Wildfires

A wildfire in southern Colorado has burned 14 homes and scorched more than 1,700 acres. More than 130 firefighters from 16 agencies statewide have been battling high winds and flames since Tuesday.

A huge grassfire in Queensland last weekend witnessed a rarely seen destructive phenomenon – a fire tornado.

 

fire tornado

Storms and Floods

Hurricane Sandy has made landfall on the southeastern coast of Cuba and strengthened to a strong Category 2 storm, with winds up to 175 kilometers per hour.

Tropical storm Tony forms in the Atlantic. No threat to land and the storm is not expected to endure long.

Tropical storm Son-Tinh forms in the western Pacific and makes landfall over Siargao, an island in the Philippines. A tropical storm warning has been issued with hundreds of passengers stranded as sea and air travel have been suspended in southern Philippines.

Tropical storm Murjan in the Indian Ocean strikes Somalia.

A powerful cyclone with gale-force winds and heavy precipitation is advancing upon Kamchatka in the Russian Far East.

Extreme weather wreaks havoc in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Floodwaters swept five people away in northern KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend. Three further people who were washed down the Chibide River at Silutshane, near Vryheid are still missing. The widespread rain and storms have caused chaos and misery everywhere, especially on the roads and informal settlements.

Tornado hits Neshoba County, Mississippi, USA.

Earthquakes

6.6 Earthquake hits Costa Rica. No initial reports of damage.

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

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

An Italian court has convicted seven experts of manslaughter for failing to adequately warn residents about the risk of an earthquake before it hit northern Italy in 2009, killing more than 300 people. The verdict has shocked the scientific community. It is well-established that earthquakes cannot be predicted with any reliability. It seems surprising that a European, first world court would reach such an obviously questionable verdict. It is expected that the verdict will not survive on appeal.

Wildfires

More than 100 bushfires burn across New South Wales, Australia. About 1000 firefighters were battling the blazes on Tuesday.

Too many fires to count as bushfires continue to blaze across southeast Queensland, Australia.

Eleven bushfires in South Australia’s remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands have destroyed about 425,000 hectares of scrub after being sparked by lightning at the weekend.

A new widlfire is growing in the mountains near Red River, New Mexico, USA.

Volcanos

Global volcanic activity:

Within the past few days, the lava lake at Kilauea volcano on Hawai’i within Halema‘uma‘u crater has risen to a record levels. 1 year ago the lake was 70m/230ft deep, 1 month ago it was 60m/200ft deep, 1 week ago it was 50m/165ft deep, and today it sits only 33m/110ft deep!

Elevated surface temperatures were detected at Cleveland volcano in Kamchatka on 19 and 22 October, this may be related to a period of lava dome growth at the volcano.

Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi erupted again on Saturday (20/10/2012) at around 01:33 am in the morning. According to a news article, ejecta were seen rising 400 m from the observatory and the eruption lasted for about 70 seconds.

Paluweh volcano (Rokatenda) volcano on Flores (Indonesia) is still showing some activity. A Modis satellite image taken on Monday, 22 October showed a gas plume containing ash drifting 80 KM west of the volcano.

Popocatépetl’s activity in Mexico has decreased again. During 22-23 Oct, 39 small explosions, some with weak ash plumes, were recorded. Crater glow is still visible at night, and some small earthquakes continue under the volcano.

The lava flow from Fuego volcano is decreasing and now only 600 m long. As effusive activity weakens, more explosions seem to occur. INSIVUMEH counted 6 weak events during 22-23 Oct with ash plumes rising about 500 m.

Seismic activity remains elevated at Sotará volcano in Colombia and INGEOMINAS keeps a close watch on the volcano. A swarm on 17 Oct contained over 700 small quakes.

The seismic swarm in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone north off Iceland continues at reduced rate. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, there is enough stress to produce a magnitude 6.8 earthquake, but it is impossible to predict if and when such a quake might occur.

Disease

The number of U.S. cases of meningitis from tainted injections of a steroid medication has reached 304, with total fatalities in the outbreak at 23.

Italy has banned the sale and use of anti-influenza vaccines produced by Novartis pending tests for possible side effects, prompting authorities in Switzerland to also take precautionary steps.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storm Sandy Prompts Hurricane Warning for Jamaica. Jamaicans have taken refuge in shelters and their homes. Schools and airports are closed and a curfew has been imposed in major towns to keep people off the streets and deter looting.

Flooding kills 3 people in Anatolia in northwestern Turkey.

A tornado touched down north of Sacramento, California on Monday, ripping shingles off rooftops and blowing down trees and power lines.

Earthquakes

6.0 Earthquake hits south of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia.

5.9 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Iceland region.

5.2 Earthquake hits west of the Macquarie Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Antofagasto, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Federated States of Micronesia region.

Wildlife

Pollution and bush fires choke honey production in the Rift Valley, Kenya.

The heavy presence of pesticides in the air and environmental degradation in bee keeping areas is affecting production. Some of the agrochemicals being used to spray large-scale farms and ranches are harmful and have affected production of honey by poisoning pollen which is the main food of the bees.

Sporadic fires in Mt Kenya forest worsened matters for bee keepers in Laikipia East as heavy smoke was swept into hives, killing millions of bees.

Volcanos

Global volcanic activity:

The seismic swarm at the Tjörnes Fracture Zone in Iceland continues but at lower pace.

Popocatépetl in Mexico had 85 weak to moderate explosions during 21-22 October, a bit less than previously. Only some of them were accompanied by fine ash emissions. Small earthquakes continue to be recorded under the volcano and a strong SO2 plume is regularly visible on satellite data.

An SO2 plume from Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica could be seen on yesterday’s NOAA SO2 monitoring image for Central America, suggesting elevated degassing activity.

Fuego volcano’s lava flow is 800 m long and some weak explosive activity has resumed.

Occasional ash emissions with plumes up to 1200 m high have been observed and photographed at Galeras volcano in Colombia on 19 and 21 October. Seismic activity, however, remains low with only few occasional events visible on the seismograms.

Raung volcano in East Java shows increasing seismic activity including strong volcanic tremor and the alert level of the volcano was raised to 3 out of 4 (Siaga, “eruption warning”). The Indonesian Volcanological Survey recommends not to approach the volcano’s summit within 3 km.

Strong SO2 emissions are visible from Bagana volcano in Papua New Guinea.

Disease

An outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus in Uganda has spread to the capital Kampala after an infected woman travelled to the city.

Outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease Chikungunya in the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storm Sandy forms south of Jamaica; system will likely strengthen.

A tornado flattened an old wooden theatre, tore roofs off houses and shattered windows as it ripped through the small West Coast towns of Hector and Ngakawau, New Zealand overnight.

Wildfires

Two separate blazes combined into the one raging inferno in the Macleay River region in New South Wales, Australia on Sunday. The blaze, which has been burning since Friday, has destroyed more than 28,000 hectares. An out-of-control bushfire is burning near the Bargo State Forest, with the owners of adjacent properties on alert and firefighting reinforcements travelling to the area 100 kilometres south of Sydney. A severe thunderstorm has sparked a dozen bush and grass fires in New South Wales’ far west, and another out of control blaze has begun near Brewarrina, in the state’s northwest

Firefighters keep on battling a wildfire Bulgaria in the Rhodope mountains and another one in the Vitosha mountains.

Earthquakes

5.5 Earthquake hits off the coast of Nicaragua.

5.4 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands region.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

Storms and Floods

Heavy rains bring floods to the Eastern Cape, South Africa. At least 8 people have died and numerous bridges and roads have been washed away.

A tornado blew through central Pennsylvania, USA, causing a pavilion to collapse at a park, injuring 15 people.