Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits the Azores Islands.

5.6 Earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.6 Earthquake hits Antigua and Barbuda region.

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

5.4 Earthquake hits Antigua and Barbuda region.

5.3 Earthquake hits southwestern Siberia, Russia.

5.1 Earthquake hits Atacama, Chile.

5.1 Earthquake hits northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Metropolitata region, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Cyclone Zane forms off Australia’s north Queensland coast

Tropical cyclone Zane, packing 100km/h winds, has formed off far north Queensland on the last day of the official cyclone season. The category-one system is predicted to hit the Queensland coast near Lockhart River on Cape York sometime tomorrow.

Massive landslip in Dorset, England

Landslip occurred at St Oswald’s Bay, east of Durdle Door, on the Dorset coast. Several landslides occurred earlier this month at nearby White Nothe.


Floods in Oman

Heavy rainfall caused flooding in Wadis. At least 30 people were rescued from Ibri, Oman. At least 320 people have had to be rescued in the last seven days.

Lightning strikes have claimed two lives. At least three others were injured.

Power outages have also been reported in Ghubra and Al Khuwayr, Muscat.

Landslide in North Carolina, USA

Heavy rainfall has caused a landslide in North Carolina near the Tennessee border. The landslide also hit homes on Robert’s Hill Road just outside Marshall.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

Lightning over the Eiffel Tower.

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Giant storms on Saturn: Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft captures incredible view of ‘rose’ hurricane 20 times bigger than any on Earth!

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China Bird Flu – Update

The reach and number of H7N9 infections in China continued to expand over the past 3 days, with Hunan province reporting its first case and four others reporting six more, lifting the outbreak’s total to 126.

Valley Fever Outbreak in San Francisco’s Prisons

The federal receiver who controls medical care in California’s prisons is ordering thousands of high-risk inmates out of two Central Valley prisons in response to hundreds of hospitalizations and dozens of deaths due to valley fever.

The state corrections department has been ordered to exclude black, Filipino and other medically risky inmates from the two prisons because they are more susceptible to the airborne fungal infection, which originates in the region’s soil.

The receiver’s office says the order will affect about 40 percent of the more than 8,200 inmates in Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Mount Etna Erupts again with spectacular fireworks:


Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Spattering and lava effusion have increased from the NE hornito, feeding a new relatively large sustained lava flow on the Sciara del Fuoco. Activity has decreased a bit yesterday, but strong explosions and small lava overflows from the NE crater rim and a vent at the outer flank continued, accompanied by frequent rockfalls on the Sciara. At the moment, activity seems to be increasing again.

Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): New explosions have produced ash plumes rising to 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude this morning.

Paluweh (off Flores Island, Indonesia): Activity from the lava dome continues. A larger event (explosion and/or dome collapse) produced a fairly large ash plume rising to 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude that drifted 60 nautical miles NW this morning (VAAC Darwin).

Gaua (Vanuatu): The Wellington VAAC reported on 29 April that a Qantas Airline pilot noticed a possible ash plume from Gaua volcano.

The Vanuatu Geohazards keeps the alert at 1 (on a scale of 0-4)

White Island (New Zealand): Geonet has lowered the alert level of the volcano back to green (normal), following a gradual decline in seismic activity over the past weeks. Degassing remains intense, and after heavy rainfall during the recent past, a lake has been re-established at the main crater.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity at the volcano has picked up in the past 48 hours. Following an earthquake swarm on Saturday with volcanic-tectonic quakes of magnitudes up to 2.3, which was probably the result of a new magma batch rising, an increase in small emissions occurred yesterday with 71 events registered during 24 hours. The largest emission yesterday (at 10:33 local time) produced a steam and ash plume rising 1.2 km above the crater and drifted NE.

Fuego (Guatemala): Effusive activity has increased on the expense of weaker explosive activity. The two lava flows on the SW flank towards the Taniluyà and Ash canyon have reached 900 and 700 m length, respectively, and cause frequent avalanches (visible on the seismograph) that reach the vegetation.

Telica (Nicaragua): Seismic activity has decreased a bit in energy recently. Although the frequency of earthquakes has slowed down, the quakes, still above background levels, are now of higher magnitude.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): Following the initial explosions and ash emissions on Saturday, a significant new eruptive phase has started at the volcano. From 05h30 yesterday morning (local time), an explosion created a steam-ash column rising 4 km initially, then decreased and remained more or less sustained at 2.5 km height above the crater for 30 minutes. The plume drifted W and SW to more than 100 km and caused light ash falls in areas near and around the volcano, such as Banos, Chacauco, Bilbao, Cusúa, Juive Grande, Pondoa and Pillate.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

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

5.3 Earthquake hits the east central Pacific Ocean.

5.0 Earthquake hits eastern Sichuan, China.

Storms and Floods


Heavy rainfalls have caused flash floods in Singapore.


Avalanche on Mount Shirouma in Japan over the weekend claimed three lives. A fourth person has also been recovered from Mt Fuji in Japan. Two other climbers are still reported to be missing in the avalanche in Nagano prefecture.

“Nor’wester” claims five lives including two children in Tangail, Sirajganj and Gaibandha area of Bangladesh. Severe local storms during the pre-monsoon season in March, April and May in Bangladesh is called “Nor’wester” locally.


Bee deaths: EU to ban neonicotinoid pesticides

There is great concern across Europe about the collapse of bee populations.

Wild species such as honey bees are said by researchers to be responsible for pollinating around one-third of the world’s crop production.

There is heated debate about what has triggered the widespread decline in bee populations. Besides chemicals, many experts point to the parasitic varroa mite, viruses that attack bees and neglect of hives.

Neonicotinoid chemicals in pesticides are believed to harm bees and the European Commission says they should be restricted to crops not attractive to bees and other pollinators.

But many farmers and crop experts argue that there is insufficient data.

Fifteen countries voted in favour of a ban – not enough to form a qualified majority. According to EU rules the Commission will now impose a two-year restriction on neonicotinoids.

The UK did not support a ban – it argues that the science behind the proposal is inconclusive. It was among eight countries that voted against, while four abstained.

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Wildfires in Southwestern Serbia, Kosovo

Firefighters are still struggling to put out three fires near the southwestern Serbian town of Priboj. Strong wind is hindering efforts to put out the flames.

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Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): The 13th New SE crater paroxysm is occurring this evening. Tall lava fountains rise from the central vent of the cone, and a lava flow has rapidly descended the slope into Valle del Bove. A dense tephra plume is rising several kilometers above the volcano and drifting to the NE where ash- and lapilli fall is occurring. Judging from the webcam images, lava fountains have now started, i.e. the main phase of the paroxysm has begun. A denser plume is rising from the New SE crater. Tremor continues to climb steeply.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): After a brief pause of just over a month, new eruptive activity has started in the form of gas and ash emissions, accompanied by many small earthquakes and weak tremor pulses. The activity caused light ash fall in areas near the volcano, in particular Juive Grande. IGPEN scientists sampled some of the ash, which is dark in color, which in turn suggests that it is from juvenile (fresh) magma that has started to rise and arrive at the summit and not the result of phreatic activity (pulverizing older rock). A new stronger eruptive phase in the coming days or weeks is therefore likely.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits eastern Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Volcano Islands off Japan.

Storms and Floods

Landslide in Kiambu County, Kenya

A landslide in Kenya’s Kiambu county has killed three girls. The landslide occurred after heavy rainfall and has also blocked access to Kijabe Mission Hospital in Kiambu district.

Flash flooding in Houston, Texas, USA

Recent floods in Houston, TX has caused huge power outages. Several roads are closed in Harris County and Fort Bent County.

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Other USA News:

An emergency declaration for flooding in North Dakota has been approved by President Obama.

A disaster has been declared for Kansas following a recent snowstorm.


Sea surface temperatures on the Northeast USA Unusually Warm

Sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem, which extends from Cape Hatteras to the Gulf of Maine and outward to the boundary of the continental shelf, increased dramatically to reach a record 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit, beating a previous record high in 1951. The average temperature over the past three decades has been typically lower than 54.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

The warmer ocean temperatures might be good news for beachgoers in the Northeast, but they could also disrupt ecosystems, along with the livelihoods that depend on them. Black sea bass, summer flounder, longfin squid, and butterfish have been migrating northeastward. Lobsters are migrating too, but at a slower rate.


China Bird Flu – Update

Fujian province reported its first H7N9 influenza case; the ninth area of eastern China to be affected by the virus; as other provinces reported six more infections, raising the outbreak total to 119.


Forest Fire in Israel

A new forest fire has broke out near Kfar Uriya located near Beit Shemesh, Israel, Jerusalem Post mentions. Around 200 people have been evacuated. About twenty firefighting crews are struggling to control the blaze.

At least two hikers were injured in the forest fire in Ben Shemen, near Modiin yesterday. They were immediately dispatched to Asaf Harofeh Hospital with minor burns.

A heat wave has caused several forest fire incidents across Israel.