Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits Reykjanes Ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the North Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Irma is located about 95 mi…155 km N of Punta Cana Dominican Republic and about 210 mi…335 km eESE of Grand Turk Island with maximum sustained winds…180 mph…285 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 290 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

Hurricane Jose is located about 815 mi…1310 km E of the lesser Antilles with maximum sustained winds…90 mph…150 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 285 degrees at 18 mph…30 km/h.

Hurricane Katia is located about 225 mi…360 km ESE of Tampico Mexico with maximum sustained winds…80 mph…130 km/h. Present movement…stationary.

In the Western Pacific: Tropical depression 19w (Guchol), located approximately 212 nm southwest of Taipei, Taiwan, is tracking north-northwestward at 08 knots.

Newsbytes:

Caribbean – Hurricane Irma lashed Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds Wednesday night, leaving nearly 900 000 people without power as authorities struggled to get aid to small Caribbean islands already devastated by the historic storm. Florida rushed to prepare for a possible direct hit on the Miami area by the Category 5 storm with potentially catastrophic 185 mph winds. Nearly every building on the island of Barbuda was damaged when the eye of the storm passed almost directly overhead early Wednesday and about 60 percent of the island’s roughly 1 400 people were left homeless. As the storm moved west, it tore up the small islands in its path, the lush islands in tatters, with many of the homes damaged and the once-dense vegetation largely gone.

Wildlife

Pacific corals in ‘worrying’ state

An in-depth probe along a 50,000-kilometre (31,000-mile) stretch of the Pacific found that up to 90 percent of some coral colonies around the Samoan islands had been bleached.

Around the Tuamotu archipelago, up to half of colonies are bleached, according to researchers on board the French research schooner Tara.

Around the islands of Tuvalu and Kiribati, sections of reef were dead by the time the team got there.

Even in more temperate waters to the north, reefs did not escape bleaching, said the team, with up to 70 percent of corals damaged around Okinawa, Japan.

Corals make up less than one percent of Earth’s marine environment, but are home to an estimated 25 percent of marine life. They act as nurseries for many species of fish.

Corals are tiny, invertebrate marine creatures that live in colonies and require algae to survive. The algae live on the corals, providing them with food and the bold colours that reefs are known for.

Corals “bleach” when they are stressed by environmental changes — due to ocean warming or pollution. They expel the algae and turn bone-white.

If the harm is not too severe, reefs can recover from a bleaching event, although this can take many years.

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Space Events

Sun Unleashes Monster Solar Flare

Early yesterday morning, the sun released two powerful solar flares — the second was the most powerful in more than a decade.

At 5:10 a.m. EDT (0910 GMT), an X-class solar flare — the most powerful sun-storm category — blasted from a large sunspot on the sun’s surface. That flare was the strongest since 2015, at X2.2, but it was dwarfed just 3 hours later, at 8:02 a.m. EDT (1202 GMT), by an X9.3 flare, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The last X9 flare occurred in 2006 (coming in at X9.0).

According to SWPC, the flares resulted in radio blackouts: high-frequency radio experienced a “wide area of blackouts, loss of contact for up to an hour over [the] sunlit side of Earth,” and low frequency communication, used in navigation, was degraded for an hour.

Disease

Swine Flu – India

Swine flu has claimed 44 lives in Madhya Pradesh with five patients each succumbing to the deadly H1N1 virus in Bhopal and Indore districts since July 1 this year, a senior official said today. So far, 226 positive cases of swine flu have been reported from different districts of Madhya Pradesh.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 30 August – 5 September 2017

Ambrym | Vanuatu : On 30 August the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) reported that “drastic changes” at Ambrym prompted an increase in the Alert Level from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 0-5). Areas deemed hazardous were near and around the active vents (Benbow, Maben-Mbwelesu, Niri-Mbwelesu and Mbwelesu), and in downwind areas prone to ashfall. According to a news article, a representative of VGO indicated that the Alert Level change was based on increased seismicity detected since the beginning of August but which became more notable on 25 August. Since monitoring of the volcano started around 20 years ago, the Alert Level had never been elevated past 2.

Fernandina | Ecuador : IG reported that increased seismicity at Fernandina was detected at around 0955 on 4 September. Based on accounts from Galapagos Park personnel and photos of the volcano, an eruption started at around 1225. The Washington VAAC reported that lava was detected in satellite images beginning at 1230; a steam-and-gas plume rose 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 60 km W. At around 1428 IG noted that an eruptive plume was identified in satellite images rising 4 km above the crater and drifting NW. The VAAC reported that on 5 September a plume likely composed of sulfur dioxide and water vapor, and possibly some ash, rose to 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. There are no residents on Fernandina.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : Based on webcam views, Volcanes de Chile reported that an eruption at Nevados de Chillán occurred around 0925 on 30 August.

Sangay | Ecuador : Based on satellite and model data, and information from the Guayaquil MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that ash plumes from Sangay rose to altitudes of 6.1-8.5 km (20,000-28,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted NW on 2 September.