Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Araucania, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical storm Cindy has weakened to become a tropical low pressure system as it moved inland. Some heavy falls of rain can however, still be expected over Louisiana, USA.


Guatemala – A landslide in the Central American nation has killed at least 12 people, with authorities fearing the death toll will rise. The mudslide on Tuesday took out a minibus carrying ten people to work in San Pedro Soloma, killing everybody on board.


Yellowstone Grizzlies Lose Endangered Status

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Endangered Species List yesterday.

About 700 bears currently inhabit the GYE — up from 136 individuals in 1975 — and their range covers 2,500 square miles (6,475 square kilometers). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) found the population to be stable and sustainable, determining that the bears had reached a recovery point that no longer required federal protections, representing “one of America’s great conservation success stories.

Snake fungal disease identified in wild British snakes

Europe’s wild snakes could face a growing threat from a fungal skin disease that has contributed to wild snake deaths in North America, according to an international collaborative study.

Caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, snake fungal disease (SFD) can lead to symptoms including skin lesions, scabs and crusty scales, which can contribute to the death of the infected animal in some cases. SFD was first recognised in wild snakes in eastern North America around a decade ago. Prior to this study, the only wild populations found to be affected had been those in the central and eastern United States.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

A photographer experienced a magical moment near Swansea, Wales, this weekend as the sea glowed and glimmered an otherworldly blue. The glow that lit Three Cliffs Bay near Swansea that night came from tiny plankton that emit their own light. Many species of plankton glow, and blue is the most common color for their self-made light; blue is the wavelength of light that travels the farthest through water.

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Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 127.0 degrees Fahrenheit (52.8 degrees Celsius) in Death Valley, California.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 106.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 76.7 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.


Wildfires – Utah, USA

A wildfire near a southern Utah ski town that has forced hundreds of people to evacuate has doubled in size in high winds and drove out residents of 400 additional homes, authorities said Thursday. New evacuations were ordered east of the fire’s epicenter in the tiny mountain town of Brian Head. The fire has spread to 17 square miles (44 square kilometers).

The blaze is one of several burning in the U.S. West as extreme heat makes it difficult for firefighters to tamp down the flames.


Bird Flu in South Africa

A single outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza of the H5N8 type has been isolated on a farm near Villiers.

According to the South African Poultry Association, this strain of the virus has its origins in Europe and has been infecting European poultry for more than a year.

In May, it was isolated in Zimbabwe. The disease is spread primarily by water fowl that carry the disease in the highly pathogenic form, the association said.

The affected farm is near the Vaal River and it is likely that the disease is present in other parts of South Africa in wild water birds, especially ducks.

The public is requested to report any sightings of high levels of large wild bird or backyard chicken mortalities, the association urged.

The farm has been isolated and culling of the birds on the affected site has commenced. Some 28 000 birds are to be culled.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 14 June – 20 June 2017

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that an event at Showa Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) at 1208 on 15 June generated an ash plume that rose 2.8 km above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Bagana | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 14 June an ash plume from Bagana drifted W at an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. No ash was identified in inages later that day.

Bezymianny | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : On 15 June KVERT reported that the temperature of a thermal anomaly identified in satellite images had increased, and that the webcam recorded a gas-and-steam plume rising above Bezymianny to 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSE. Hot avalanches of material originated from the lava dome. An explosive event began at 1653 on 16 June, producing an ash cloud 28 x 25 km in size that drifted NE. The Aviation colour Code was raised to Red (the highest level on a four-colour scale), but lowered back down to Orange about 5 hours later. At 2110 the ash cloud was 212 x 115 km in size and drifting E; the leading edge of the cloud was about 245 km E.

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that no unusual activity at Cleveland had been detected in seismic or infrasound data during 14-20 June. Minor steaming from the summit was recorded by a webcam during 17-18 June, and slightly elevated surface temperatures were identified in a satellite image acquired on 19 and 20 June. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 14-20 June ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.5-3 km (5,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Based on observations by residents of Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island) about 7 km E of Ebeko, KVERT reported that explosive activity continued at the volcano during 9-16 June. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Fuego | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 13-14 June explosions at Fuego generated shock waves detected within 10 km, and block avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Taniluyá (SW), Santa Teresa (SW), and Trinidad (S) ravines. On 18 June heavy rain triggered a 20-m-wide, 1.5-m-deep lahar that traveled down the El Jute (SE) ravine, carrying tree trunks and blocks as large a 2 m in diameter. Explosions during 18-20 June produced ash plumes that rose as high as 950 m above the crater and drifted 8-12 km S, SW, and W. Ashfall was noted in areas downwind including Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), and Panimaché I and II (8 km SW). Incandescent material was ejected 100-200 m above the crater rim, and caused avalanches of material that traveled into the Ceniza, Taniluyá, Trinidad, and Santa Teresa drainages.

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on PVMBG observations, satellite images, and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 14 and 17-19 June ash plumes from Ibu rose 1.5-1.8 km (5,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SW, W, and N.

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) : During 14-20 June HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu’u ‘O’o Crater, from a vent high on the NE flank of the cone, and from a small lava pond (which had many small spattering sites along the margin) in a pit on the W side of the crater. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu’u ‘O’o Crater’s E flank, continued to enter the ocean at Kamokuna. Field observations on 31 May revealed that the lava delta had grown to an area of approximately 0.01 square kilometers. A solidified lava ramp extended from the tube exit high on the sea cliff down to the delta, whose leading edge was about 100 m from the tube exit on the sea cliff. Lava flows from the upper portion of the flow field continued to advance downslope, producing surface flows above and on the pali.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that during 9-16 June explosions at Klyuchevskoy generated ash plumes that rose to 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 580 km SE and SW. A weak thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images during 11-16 June. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Langila | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 14 June ash plumes from Langila rose 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WNW. On 20 June an ash plume drifted NW at an altitude of 2.1 (7,000 ft) a.s.l.

Poas | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that during 13-15 June gas emissions from Poás rose no higher than 500 m above the crater rim and drifted N. During breaks in weather, observers near the crater on 16 June noted ash emissions rising less than 1 km above the crater rim and drifting N. Ash emissions from events at 1340 on 18 June, and 1100 and 1350 on 20 June, rose less than 1 km.

Sabancaya | Peru : Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that explosive activity at Sabancaya slightly decreased from the previous week; there was an average of 26 explosions recorded per day during 12-18 June. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 3.7 km above the crater rim and drifted more than 40 km SW. The MIROVA system detected nine thermal anomalies, spread over the SE, N, and NW flanks. Sulfur dioxide flux was as high as 3,557 tons per day on 14 June.

Sinabung | Indonesia : Based on PVMBG observations, satellite images, and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 14-17 and 19 June ash plumes from Sinabung rose 3-6.4 km (10,000-21,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that during 14-15 June gas emissions at Turrialba sometimes contained ash and rose no higher than 300 m above the crater. Events at 0620 and 1405 on 16 June generated ash plumes that rose 500 m and drifted NW, and 200 m and drifted S, respectively. Passive ash emissions during 19-20 June rose as high as 1 km and drifted in multiple directions.