Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits the Santa Cruz Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Bali Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Australia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.


USA – A Valentine’s Day storm bought snow and dangerously high winds to New England for the fourth time in less than a month, the latest blow to a region that has already seen more than 6 feet of snow in some areas.

Argentina – Three people were found dead and two went missing after several rivers flooded in Córdoba province, following the heavy rain that has hit the region. The floods were caused by the more than 300 millimetres of rain that poured down the province during 12 hours of storms. Floods caused evacuations in Punilla and Sierras Chicas, and also in the surrounding neighbourhoods of Córdoba City, where power outages have been organized as preventive measures.

Malawi Update – Nearly a quarter of a million people, more than originally thought, have been affected by the devastating floods that ripped through Malawi a month ago, and with rains still falling, many of the 230,000 who were forced to flee their homes have been unable to return and rebuild their lives, the UN said. The UN children’s agency, Unicef, said new figures from the UN and the government of Malawi showed the number of people displaced stood at 230,000, compared with an original estimate of 174,000. About 64,000 hectares (158,147 acres) of land were damaged, it added. The scale of the disaster has wreaked havoc on the densely populated country, where most people survive from subsistence farming. Crops of maize have been destroyed, villages obliterated, homes swept away and livestock killed.


Mad Cow Disease Found in Canada

South Korea has suspended quarantine inspections of Canadian beef after the major exporter confirmed its first case of mad cow disease since 2011 Friday after Canada confirmed some beef from the Alberta province was infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. The Canadian government said the infected parts had not reached human food or animal feeding systems.

It is anticipated that other countries importing beef from Canada may follow suit.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Bardarbunga (Central Iceland): The eruption at Holuhraun continues at similar levels as lately, the Icelandic Met Office reports in its updates. The decreasing trend, however, is becoming visible in a significant drop of the lava lake level inside the Baugur crater above the main vents, seen in the photo above.

“From the field 12 Feb 2015; view from the rim of the southern crater into the lava lake of Baugur. In the foreground, 400m away from the rim, is the southern magma vent. Beyond that there is the northern magma vent, boiling. The lava lake in the foreground is not only glowing; the blackish cover next to the rim indicates some cold crust on its surface, whereas the orange colour reveals liquid magma. Photo: Ármann Höskuldsson.

Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): A stronger phase in the ongoing eruption produced an ash plume that rose to 23,000 ft (7 km) last night (Tokyo VAAC).

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): Kamchatka’s most active volcano continues to produce ash plumes as well, generated by explosions at the dome as well as avalanches from it – Tokyo VAAC reported ash to 19,000 ft (5.4 km) altitude yesterday.

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): Intermittent explosions and ash emissions continue. Last night Tokyo VAAC reported a plume to 20,000 ft (6 km) altitude drifting west.

Chikurachki (Paramushir Island): A strong explosive eruption occurred from the volcano on Paramushir island last evening, producing an ash plume that rose to 25,000 ft (7.5 km) altitude and drifted quickly west, already more than 200 km distance. The Aviation Color Code was raised to red.

Smaller ash emissions have been following, visible in a hole of clouds over the northern and central Kuriles on NASA’s Terra satellite images. KVERT warns that a larger explosion, with ash plumes of 10 km or more, could occur.

After Klyuchevskoy, Shiveluch, Zhupanovsky and Karymski volcanoes on Kamchatka, it is the fith Russian volcano currently erupting in the region, posing danger to aviation.

Aso (Kyushu): No significant changes in the ongoing mild eruption have occurred over the past weeks. Small ash emissions from strombolian activity inside Nakadake crater are near continuous.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): Strombolian activity from On-take’s crater continues to be on the higher end of the average scale and produces small ash plumes.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): Following the large pyroclastic flow on 9 Feb, several smaller to medium ones have occurred over the past days.

It is difficult to be sure, but it suggests that lava effusion to the steep viscous lobe on the upper steep flank is currently at a higher rate than during most of the past months.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The volcano’s activity remains more or less unchanged with fluctuating levels as to the number of emissions and explosions and seismic activity.

After a peak in early February with up to 60 events, the recorded number of daily explosions has stabilized to about 10 during the past few days. Ash plumes rose 1-2 km above the crater. Bright glow is visible from the crater at night, indicating arriving fresh magma in the inner crater where a new lava dome is forming.

Seismic activity is low, although a peak in volcanic tremor occurred on 13 Feb with 600 minutes of weak volcanic tremor recorded.

Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): After 10 days of relatively stable, mild effusive lava flow activity, the eruption seems to have ended last night.

OVPF reported that tremor disappeared Sunday evening 22:30 local time. No visible activity could be seen any more afterwards.

Alert level was lowered to vigilance, but access to the Enclos remains still limited for now, in case of a sudden re-activation, which is always a possibility.