Storms and Floods

Malaga, on the Costa del Sol, Spain, received almost five inches 5 inches of rain from midnight to midday Saturday, flooding the regional capital. Torrents of water plunged rapidly downhill through the streets of the city with the main shopping quarter chest-deep in muddy water.




Monster storm hits Queensland, Australia causing heavy damage. More than 4000 lightning strikes within 80km of Brisbane were reported in one hour. Brisbane, Redlands, North Stradbroke and parts of the Gold Coast Logan and Moreton Bay were worst affected by the storm.



6.8 Earthquake [preliminary magnitude] hits the Kuril Islands.

6.1 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.7 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 Earthquake hits south-east of the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands region.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tajikistan.

4.8 Earthquake hits offshore Chiapas, Mexico.

Space Events

The Leonid meteor shower is expected to peak during the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 17-20.

Leonids are spawned by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Every 33 years, it rounds the Sun and then goes back to the outer solar system. On each passage across Earth’s orbit, Tempel-Tuttle lays down another trail of debris.

To see the Leonids, lie outside in a dark place between midnight and dawn. Point your feet east and look carefully.


A train collided with a school bus in southern Egypt. So far, there have been 47 people (mostly children) killed and 13 others injured.


Volcanic activity world-wide:

Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico has calmed down considerably to only about 2 emissions of steam and ash per hour (after having reached numbers of 150-200 per day during recent days). The decline might be in connection with the M6.0 Tlalchapa earthquake yesterday morning or simply be part of the fluctuations in activity the volcano has been undergoing over the past months.

Fuego volcano in Guatemala remains very calm. The lava flow towards the Ceniza canyon was 350 m long yesterday.

Santiaguito produced a weak explosion occurred at 19:16 h local time on 16 Nov with an ash column rising 400 m and strong glow visible. There are constant weak and moderate avalanches from the active lava flows from the lava dome.

A small earthquake swarm occurred yesterday morning at Little Sitkin volcano in the Aleutians (Alaska). USGS has not noted any other unusual activity.

Storms and Floods

Tornado hits Portugal’s Algarve causing chaos, 8 injured. Firefighters said most of those injured had to be pulled out of overturned vehicles.


5.6 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits near the east coast of central Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the west coast of northern Sumatra.

5.0 Earthquake hits Antofagasto, Chile.


While residents living in South Australian towns ravaged by this week’s bushfires have escaped injury, the local wildlife has not been so lucky.

Dozens of badly burned koalas, possums and echidnas have been rescued and taken to wildlife carers around the Port Lincoln area where the worst blaze hit.

Injured animals are receiving round-the-clock care at Adelaide’s AMWRRO Centre.




Drought in Tanzania is driving the youth to the cities. Changing weather patterns in Tanzania have caused a rising wave of migration from rural to urban areas, with thousands of youths flocking into Dar es Salaam, the largest city, in search of work.


A storm system that brought cold, wet weather to much of the United States last week helped ease drought in many states, but some areas that were most in need of moisture were missed.

The U.S. High Plains, which includes key farm states of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Kansas, saw slight improvement last week due to good precipitation. But three quarters of both Kansas and Nebraska continued to suffer from extreme or exceptional drought.

In South Dakota, extreme or worse drought still covers nearly 55 percent of the state.

The portion of the contiguous United States under “extreme” or “exceptional” drought – the two most dire classifications – improved to 18.30 percent from 19.36 percent.

The persistent drought continues to hinder growth of the new winter wheat crop in many U.S. Plains states.

Texas and Oklahoma, also key wheat growing states, continued to struggle with drought.

Wheat in Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado, and Oklahoma is struggling with more than 30 percent of it in each of those states rated poor to very poor, according to USDA.

In Texas, the drought deepened as the state was largely missed by the rain storms that swept through the Plains and Midwest. In contrast, most of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and western Tennessee measured widespread precipitation.


In addition to the three dead in the latest ebola outbreak in Uganda, up to 15 people are being monitored for signs of the disease. Officials advised against panic after it was revealed that two possible Ebola patients had since checked into Kampala’s main referral hospital.

First outbreak of a highly pathogenic bird flu virus in Australia in 15 years. Authorities hope that a cull of 50,000 chickens will contain the outbreak. It is not yet known what caused the outbreak at an egg farm in New South Wales. Japan has banned imports of eggs from Australia.


Volcanic activity world-wide:

Due to increased seismic activity, GNZ has increased the alert level of Ruapehu volcano in New Zealand.

Ash emissions continue from Paluweh volcano (Rokatenda) volcano off Flores, Indonesia.

The MODIS TERRA and AQUA satellites detected 4 thermal anomalies at Michael volcano in the South Sandwich Islands on 14 November suggesting that some significant activity has started there.

At Kilauea volcano on Hawai’i, the lava flows in the coastal plain have reached within 400m/0.25mi of the shoreline, and are expected to enter the ocean in the next few days.

The current phase of weak, mainly effusive activity endures at Fuego volcano in Guatemala. The lava flow towards the Ceniza canyon was 250 m long yesterday.

Santiaguito produced a moderate explosion on 15 Nov and a small pyroclastic flow caused by partial collapse of one of the still weakly active lava flows descending the flanks of the dome.

A small eruption might have occurred at Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia prior to 14:47 GMT yesterday 15 Nov. The report came by VAAC Washington, based on seismic data and the detection of a hot spot. The volcano occasionally has been having small ash puffs in the recent weeks.

Reventador volcano in Ecuador: While visual observations are difficult to absent due to near constant cloud cover, the seismic signal tells a clear story that significant activity is going on at the growing lava dome.

Sakurajima volcano has entered once again a phase of more intense and frequent explosions. Since yesterday, there has been one explosion every 4-5 hours on average. Ash clouds rose to altitudes between 1.8-3.4 km (6-11,000 ft) altitude.

Another small earthquake swarm has occurred at Mammoth Mountain west of the Long Valley caldera (California) between 14-17 Nov. This seismic activity falls into the normal behaviour of an active caldera system, and should not be seen as indicator of new eruptions to be expected in the near future.

Significant SO2 plumes, evidence of fresh magma arriving at the surface, continue to originate from Ambrym volcano on Vanuatu and from Nyiragongo volcano in the DR Congo.

Storms and Floods

Flash floods have washed away the rice harvest of some 2,000 farmers in western Kenya, flooding some of their homes and sending latrine effluent into water courses, which provide drinking water to many communities.


6.0 Earthquake hits Estado de Mexico, Mexico.

5.9 Earthquake hits the Bismarck Sea north of Papua New Guinea.

5.7 Earthquake hits the Near Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits the New Britain region, Papua New Guinea.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Fiji region.

5.1 Earthquake hits Guatemala.

5.1 Earthquake hits the northern Pacific Ocean.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Guatemala.

4.9 Earthquake hits near the coast of Chiapas, Mexico.

4.9 Earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.


After maintaining a marked silence on the issue of global warming in the campaign running up to the US elections, President Obama now sees a second-term focus on climate change, saying that melting ice caps and increasing global temperatures are signs that climate change is real and that he will seek to mitigate the damage from the phenomenon:

“I am a firm believer that climate change is real… and as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.”


Volcanic activity world-wide:

Ash emissions from Paluweh volcano (Rokatenda) volcano off Flores, Indonesia, continue to show up on satellite images. VAAC Darwin reported a plume at 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude extending about 100 km to the west from the volcano today.

Not much activity has been reported recently from Etna volcano, but a small SO2 plume showed up on NOAA’s satellite image of 14 Nov, suggesting a phase of increased degassing.

Popocatépetl’s activity remains elevated (compared to previous weeks) with frequent (141 during 13-14 Nov) emissions, mainly of steam, but some with small ash plumes and ejection of incandescent material onto the upper crater area. Glow is well visible at night and a strong SO2 emission signal indicates the continuing rise of fresh magma. A seismic swarm seems to be occurring today.

Very few if any explosions have been occurring recently at Fuego volcano in Guatemala. The lava flow towards the Ceniza canyon, 350 m long on 14 Nov, remains weakly active. Nearby Santiaguito also remains mainly effusive in activity with only few explosions, but still active block lava flows on the flanks of the dome.

Nicaragua’s San Cristobal volcano has been showing some tremor in recent days.

During the past week, Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia showed in increase in seismic activity with more frequent small quakes. They were mostly located N and NW of the Arenas crater at depths between 4 and 10 km. The largest was a magnitude 2.2 event on 5 Nov at 01:38 local time.

Seismic activity at Galeras volcano remained at fluctuating levels. Occasional gas and ash emissions were observed.

Seismic swams continue to occur beneath Cumbal volcano. No other changes have been noted at the volcano.

Reventador volcano in Ecuador continues to build a new lava dome and effuse a lava flow. Strong steaming can be observed when the volcano is not hidden in clouds, and occasional explosions can occur any time.

Significant SO2 plumes are regularly seen from Ambrym volcano on Vanuatu and from Nyiragongo volcano in the DR Congo. Both volcanoes continue to have very active lava lakes.

The seismic swarm in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone north off Iceland seems finally to be coming to an end.