Volcanos

Russia’s Plosky Tolbachik volcano located far eastern Kamchatka peninsula is spilling a record 1,200 tonnes of lava every second.

Storms and Floods

Flooding in Perth, Australia

-Heavy storm caused flooding in Mandurah and Rockingham area.

-More bad weather is predicted across South West WA, including Perth. -Homes have lost power in Mandurah.

Flooding in Jupiter, Florida, USA

-Strong storm hit Palm Beach County and also caused flooding in Jupiter.

-The main roadways in Jupiter were unsafe to travel due to flood water.

Flooding in Democratic Republic of the Congo

-Thirteen killed in DR Congo floods. Floods destroyed several houses in southern Brazzaville.

Landslide in Sukabumi, Indonesia

-One killed in landslide in Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia. Twentyone others are reported to be missing.

-Torrential rain triggered a landslide at the mountainous site in Sukabumi.

-They were collecting trace amounts of gold at the illegal mine in Sukabumi.

Tornadoes in Louisiana, Florida and Alabama, USA

-EF1 tornado touched down in Baker. Tornado destroyed several buildings in Ascension Parish.

-A tornado with maximum winds estimated at 90 mph hit Birmingham, Alabama.

-Strong wind damaged 40 houses near Edgewater, Volusia County (Florida) between Edgewater and Oak Hill.

-Tornado damages 40 homes in southeast Volusia, Florida.

Snow emergency has been declared in Ashland, Washburn area of Wisconsin, USA.

Cold wave in Olintepeque, Guatemala

-Two killed due to cold wave in Olintepeque city of Guatemala.

Earthquakes

7.1 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea. The undersea earthquake was harmless and no tsunami warning was issued.

6.0 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.3 Earthquake hits the northern Yokon Territory in Alaska.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

4.9 Earthquake hits the north western Caucasus.

Volcanos

Global volcanic activity:

Another strong explosion occurred this morning at Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi (Indonesia). The eruption produced an ash plume about 3 km high and has been followed by several smaller explosions. This marks one of the most intense phases of activity during the year.

Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico continues to produce frequent (about 3 per hour) but small emissions, only some of which contain ash.

In Guatemala, Fuego volcano continues to erupt a lava flow towards the Ceniza canyon. On 10 Dec morning, the flow had increased to 700 m length and produced glowing avalanches that reached the vegetation line. Few weak strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by rumbling sounds, were occurring as well.

Activity of Santiaguito remains being dominantly effusive. The new block lava flow that had recently formed on the southern flank of the Caliente dome produces glowing avalanches. The other flows on the SE side remain active as well. A constant steam plume rises from the dome to an altitude of approx. 3000 m and incandescence is seen at the dome at night.

Compared to November, the activity of Reventador volcano in Ecuador has decreased, but weak explosions with small ash emissions continue, accompanied by moderate seismic activity.

Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia remains at low activity, with occasional tremor pulses and volcanic quakes, sometimes accompanied by small ash eruptions.

On December 7, 2012 at 05:47 (local time) a magnitude 3.1 volcano-tectonic earthquake occurred at 14.6 km depth southeast of main dome of Cerro Machin volcano. The quake was felt by residents near the volcano, and in the towns of Cajamarca and Ibague.

The seismic swarm in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone north off Iceland still continues at reduced intensity and there seems no end in sight. Most quakes are very small, but there are still occasional quakes at around magnitude 3, and the area remains at risk for a larger quake.

The recent earthquake swarm at Coso Volcanic Field in California seems to be over. The swarm which began in late November included hundreds of events ranging from less than magnitude 0.0 to M3.7, at depths of >10 km at the beginning to shallow 2 km near the end of the swarm. A small magmatic intrusion could have been the cause.

Disease

Hungary has tightened controls on maize designated as feed for dairy cows after discovering that some of the 2012 crop was contaminated by a toxin released by parasitical fungi.

No people have yet been poisoned by the M1 variant of aflatoxin, a potentially carcinogenic product of the Aspergillus fungi species, and samples analysed from milk available to consumers have all been negative.

Storms and Floods

Avalanche in Switzerland

-Eleven killed in Switzerland avalanche at the Titlis ski resort at Engelberg in the canton of Obwald. Two Swedish tourists also injured.

-The avalanche was 300 metres wide and 800 metres long.

Switzerland avalanche

 

Heavy storm in Aegean region of Turkey

-One killed and another missing as heavy rain and wind hit the provinces of Aegean region in Turkey.

-Storm affected Provinces of Izmir, Antalya and Mugla.

Tornado in Arkansas, U.S.A

-Tornado injured one and damaged homes and buildings in northern Arkansas.

-Tornado caused damage about four miles west of Viola in Fulton County. Disaster area is along the Arkansas-Missouri state line about 160 miles north of Little Rock.

At least 13 dead after Floods in Congo, According to witnesses, dozens of houses collapsed after a river in the Makelekele district burst its banks.

Ten people were confirmed dead in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa due to heavy rains in the province. Another three had been reported missing. A goods train plunged into the Amanzimtoti River near Durban.

Train KwaZulu-Natal

Earthquakes

5.6 and 5.0 Earthquakes hit Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.3 Earthquake hits New Guinea in Papua New Guinea.

5.2 Earthquake hits Tonga.

Three 5.0 Earthquakes hit near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Environment

The United Nations climate talks in Doha, Qatar, went a full extra 24 hours and ended without increased cuts in fossil fuel emissions and without financial commitments between 2013 and 2015.

The Doha Gateway creates a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol to cut fossil fuel emissions by industrialised nations from 2013 to 2020 but does not set new targets. There is also no financial support to help poor countries adapt to impacts of climate change – only agreement for more meetings in 2013. Talks will also begin next year to create a “mechanism” to assess damages and costs for countries suffering losses from climate change.

Finally, the Doha Climate Gateway has an agreed outline for two years of negotiations on a new global climate treaty that would go into legal force in 2020.

The general impression gained from environmental groups seems to be one of disappointment that another opportunity to take substantive steps to address and combat the impact of climate change has been squandered.

Drought

The northeast of Brazil is going through the worst drought in nearly 50 years. The cattle industry is particularly hard hit with almost 50 % of herds dying of starvation in some districts.

Drought

Wildfires

Several large bushfires tore through half a dozen properties on North Stradbroke Island off Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Storms and Floods

Typhoon Bopha weakens to tropical storm and brings heavy downpours to the northern Philippines, but there were no reports of floods. In the south, the death toll has risen above 600 with more than 800 still missing. The UN is to make an international appeal for aid for the more the 5 million flood victims.

Heavy Snowfall in Europe

-Heavy Snowfall in South-Eastern and Central Europe has killed nine people. Four people are reported to be killed in Serbia, three in Czech Republic and two in Croatia.

-Snow has been falling for more than 30 hours in most parts of Serbia. Worst situation is in Vojvodina and there is more than 20 centimeters of snow in Belgrade.

-Bulgaria’s National Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology has announced code orange for parts of the country.

-All Bulgaria-Serbia crossing points for freight vehicles are closed due to bad weather conditions.

-Snowstorms have also caused travel chaos across the Balkans.

-Blizzards and cold wave hit Slovenia and Bosnia.

Floods that hit North Barito district in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia since Dec 3 have inundated 8,872 homes in between two and four metres of water.

Earthquakes

5.7, 5.1 and 4.9 Earthquakes hit near the south coast of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the southern mid-atlantic ridge (Bouvet Islands region).

5.3 and 5.0 Earthquakes hit off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Volcanos

Global volcanic activity:

At the moment, the eruption from Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka continues at decreased intensity. Seismic activity has dropped during the past days, but the lower of the eruptive vents continues to feed a lava flow that has reached more than 10 km length in the relatively flat area at the eastern foot of the volcano and spreads there.

3 other volcanoes in Kamchatka continue to erupt as well: Kizimen volcano still produces lava flows are active from the summit and on the E flank, and hot avalanches descend from the dome on the S flank.

Klyuchevskoi volcano still has strombolian activity in its summit crater.

Sheveluch volcano keeps building up its lava dome, producing a viscous lava flow and strong steaming. Explosions could occur any time.

In Indonesia, small to medium-sized explosive ash eruptions continue to occur frequently (every 1-3 days) at Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi (Indonesia). Eruption plumes were observed on 3, 6, 7, and 9 Dec and reached altitudes of (estimated) 10-17,000 ft (3-5 km) altitude, both observed from ground and via satellite data.

The activity at the new lava dome of Paluweh volcano off Flores in Indonesia continues. Ash plumes reaching 10-12,000 ft (3-3.6 km) altitude are observed almost daily.

Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea is in a phase of elevated activity. During 2 Dec and during 6-8 Dec, ash plumes rising 10-12,000 ft (3-3.6 km) altitude and drifting 20-40 nautical miles were detected via satellite.

Eruptive activity also continues at Langila volcano on New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea. An ash plume was detected at 7000 ft (2.1 km) altitude extending 60 nm to the NW on 6 Dec. Satellite images showed a sulfur dioxide plume as well.

Also in Papua NG, ash emissions occurred from Ulawun volcano during late November, the Rabaul Volcano Observatory reported to USGS.

A thermal hot spot continues to be visible at the summit of Chirpoi volcano in the Kuriles. A dense steam plume rising from the Snow peak of the volcano is sometimes visible on satellite images when the volcano is not obscured by clouds.

Spattering and flows of black carbonatite lava at Lengai volcano in Tanzania have been recently observed by climbers. The activity takes place inside the deep summit crater which formed during explosive activity in 2008. The crater is gradually being filled by spatter cones (“hornitos”) and small lava flows, but it might take many years still until the crater floor might become accessible again, in order to be able to witness this unique activity from close range.

At Kilauea volcano on Hawai’i lava flows continue to spread in the coastal flata and have been producing intermittent (and currently active) ocean entries of lava flows near Kupapa`u. The lava lake remains active at Halema’uma’u Crater with fluctuating levels. At Pu’u ‘O’o Crater on the rift zone, the perched lava lake in the NE part of the crater and spatter cones on the SE part and on the NW edge remain active as well. Lava overflowed the lava lake on 24 November and 2 December.

Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico has not changed significantly with fluctuating intensity and frequency of small emissions. The volcano produces a strong steam plume and during 7-8 Dec, CENAPRED recorded an increase to about 3 weak emissions per hour. Ash plumes rose to a maximum of 500 m above the crater and lava glow at night confirms that magma continues to rise slowly within the conduit.

In Guatemala, Fuego volcano has remained at relatively low levels of mostly effusive activity. Few and weak explosions, sometimes noisy degassing, and the continuing effusion of a lava flow, 300 m long this morning, characterize the currently low activity of the volcano.

A bit to the north, Santiaguito lava dome continues to feed several lava flows that descend slowly from the dome and produce incandescent avalanches. Compared to late November, when some larger collapses of flow fronts formed pyroclastic flows, the dome has returned to a more average lower level of activity.

In Japan, Sakurajima volcano in Japan had one of its more active days on 6 Dec with 5 moderate explosions and ash up to 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude, but has returned to an average of 1-2 explosions per day again. Ash plume heights were reported as 4-7,000 ft (1.2-2.1 km) altitude.

Weak seismic unrest continued at Ruapehu volcano in New Zealand, but has been lower compared to earlier in November.

Wildlife

Migrating Song Birds Late in Arriving in Europe

– The extensive 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa had significant consequences for European songbirds such as thrush, nightingale and red-backed shrike. These birds visit northern Europe every spring. Year-round tracking revealed that the cause of the delay was a prolongation of stopover time during spring migration at the Horn of Africa, which was affected by extreme drought.