Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits Kamchatka, Russia.

5.4 Earthquake hits central Alaska.

5.2 Earthquake hits the south Pacific Ocean.

5.2 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.


El Niño And La Niña

The World Meteorological Association (WMO) announced on Monday that the El Niño and La Niña climate patterns are unlikely to show themselves during the first half of 2013. Currently, neutral conditions continue in the tropical Pacific.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Sakurajima Volcano with Lightning – NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day

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Etna (Sicily, Italy): Views of the summit area have been limited due to mostly poor weather, but except for occasional weak glow from the New SE crater and Voragine, probably weak strombolian activity, there has not been any new major activity. Looking at the intervals of the past 7 paroxysms, it would be not surprising if an 8th one was to occur.

Tolbachik (Kamchatka): KVERT reports no changes at any of the volcanoes in Kamchatka. Tolbachik continues to erupt fluid lava and tremor has stayed at constant high levels (a bit higher than last weak).

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano remains in a state of heightened activity, with many and relatively powerful vulcanian explosions. Yesterday alone, it produced at least SIX (6) explosions with ash plumes rising to 7-10,000 ft (2.1-3 km) altitude.

Paluweh (off Flores Island, Indonesia): Another relatively large explosion (and/or partial dome collapse) occurred this morning. According to local press, an explosion at around 10:00 am this morning, and followed by an earthquake at 10:15 local time produced an ash plume rising 1500-2000 m above the island, drifting east. Darwin VAAC reported the volcanic ash plume at 13,000 ft (4 km) altitude and extending 20 nautical miles to the east.

Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): Strombolian activity has been comparably low recently and the volcanic activity level has been set to 1.

Ruapehu (North Island): The latest lake water temperatures readings and seismic recordings showed no particular signs of unrest in recent weeks and the volcanic alert status level has been reduced back to normal=green.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has remained stable, with 1-2 weak weak to moderate steam-gas-ash explosions per hour, some of which generated small ash plumes. Incandescent bombs can sometimes be seen ejected at night.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): Activity remains essentially unchanged, and overall low. Explosions (1-2 per hour) from the dome produce ash plumes up to about 800 m high, and the viscous block lava flows descending the sides of the dome produce weak to moderate avalanches.

Pacaya (Guatemala): No new explosive activity or other surface activity except degassing / steaming has been observed over the past days.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity remains weak, with few (8 counted during 10-11 Mar) strombolian explosions producing light-gray ash plumes rising about 500 m.

Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): A phase of increased degassing and weak ash venting is taking place. INGEOMINAS observed a continuous steam-gas-ash plume rising about 300 m high and drifting southwest. This activity was accompanied by weak volcanic tremor and volcanic-tectonic earthquakes, located northeast of Arenas Crater with magnitudes less than 1.5 on the Richter scale at depths less than 3 km.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): Strombolian activity at moderate intensity continues, with incandescent lava bombs falling onto the outer slopes and rolling down. A strong SO2 plume is drifting southwest from the volcano and minor ash fall occurred in the areas of El Manzano, Choglontús and Pillate.

Space Events

Meteor Sighted – Cape Town

A small meteor streaked across the sky over Cape Town, South Africa yesterday. The meteor was probably a pebble-sized piece of rock and is no cause for alarm because of its size, an astronomer from the South African Astronomical Observatory said.


Storms and Floods

Landslide in Uttarakhand, India

Landslide in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand has killed 10 pilgrims.

A taxi was hit by a landslide along Dehradun-Yamnotri highway which fell into the Yamuna river.


Flash flood in Mbale, Uganda

Flash flood in the Mbale district of Uganda has injured 12 people.

The storm has damaged the building of Munira school, Good Samaritan primary school and Namabasa Secondary School. In Doko Nsambya, one mosque, two churches and one health Centre have been destroyed.

The floods have displaced more than 1 300 people.