Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 13p (Marcia), located approximately 262 nm north-northwest of Brisbane, Australia, and is tracking southward at 10 knots.

While conditions have eased as two powerful cyclones in Queensland and the Northern Territory are downgraded, a trail of destruction has left thousands facing a gruelling clean-up effort to repair shattered properties. While there have been no reports of deaths, 60,000 homes are currently without power, and State Emergency Services have been flooded with more than 3000 calls for aid. There remained potential for flooding in areas of the state, as the Bureau of Meteorology tracked the storm moving north and reported downpours of up to 70 millimetres on the Sunshine Coast.


India – A landslide in Assam’s Hailakandi district in India has claimed the life of two labourers and injured one other.


Zimbabwe to Slaughter Elephants to Celebrate President’s Birthday

President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 35 years, celebrated his 91st birthday on Saturday as supporters prepared a party at Victoria Falls at which two elephants are to be slaughtered.

The ritual in his honour involving the slaughter of elephants at the party have drawn fire being described as unethical and disgusting by legitimate local wildlife agencies.

Meanwhile, Tendai Musasa, who heads the Woodlands Conservancy in Victoria Falls, said he donated the elephants for slaughter because “it speaks volumes about how I hold the president in high esteem.”


Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

The shark, believed to be a dusky whaler, was reportedly dumped on Lennox Head Beach in Queensland yesterday after ferocious winds and tides lashed down on the tourist town from tropical Cyclone Marcia.

Screen Shot 2015 02 21 at 3 28 39 PM


‘Fog Catchers’ to Provide Peruvians with Fresh Water

Residents of Peru’s arid landscape to the south of Lima might soon receive as much as 100,000 gallons of fresh water per day, thanks to a new network of “fog catchers.”

The devices will pick up condensation droplets from the prevailing fog that covers the Peruvian capital, especially during the winter months, and pipe it into reservoirs for people to use at home and to irrigate crops.

The privately funded project is focusing on the needs of the Villa Maria del Triunfo district in southern Lima.

“One hundred to 200 fog catchers will be placed in this community,” the president of Peruvians Without Water, Abel Cruz, told the news agency EFE.

“The final goal is to have 1,000 functioning with their reservoirs and tanks, which will allow us to be able to capture between 53,000 and 106,000 gallons of water per day.”


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): An eruption today produced an ash plume that rose to estimated 25,000 ft (7.5 km) altitude, detected on infrared satellite imagery (VAAC Tokyo). This could have been an explosion at the dome or an ash plume from a pyroclastic flow due to a partial collapse event, but visible webcam images are not clear to distinguish this.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): A high-level eruption at 15:22 UTC (22:22 local time) with an ash plume rising to 45,000 ft (15 km) altitude was reported by Darwin VAAC short time ago. If this report turns out to be true (so far, no other evidence available), it would mean that a major vulcanian to sub-plinian explosion is occurring or has occurred as a surprise. Pyroclastic flows continue to occur, as a new lobe of viscous lava is growing in the summit crater. The collapses during the past 2 weeks and their associated flows have strongly changed the morphology of the crater, removing most of the existing dome, while this is now being replaced by fresh material. A larger flow on Wednesday night reached 4 km distance, further than all of the previous ones in recent months. It reached the evacuated villages of Suka Meriah where it burnt houses. Fortunately, no victims were reported as people from the place had been relocated permanently. Ash fall occurred in Berastagi town 30 km away.