Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Salta, Argentina.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.


Zika virus infection – Panama

On 14 December 2015, the National IHR Focal Point (NFP) of Panama notified PAHO/WHO of one (1) additional laboratory-confirmed case of Zika virus infection.


Wildfires – Australia

Out-of-control bushfires are still burning near two Victorian tourist towns as the weather heats up again before Christmas.

Lightning sparked fires in the Great Otway national park, near popular tourist destinations Lorne and Wye River.

Bushfires raging over 7,700 hectares in Barnawartha in the north-east have now claimed their fourth house, bringing the total number of houses lost in Victoria to 18.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

S Pacaya (Guatemala): During our visit at the volcano this morning, the first direct observation of the crater was possible following a period of 5 days of bad weather. When we climbed the crater rim, we observed violent, continuous lava spattering from the central vent on an intra-crater cinder cone inside Mackenney crater. Activity was fairly regular in intensity, but went through alternating periods of stronger and weaker overall strength, lasting 10-20 minutes each. During the strongest phases, some stronger spattering events, resembling strombolian explosions (except that this activity was continuous), lava bombs were ejected to heights of 150-200 m, i.e. well above the crater rim, but mostly fell back inside. Only few fresh (days to few weeks old) bombs were seen on or near the (eastern) crater rim. Around the main vent at the bottom of the the approx. 100 m deep crater, a small intra-crater cinder cone, about 15 m tall, has formed, obviously containing a small boiling lava lake in its main vent. A small secondary vent is located at the eastern side of the cone and also showed spattering occasionally, mainly during phases of elevated activity at the main vent. Parts of the crater floor have been covered by presumably fresh lava flows.