5.0 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Sula, Indonesia.

4.9 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.


Sweltering Conditions in Australia

Victoria in Australia is set to experience some of its worst fire conditions since Black Saturday, with most of the state expecting temperatures above 40°C on Friday, as well as fresh northerly winds. In Victoria’s northwest, Mildura is tipped to have six days in a row above 40°C.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity at Year’s End:

Activity at Stromboli volcano in Italy has been at exceptionally high levels recently. We observed several active vents inside the crater terrace with near-continuous lava spattering and strombolian explosion at intervals of 10-30 minutes. The northeastern vent in particular has very powerful and bright explosions of very liquid lava, with ejections into all directions reaching several hundred meters in height. These explosions are accompanied by loud detonations that rattle doors and windows in the village.

Just before the end of last near, a new earthquake swarm started on 31 Dec at El Hierro island. Most quakes are located at 15-20 km depth under the El Golfo bay and seem to propagate slowly towards the east. On 31 Dec, 57 quakes of magnitudes 1.4-2.4 were registered, on 1 Jan, 43 with magnitudes up to 2.6. You can see the complete list of quakes at the El Hierro Earthquakes page.

Just after the eruptive phase of Kizimen volcano in Kamchatka was thought to be over and aviation alert set back to green on 27 Dec, a new lava flow extrusion was observed on 28 Dec 2012.

Continuing strong tremor and effusion of lava flows from the southern fissure of Plosky Tolbachik volcano.

Sheveluch volcano is active as well and keeps growing its lava dome. A small pyroclastic flow was triggered by a small dome collapse on 31 Dec.

Observed incandescence at the summit suggests that mild strombolian activity continues within the crater of Klyuchevskoi volcano.

Seismic activity of Gorely volcano remains moderately elevated and KVERT reports volcanic tremor under the volcano. No thermal anomaly is visible on satellite images.

Sakurajima volcano in Japan started the new year with at least 4 explosions, producing ash plumes up to 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude during 1-2 Jan.

A hot spot is visible at Karangetang volcano on Api Siau island, Indonesia. No ash emissions have been observed, but it is likely that the volcano has started to produce some minor activity at the summit dome.

Thermal anomalies are still visible from Paluweh north off Flores and suggest that dome growth and pyroclastic flow activity continue, although no recent ash plumes have been observed (most likely because of dense cloud cover).

A new strong ash eruption occurred today at 06:58 local time Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi. The explosion produced an ash plume rising 3.5 km as local media reported.

A SO2 plume was visible from Ulawun volcano in Papua New Guinea on 31 Dec, suggesting perhaps renewed activity there.

Kilauea volcano on Hawai’i has remained stable. The active lava lake at the summit in Halema’uma’u crater and several vents inside Pu’u O’o crater on the east rift zone are active. Lava flows from the latter are reaching the coastal plain and enter the sea at several locations along a 1 km wide area.

Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico continues to produce on average 1-2 small steam-, gas- and sometimes ash emissions per hour. Glow from the crater shows magma continues to slowly rise within the volcano.

No recent ash emissions have been observed at San Cristobal volcano in Nicaragua, but some volcanic tremor still indicates fluid movements inside the volcano.

Activity at Fuego volcano has remained characterized by few small strombolian explosions (8 counted during 31 Dec-1 Jan) producing small ash plumes up to about 4-500 m high, and the continuing lava flow, 500 m long on the upper southern slope.

The Santiaguito lava dome has remained mainly effusive, with very few and weak ash explosions, and active block lava flows from the dome, that generate constant small avalanches.

In Ecuador, activity at Tungurahua volcano has calmed down, but occasional explosions still occur, sometimes accompanied by loud bangs and shock waves such as on 17:53 local time on 31 Dec.

Seismic activity from Reventador volcano is at moderate levels with pulses of tremor suggesting ongoing emissions of gas and possibly ash. During times of clear weather, strong steaming could be observed.

Copahue volcano in Chile/ Argentina produces a steam and ash plume rising a few 100 m and sometimes visible on satellite images as well, but no recent explosions were reported.

Volcanic quakes and a slightly increased tremor signal are visible at Ruapehu volcano in New Zealand.

Continuous volcanic tremor at White Island, reflecting fluid movements beneath the volcano, continued to show a vaguely increasing trend although it has decreased again during the past days.

Storms and Floods

Flooding in New Zealand

Flooding has forced two main South Island roads to close, as heavy rain continues to ravage parts of the island. A one-lane bridge over the Wanganui River at Harihari on the West Coast has been washed away, cutting off State Highway 6.

Tropical Cyclone Dumile

Tropical Cyclone Dumlie forms in the Indian Ocean and is located 565 nm north of La Reunion. TC Dumile is forecast to strike Reunion as a tropical cyclone at about 18:00 on 3 January. The maximum Storm surge height is expected to be 0.1m in Voloina, Madagascar.

Tropical Cyclone Freda

TC Freda weakens after passing over New Caledonia.