Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.0 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

A second strong tremblor of magnitude-7.0 occurred at a depth of 12 kilometres at 1.25am on Saturday in Kumamoto, causing strong vibrations across the island with a population of 13 million people. Japanese media reported multiple fatalities, saying the total death toll from the quakes since Thursday was 26.

The temblor on Saturday was followed by a series of aftershocks that were almost at the the top of Japan’s intensity scale. The shaking was most powerful close to Mt. Aso, an active volcano and popular tourist site. A small eruption was spotted at Mt. Aso after the quake.

Television footage showed houses flattened and landslides that had swallowed up roads and railway lines in the village of Minamiaso. Authorities warned of further damage, with strong rain expected to worsen conditions later Saturday. A tsunami warning was briefly issued after the earthquake, but was lifted less than an hour later.

6.2 Earthquake hits offshore Guatemala.

5.6 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5,5 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.4 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.3 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.3 Earthquake hits Atacama, Chile.

5.3 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Talmud, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits eastern Uzbekistan.

5.0 Earthquake hits southwestern Siberia, Russia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 19s (Fantala), located approximately 472 nm north of Port Louis, Mauritius, and is tracking westward at 08 knots.


The Atlantic Coast Is Sinking

The 5,000 North Carolinians who call Hyde County home live in a region several hundred miles long where coastal residents are coping with severe changes that few other Americans have yet to endure.

Geological changes along the East Coast are causing land to sink along the seaboard. That’s exacerbating the flood-inducing effects of sea level rise, which has been occurring faster in the western Atlantic Ocean than elsewhere in recent years. New research using GPS and prehistoric data has shown that nearly the entire coast is affected, from Massachusetts to Florida and parts of Maine with Hyde County subsiding at a little more than an inch per decade.

The study, published this month in Geophysical Research Letters, outlines a hot spot from Delaware and Maryland into northern North Carolina where the effects of groundwater pumping are compounding the sinking effects of natural processes. Problems associated with sea level rise in that hot spot have been — in some places — three times as severe as elsewhere.

On average, climate change is causing seas to rise globally by more than an inch per decade. That rate is increasing as rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap more heat, melting ice and expanding ocean waters. Seas are projected to rise by several feet this century — perhaps twice that much if the collapse of parts of the Antarctic ice sheet worsens.

Ocean circulation changes linked to global warming and other factors have been causing seas to rise much faster than that along the sinking mid-Atlantic coastline — more than 3.5 inches per decade from 2002 to 2014 north of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, a recent study showed.

Taken together, that suggests the sea has been rising along the county’s shorelines recently at a pace greater than 4.5 inches per decade — a globally extraordinary rate. Similar effects are playing out in places that include Sandy Hook in New Jersey and Norfolk in Virginia, the analysis shows.


Global Warming

Greenland’s Ice Sheet Sees Alarming Meltdown

Greenland’s ice sheet saw an almost 12 percent meltdown on Monday, according to data released by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI). The amount of ice melt is not only abnormal but also taking place a month before its usual occurrence.

According to the DMI report, warm air that advanced from the southwest, which brought rain in its wake to the coast, was a factor driving the ice melt. The situation is akin to one observed in 2012, when 95 percent of the ice sheet surface experienced melt; however, even then, the melt wasn’t as early or extensive as the one noticed on Monday.

“It is a very unusual situation, especially so early in the year, with very cold air and deep low pressures system to the west and east of Greenland and very warm air forming a ‘cap’ over the island,” said Martin Stendel, DMI climate scientist. “This helped to force a frontal system with very warm air up the west coast bringing rain over the ice sheet.”

In normal conditions, rainfall and ice sheet melt water usually encounter snow and start to refreeze during this time of the year. As per researchers, the early meltdown is the latest example of accelerated global warming and its impact in recent years. 2015 was the hottest year ever in recorded history, and the Arctic experienced its mildest winters as per data released by NASA. The Arctic sea ice reached an all time recorded low of 5.607 million square miles during winter.



Zika virus infection – Chile

On 26 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Chile notified PAHO/WHO of a confirmed case of sexual transmission of Zika virus; this is the first case acquired in continental Chilean territory where there is no presence of aedes [vector] mosquitoes.

Two Outbreaks of Newcastle Disease Reported in Romania

Two outbreaks of Newcastle disease have been reported on broiler farms in Prahova province in Romania.

In the first outbreak, there were 13,000 cases and over 4000 deaths of birds. Notes on the Romanian report to the World Organisation for Animal Health said that the birds had been vaccinated, but that the vaccination procedures had probably not been properly followed.

In the second outbreak, the source of the outbreak was listed as ‘unknown’. Over 1000 birds died out of 3100 cases.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Nyamuragira (DRCongo): The lava lake at the bottom of the inner pit in the volcano’s summit caldera has recently disappeared, a recent survey by scientist from the Goma volcano observatory (OVG) and UN. It is not known when exactly this happened and how, but the thermal signal stops abruptly around 1 April, suggesting that the lake, which had appeared during 2014, drained quickly at around this date. During their overflight on 6 April, the group of scientists from OVG, UN and the Second University of Naples around D. Tedesco only saw an incandescent vent, releasing a jet of hot gasses, in the place of the lava lake.

Alaid (Northern Kuriles): The eruption at the volcano continues as a strong thermal heat source remains active at the summit crater; no details about the nature of the activity (perhaps a small lava lake) are currently known. KVERT reported that moderate activity at Alaid continued during 1-8 April. Satellite images showed an intense daily thermal anomaly over the volcano. A gas-and-steam plume containing minor amounts of ash drifted about 40 km SW on 1 April. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Chirpoi (Kurile Islands, Russia): Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly over Snow, a volcano of Chirpoi, during 4-5 and 7 April. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Yellow.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): Over the past days, vulcanian-type explosions – mainly from Showa crater – have become weaker and less frequent; none have been recorded since Tuesday. However, both Showa and Minamidake crater continue to show phases of continuous steaming/degassing with weak ash emissions, which in turn suggests probably deep-seated strombolian activity in both craters.

Dukono (Halmahera): Strong ash emissions continue to be observed almost daily, suggesting that the volcano’s activity (continuous strong ash venting, intermittent strombolian explosions from its main crater) has not changed significantly over the past months.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The activity of the volcano has been relatively low during the past days, after the series of stronger explosions in early April had destroyed the previous lava dome. CENAPRED reported 74 weak emissions and one explosion over the past 24 hours.