden – July Floods – Flooding has affected over 45,000 people, led to 23 human deaths and 61 injuries. In addition, more than 8,900 families have been rendered homeless and are currently putting up in temporary sites in their neighbours and relative’s houses. These rains have caused significant damage to key infrastructure such as bridges and roads as well as amenities like schools, latrines and local dispensaries. In addition, livelihoods have been significantly affected as farms were submerged in water and livestock washed away. Power outages occur severally due to collapsing of power lines.

China – Heavy floods have continued to sweep through China leaving numerous cities battling with dangerous driving conditions and causing flight delays in the country.

Wildlife

New Caledonia protects coral reefs

New Caledonia agreed on Tuesday to tougher protections around a huge swathe of some of the world’s last near-pristine coral reefs, in a move conservationists hailed as a major breakthrough.

The Pacific nation, a French overseas territory, is home to a rich array of wildlife including 2.5 million seabirds and over 9,300 marine species, such as dugongs — marine mammals related to manatees — and nesting green sea turtles, many of which thrive in and around remote zones off the island nation’s coast.

The archipelago boasts some of the world’s healthiest reefs, including Astrolabe, Petrie, Chesterfield and Bellona, which are considered exceptional examples of coral ecosystems.

After years of work, the New Caledonia government Tuesday voted to set up marine protected areas (MPAs) surrounding the reefs, and to strengthen an existing one around Entrecasteaux, which is already a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The move will see 28,000 square kilometres (10,810 square miles) of waters safeguarded from commercial and industrial fishing and other exploitation, helping conserve habitats and allow marine life to feed and reproduce undisturbed. Tourist activity around the reefs is also set to be more rigorously controlled.

Coral

Disease

Serbia measles: 5,700 cases in 10 months

Since October 2017, the Republic of Serbia has reported a total of 5715 cases of measles through Aug 10, of which, 2875 were laboratory confirmed at the Torlak Institute. In addition, the total number of registered deaths due to complications caused by measles is 15. The majority of patients (94%) are non-vaccinated, incomplete vaccinated or unknown vaccine status.

Cholera – Niger

According to the authorities, as of 28 July, 520 cholera cases, including eight deaths, have been recorded in the Madaroufa health district, in the southern Maradi region. The number of recorded cases has tripled compared to the previous week when 148 cases had been recorded as of 19 July.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits northern Alaska.

6.0 earthquake hits northern Alaska.

5.6 earthquake hits south-east of Easter Island.

5.5 earthquake hits northern Alaska.

5.4 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 earthquake hits Yunnan, China.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit northern Alaska.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Atlantic Ocean: Invest 98L is an area of disturbed weather in the Atlantic Ocean that had the potential for further tropical development.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm (ts) 18w (Yagi), located approximately 145 nm south-southwest of Shanghai, China, is tracking northwestward at 22 knots.

Typhoon 19w (Leepi), located approximately 609 nm southeast of Sasebo, Japan, is tracking northwestward at 12 knots.

Tropical storm 20w (Bebinca), located approximately 116 nm south- southwest of Hong Kong, is tracking eastward at 03 knots.

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Hector is located bout 245 mi…390 km ssw of Midway island with maximum sustained winds…65 mph…100 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 295 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

Invest 97E is an area of disturbed weather in the Eastern Pacific Ocean that has the potential for further tropical development.

NewsBytes:

India – More than half of the 14 districts in India’s Kerala state have been put on high alert, officials said, as the death toll from one of the worst floods in the southern state reached 34. Torrential rains and landslides during India’s June-September monsoon season have ravaged farmlands and prompted massive evacuation efforts across Kerala state. More than 31 000 people have been evacuated. Kerala state authorities have taken the unprecedented step of opening the gates of 25 water reservoirs to prevent potentially disastrous breaches. The state, which has 44 rivers, witnessed its worst floods in 1924 following torrential rains.

New York, Massachusetts, USA – Localized torrential rainfall led to street flooding from Boston to Long Island on Sunday. Flooding washed cars from a New Jersey dealership into a river.

Philippines – More than 54,000 people were moved to safer ground in the Philippine capital and nearby provinces. Marikina City implemented forced evacuations affecting at least 21,000 people after its river, the catch basin of water flowing from the mountains, reached critical level. In nearby Rizal province, 19,000 people were moved. Families were on rooftops in Marikina waiting for rescue. More than 9,000 people were evacuated in Quezon City, Valenzuela, Manila, Malabon and Pasig — all in the capital region. Floodwaters in some areas are chest high, rendering roads impassable, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. Gates of several dams have been opened, the weather bureau said. Train services were halted and schools shut.

Wildlife

New estimate on coral age hints at recovery hope

The symbiotic relationship between corals and micro-algae is much older and more robust than previously thought – a finding that implies the world’s reefs might be more resilient to global warming than predicted.

Coral cells rely on long-term mutually beneficial relationships with algae known as zooxanthellae. These live inside the cells and facilitate the capture and exploitation of sunlight that powers the creation of reefs. It is the death of these plant-like micro-organisms in response to warming temperatures that catalyses coral bleaching.

Research into the evolutionary history of the symbiosis, however, raises at least a faint hope that over longer time periods resilience and recovery may be possible.

Originally held to be a single species, classified in its own genus, Symbiodium, by the turn of the century researchers were noting considerable diversity among the zooxanthellae, and classifying lineages accordingly. However, available sequencing techniques provided only relatively crude results for the age and divergence dates of the newly identified species, together with a rough estimate suggesting the symbiosis with coral began around 60 million years ago.

Past estimates placed the initiation of these symbiotic relationships at 50 to 65 million years ago. The research indicates that modern corals and their algal partners have been entwined with each other for much longer – since the time of the dinosaurs, approximately 160 million years ago.

The relationship between the algae and the coral, thus, began during the Jurassic period – a finding with potentially optimistic implications. During their long existence, they have faced severe episodes of environmental change, but have managed to bounce back after each one.

Screen Shot 2018 08 13 at 1 14 51 PM

Heat-resistant Coral Reefs Found in Indonesia

A recent scientific survey off the coast of Sulawesi Island in Indonesia suggests that some shallow water corals may be less vulnerable to global warming than previously thought.

Between 2014 and 2017, the world’s reefs endured the worst coral bleaching event in history, as the cyclical El Niño climate event combined with anthropogenic warming to cause unprecedented increases in water temperature.

But the June survey found the Sulawesi reefs were surprisingly healthy. In fact they were in better condition than when they were originally surveyed in 2014 – a surprise for British scientist Dr Emma Kennedy, who led the research team.

Indonesia is situated in the heart of the Coral Triangle – home to the greatest levels of marine biodiversity on the planet. There are reefs here that contain more species than the entire Caribbean, which is why the bioregion is of particular interest to scientists looking into reef resilience.

The hope is that if key reefs can be protected from other stressors such as plastic pollution and overfishing, they can ride out the worst impacts of climate change and replenish adversely affected reefs once ocean temperatures stabilise.

The findings of the Sulawesi survey will help scientists and conservationists target coral conservation programmes elsewhere in the world. With perhaps three decades left to rescue a vital global ecosystem from extinction, it is progress that’s sorely needed.