Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits the Philippine Islands region.

5.0 Earthquake hits southeast of Easter Island.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua, New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Landslide in Tibet

Landslide in Tibet has trapped at least 83 mine workers in the gold mining area of Maizhokunggar county of Lhasa.


Drought in Brazil Intensifies

Brazil’s northeast interior has been experiencing a severe drought in what should be the rainy season.

Private trucks are selling potable water. Some people travel 100km in search of drinkable water, though many cannot afford to pay the price.

“What falls from the sky does not fill a glass of water,” Raimundo, a farmer, said. Natural vegetation, which would normally provide food for livestock, has dried up and many ranchers cannot afford to buy imported feed for their herds. Many farmers are on the brink of collapse, while others have given up on ranching and have moved to other parts of the country in search of work.

$1bn in aid to all of those affected by the drought has been announced by the Government, but many ranchers are having trouble feeding themselves and their cattle are dying in record numbers.

This river is normally full from bank to bank at this time of year:

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Danger of New SARS Outbreak in Hong Kong

A few cases of a SARS like virus have been reported in Hong Kong. Hong Kong health officials are very concerned about another major outbreak of the disease; similar to the one that happened a decade ago.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): Another large quake of magnitude 4.6, which was widely felt on the island, just occurred at 08:14 GMT at 18 km depth about 10 km west of the island under the seabed.

Dieng (Central Java): VSI raised the alert level to the third highest level Siaga (3 out of 4), because significant changes were observed at the crater lake. The most spectacular was the change of the lake water color to dark brown on 24 March. In addition, a significant increase in CO2 concentration within 500 m from the Timbang crater was measured, from from 0.01% (by volume) in early March to 2.5% between 11 and 15 March. Also the emissions of the magmatic gas H2S increased. The now elevated gas concentrations are becoming a significant hazard (illustrated by a cat found suffocated by CO2).

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): An increase in activity occurred last night from 20:05 h local time. Small to moderate explosions with ash emissions started to become more frequent. Incandescent tephra was thrown to up to 400-700 m distances onto the northern and northeastern slope of the volcano (see picture). At 22:30 h, the number of explosions increased to become near continuous. Glowing bombs were ejected up to 700 m distance from the crater and an ash column drifted to the northeast. This process was accompanied by continuous volcanic tremor.

Pu’u O’o vent summit cone of Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. © G. Brad Lewis.

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